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Development Permits – Frequently Asked Questions

Development Permits

Do I need a building / development permit to build on my property?

Yes, in order for the county to be in the National Flood Insurance Program, the county requires a permit for any kind of development, including but not limited to houses, pools, outbuildings, grading, creek crossing, etc. 

Commercial properties, public buildings, and multi-family residential properties must also obtain building and fire code permits through the Hays County Fire Marshal’s Office. For more information, please visit the Fire Marshal’s website.


What is required of commercial development in Hays County?

You will be required to obtain / show proof of, but not limited to: Having a compliant parcel, development permit, commercial On-Site Sewage System design and permit (approved through commissioner’s court), an Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan (when applicable) and a public water supply (when applicable).

Building and fire code permits must also be obtained from the Hays County Fire Marshal’s Office by visiting their website

Do I need a development permit to renovate my existing house?

Renovating the interior of the house does not require a development permit, but the addition of bedrooms may require an upgrade to the On-Site Sewage System. Any additions made outside of the original square footage of the home requires a development permit.

Can I build additional bedrooms onto my existing house and connect to my existing septic system?

Every septic system is designed and permitted based upon the number of bedrooms and / or square footage of the house.

You will need to contact Hays County Development Services so that we can review your existing plans to make this determination.

How do I apply for a development permit?

A Development Permit Application can be found online at Please create an account/log-in to begin the application process. To see a PDF example of an application or to see the Development Services Fee Schedule, check under our Document & Forms page.

How much does a development permit cost?

The development permit fee is based on if the development is inside or out of an established floodplain. The current fee schedule is available for download at the Hays County Development Services Website or in person at our office.

Does my development permit expire?

The development permit is good for one (1) year from the date of issuance to start construction. Once construction has started, the permit will be valid for two (2) years after issuance to complete the proposed project. If the project has not started within one (1) year from the date of issuance the permit will be “expired”. Once expired the application processes must start over in full.

Do I need a permit for solar panels?

If you are attaching solar panels directly to your house, you will not need a development permit. If you are building a structure to place the panels on, you will need to obtain a development permit from Hays County Development Services.

The installation of solar panels on any commercial establishment, public building, or multi-family building requires a permit from the Hays County Fire Marshal’s Office by visiting their website.

What building code does Hays County use?

Hays County has adopted the 2018 International Fire Code which also adopts the 2018 International Building Code by reference for new construction, remodels, and renovations of commercial properties, public buildings, and multi-family residential in the unincorporated areas of the county.  The Hays County Fire Marshal’s Office is the authority having jurisdiction for enforcement of these codes. Please visit the Fire Marshal’s website for more information.

The builder of a single family residence, duplex, or triplex is required to a form attesting that there were three (3) inspections of the home and that it meets the International Residential Code published as of May 2008 (2006 IRC) or the version adopted by the city of San Marcos, as amended.

What are the zoning regulations for Hays County?

Hays County does not have / use zoning regulations for developing in the unincorporated areas of the county.

What qualifies for needing an Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan?

Any commercial or multifamily development in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. Please visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ( or call 512.339.2929 for additional details.

What qualifies for needing a public water supply?

You will need a public water supply if: (1) you have 15 or more service connections or (2) serve at least 25 individuals at least 60 days out of the year. Please visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ( for additional details.

Development Permits in
Hays County

Read through the Frequently Asked Questions on this page to learn more about the development permitting process for Hays County. If you cannot find an answer to your specific question, please contact our office via phone or email: 512.393.2150 or

Hays County