Any repairs using new pipes or fittings require a permit, which can be requested by landowners or registered plumbers. (Warren Brown / Community Impact newspaper)
On February 24, San Marcos City Council unanimously voted to waive the city’s permit fees for all residential and commercial plumbing repairs submitted through April 16.
The waiver only applies to repairs made necessary as a result of the snowstorm during Presidents’ Day week, but is retroactive and applies to permits issued or applied for before council votes.
“I truly believe this is going to be of great benefit to our residents who are facing unprecedented and very difficult repairs,” said Bert Lumbreras, City Manager of San Marcos.
The order was originally scheduled to expire on April 1, but Council member Melissa Derrick has asked for an additional 15 days to be added.
“I’ve heard from many constituents, friends of mine, etc., that it takes even over 60 days to get a plumber to come to your house,” Derrick told his fellow council members. “I just think 45 days is a little too short with the amount of damage that has been done to San Marcos.”
Permits can be applied online by the owner or by a registered plumber, and an application for a permit must be sent to the city within 24 hours of the completion of repairs whenever new pipes or fittings are used. More information is available on the city website.
However, Lumbreras said city staff have realistic expectations and don’t expect every affected resident to submit permit applications.
“It’s safe to say that not everyone doing repairs on their own is going to come and get a plumbing license. I think the staff easily understand that,” he said. “For people who respect our city and have an interest in contacting the city and making the necessary repairs, we want to be able to provide this waiver.”
Inspections are also needed after repairs are complete, but they can be done in person or via video conference like Skype, according to city documents.
City council intends to reconsider the waiver at its April 6 meeting to assess whether the April 16 deadline will need to be adjusted.