Third Party Plan Review in Central Texas

Client Name: City of New Braunfels

New Braunfels, Texas

SERVICES USED

  • Third-Party Plan Review 

    Project Description

    Masterplan provides third-party plan review services to support the Planning and Development Services Department. Masterplan reviews residential and commercial building permit applications for compliance with the City of New Braunfels Code of Ordinances. Site plans and building elevations are reviewed to ensure that all zoning and subdivision requirements are satisfied including land use, building setbacks, building height, lot coverage, screening and landscaping, and exterior lighting. The types of applications reviewed include plans for residential permits for new construction, additions and remodels, fences, accessory buildings, and swimming pools. Examples of commercial applications that Masterplan regularly reviews include plans for new commercial shell construction, interior finish-outs, change of use, cellular communication towers and antennas, and signs. 

    Challenges

    • Municipalities often need assistance or sometimes a different perspective when tackling special projects, conducting case studies, or maintaining development review timelines and performance metrices. During a particularly heavy zoning review cycle, assistance was provided to assist staff in managing the caseload by providing a preliminary analysis of land use. 

      Strategies Used

      • Along with accuracy, the city’s primary objective for outsourcing plan review services is to maintain target review deadlines. With the online permit submittal and review process, plan review services can occur anywhere and anytime. When necessary, Masterplan completes reviews on weekends and after hours to ensure review cycle target deadlines are met.  

      Results

      • The firm reviewed over 1,000 residential, commercial and miscellaneous permits for both new construction and remodels. Applicant questions and requests for additional information were responded to as needed. The zoning request and site data was evaluated and summarized, and a recommendation was provided to the case manager for consideration.   

      Conclusion

      • Third-party plan review services provide a great opportunity to partner and serve Texas communities. It allows City staff to efficiently manage development review caseloads and carve out larger blocks of time for deep work and focus on complex, comprehensive initiatives such as a development code rewrite, and this work keeps the development review skills of Masterplan team members sharp, which helps ensure that high-quality plans are submitted for clients in all jurisdictions. 

      TEAM LEAD

       

      Karen Wunsch, AICP
      Managing Director, Austin


      A long-time Central Texas land use and zoning leader, Karen Wunsch brings more than 25 years of real estate industry experience and leadership to her role as Managing Director of Masterplan’s Austin office. Since joining Masterplan in 2014, she has helped clients navigate zoning, platting, and permitting processes to get projects approved and completed.