Slow Poke Permits

If you’re tired of waiting on city inspectors to issue permits, you should probably be aware of a little known and rarely used statute. Section 214 of the Local Government Code requires that permits be addressed within a certain amount of time. Failing to do so prevents the municipality from collecting fees or requires the municipality to refund any fees collected. If Cokinos | Young can assist you with this issue (or any issue), don’t hesitate to contact us.


(a) This section applies only to a permit required by a municipality to erect or improve a building or other structure in the municipality or its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

(b) Not later than the 45th day after the date an application for a permit is submitted, the municipality must:

(1) grant or deny the permit;

(2) provide written notice to the applicant stating the reasons why the municipality has been unable to grant or deny the permit application; or

(3) reach a written agreement with the applicant providing for a deadline for granting or denying the permit.

(c) For a permit application for which notice is provided under Subsection (b)(2), the municipality must grant or deny the permit not later than the 30th day after the date the notice is received.

(d) If a municipality fails to grant or deny a permit application in the time required by Subsection (c) or by an agreement under Subsection (b)(3), the municipality:

(1) may not collect any permit fees associated with the application; and

(2) shall refund to the applicant any permit fees associated with the application that have been collected.

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