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City of Bryan, Texas



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Development Regulations and Guidelines

Ordinances and Guidelines

The primary development-related ordinances of the City of Bryan are listed below. Click on the appropriate title to view and/or download the ordinance. All files are in PDF format. Please click here to download Acrobat Reader. To view all the current ordinances for the City of Bryan please visit the webpage.

Foundation Elevation and Site Grading Requirements

In Bryan, it is estimated that 75 percent or more of the flooding occurrences in residential structures could have been avoided if the following provisions/ordinances in place today had been followed in the past. In addition, feedback from foundation repair contractors indicates that the No. 1 problem resulting in foundation failures is poor site drainage and yards that do not drain water away from the foundation.

Here are requirements for residential lot development to reduce flooding of structures as it pertains to driveway construction, foundation construction, and final site grading. Adhering to these provisions will help reduce or eliminate structure flooding and foundation issues, and prevent water damage and insurance losses for homeowners.

Have questions or need additional information? Please contact our Planning & Development Services at (979) 209-5030.

Click on each item to view details


  • Driveway elevation at property line is required to be as high as the top of curb or the center of the crown of the street (whichever is greatest). It is recommended that the elevation of driveway at the property line be an additional 6” greater for additional protection.
  • Do not slope a driveway towards the house. Driveways should be sloped towards the street and/or yard that slopes away from the house.


  • The top of the foundation (minimum finished floor elevation) shall extend above the elevation of the street gutter at a point of discharge or the inlet of storm drain a minimum of 12” plus 2%. (RE: 2015 IRC Section R403.1.7.3)
  • Brick veneer on a concrete foundation shall be elevated a minimum of 4” above adjacent grade. (RE: 2015 IRC Section R404.1.6)
  • Wood or other exterior finish/siding materials shall be elevated a minimum of 6” above adjacent grade. (RE: 2015 IRC Section R404.1.6)

Site Grading

  • Lots are required be graded to drain surface water away from the foundation. Per 2015 IRC Section R401.3 “Drainage”: The grade shall fall a minimum of 6” within the first 10’.
  • Drains or swales are required to be constructed in-between homes at adjacent property lines to insure drainage is routed away from all structures.
  • Impervious surfaces such as driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc. should be sloped to drain a minimum of 2% away from the home’s foundation.


  • Alternative elevations are permitted in special cases such as in hilly areas and where approved in advanced by the Building Official or City Engineering Department. When the above standards cannot be achieved due to site constraints, a drainage plan shall be submitted with the permit application and city approval must be obtained before construction or site work begins.

homebuilder drainage specifications graphic

Building Services

Building Services is responsible for the issuance of permits for construction, vendors, solicitors, signs and garage sales.  Building Services also performs building inspections prior to occupancy of structures, during construction/remodeling, and to determine whether structures are safe or if structures should be demolished per Dangerous Structures Ordinance.

Services offered by Building Services:

Do I need a permit? / ¿Necesito Obtener un Permiso?

Permit and Inspection Fees

City of Bryan Building and Electrical Codes

The City of Bryan adopted new codes that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Adopting new codes helps maintain or improve the City’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating and National Flood Protection Association (NFPA) rating. Other benefits of updating to current codes will provide options for the latest technology, additional energy cost savings, and add the latest safety requirements to our built environment. The following codes and ordinance amendments have been adopted:

Significant Changes

In order to assist homeowners, developers, builders and contractors with changes, the city is providing staff notes on significant changes since the 2015 International Codes and 2014 National Electrical Codes.

If you have any questions or need more information about the code updates or the adoption process, please contact Chief Building Official Greg Cox at (979) 209-5010 or email

Building Plan Review

Building Plan Review is performed to ensure that proposed structures comply with all applicable federal, state, and local statutes, ordinances, and building codes in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the structure’s occupants. Information regarding the requirements for various residential and commercial construction documents, as well as professional qualifications for architects and engineers and requirements for construction permits are listed below.

Residential (New & Remodeled)

Two complete sets of scaled drawings (8.5 x 11 Format), which include:

  • Site Plan
  • Foundation Plan & Details
  • Floor Plan & Details (Existing and Proposed: Remodels)
  • Structural/Framing Plans & Details
  • Interior & Exterior HVAC unit locations
  • Electrical Plan
  • Plumbing Fixture Locations, including Water Heater
  • All Exterior Elevations & Roof Plan
  • Energy Compliance Calculations (REScheck)

For a more detailed list of requirements, click here: Residential Permit Requirements


Two complete sets of scaled drawings, which include:

For a more detailed list of requirements, click here: Commercial Permit Requirements

View Commercial Building Design Guidelines

Swimming Pools, Spa or Hot Tub

Two complete sets of scaled drawings (8.5 x 11 inch Format), which include a site plan showing:

  • property lines
  • setbacks
  • easements
  • all existing structures
  • the location of required screening fence

Signs, Fences, Accessory Buildings, Carports, Etc.

Two complete sets of scaled drawings (8.5 x 11 inch Format), which include a site plan showing:

  • property lines
  • setbacks
  • easements
  • all existing structures
  • the location of the proposed structure

City Architect/Engineering Requirements (in addition to State Requirements)

The design professional shall be an architect or engineer legally registered under the laws of the State of Texas and shall affix his official seal to said drawings, specifications, and accompanying data for the following:

  1. All Group A, E, and I occupancies
  2. Buildings or structures three (3) or more stories high
  3. Buildings or structures 5,000 square feet or more in area

Contractor Permits (All Types)

Completed permit application with description of work.

Building Inspections

Building inspections are required to ensure that construction is proceeding according to the submitted and approved development plans, and meets all current and applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and building codes.

It is the contractor’s responsibility to schedule all inspections by contact Building Services with the site address of the project and the type of inspection needed.

Inspections are required prior to:

  • Pouring/placement of concrete, brick, or sheet rock
  • Covering electrical, plumbing, mechanical work, or fire-sprinkler systems
  • Covering insulation
  • Covering floor and wall framing
  • Installation of commercial kitchen hoods and fire suppression systems

Building Inspection Sequence

Disclaimer: Below is the recommended sequence of building inspections for both residential and commercial construction. Although the Development Services department strongly encourages that builders and developers schedule inspections for their projects in the order listed below, we recognize that there will be exceptions. The actual sequence of inspections, excluding final inspections, will be determined by the specific phase(s) of construction completed at the time the inspection(s) is/are requested. A Slab or Foundation inspection is only performed after the Plumbing rough in, and a Building Frame Inspection is only performed after the other rough-in’s and the plumbing top out.  The Building Final is always last (No exceptions).


  • Plumbing Rough In
  • Slab or Foundation Inspection & Piers
  • Electrical Rough In
  • Mechanical Rough In
  • Plumbing Top out
  • Building Frame Inspection
  • Building Insulation Inspection
  • Electrical Final
  • Mechanical Final
  • Plumbing Final
  • Building Final


  • Plumbing rough in
  • Slab Inspection & Piers
  • Electrical Rough in or wall cover
  • Mechanical Rough in (can wait until ceiling cover)
  • Plumbing Top out (can wait until ceiling cover)
  • Building Frame Inspection
  • Building Insulation Inspection
  • Electrical Ceiling Cover
  • Electrical Final
  • Plumbing Final
  • Mechanical Final
  • Building Final


Again, all other inspections for a specific phase needs to be performed and passed before a Building Slab, Frame or Final can be performed.

Inspection request received before 8:00 AM, Monday thru Friday, will be schedule the same day. Request received after 8:00 AM, Monday thru Friday, will be scheduled the following business day.

BCS Unified Design Guidelines, Specifications and Standard Construction Details

This information is provided as a technical resource for engineering and architectural professionals for use in design and construction activities in the rights-of-way or easements. Design professionals assume responsibility for selection, reference, and appropriate application of these resources. These standard details can only be modified, when approved in advance, by the City Engineer, or an authorized representative. Persons making use of the information contained in these files shall be solely responsible for their use. These files are not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a design professional.

Vegetation Stabilization on Home Building Sites

Since 2003, the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) Construction General Permit TXR150000 has required final vegetation stabilization on home building sites in Bryan. These same requirements are also adopted in City of Bryan’s Code of Ordinances, Chapter 46, Stormwater Management. In recent years, TCEQ and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have stepped up enforcement of these requirements, which has led to tens of thousands of dollars in fines for Texas homebuilders whose new home construction sites did not comply with Construction General Permit TXR150000. In order to help homebuilders and new homeowners in Bryan avoid becoming subject to state and/or federal fines for noncompliance with these adopted standards, the City of Bryan wants to help educate the development community about these requirements and offer assistance and advice on how to comply with these mandates.

In short, for the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy on a new home site, all areas that were disturbed during the home construction need to be stabilized with vegetation. This includes adjacent lots that were used to access the building site during construction for any reason, e.g., to install fencing, laying brick or stone, or to simply access the building site. Homebuilders are encouraged to clear and disturb only those areas immediately essential for completing site construction. Site stabilizing measures should be implemented as soon as possible after the land is disturbed to help avoid soil erosion.

Vegetation stabilization options include:

  • Sodding provides immediate stabilization or an area and should be used in critical areas or where establishment of permanent vegetation by seeding and mulching would be difficult. Sod can be planted in a checkerboard pattern so long as bare areas are less than 42 inches in diameter and no more than 30% of the to be stabilized area are left bare.
  • Ground cover seeding and fertilizing. This may only be an option in very flat, non-sensitive areas with favorable soils.
  • Xeriscaping, i.e. the process of landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation.
  • Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management strategies that seek to reduce and/or prevent adverse runoff impacts through both nonstructural and structural techniques that preserve or closely mimic a site’s natural (pre-developed) response to precipitation.

Per the TCEQ’s Construction General Permit, once erosion controls are removed from the building site for irrigation or landscaping, vegetation stabilization has to occur no later than the end of the next business day. If sod is not a viable stabilization option at the time a Certificate of Occupancy is being sought, e.g. during hot summer months, then stormwater controls must remain in place to stop erosion until such time that sod can be installed and kept alive.

In order to relieve the homebuilder from the responsibility for maintaining stormwater controls once home construction is finished, the City of Bryan has developed a Builder to Homeowner Transfer Notice. This notice is a temporary option for the homebuilder to receive a Certificate of Occupancy and the homeowner to take possession of the house until vegetation or other form of stabilization is installed. The notice must be signed by the homeowner and the builder and must specify the stormwater controls that will be installed on the site within two (2) months, to stop soil erosion.

The Construction General Permit TXR150000 requires the City of Bryan to adopt a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) and submit an annual compliance report to TCEQ. The plan addresses how the City of Bryan handles pollution prevention, construction site stormwater runoff control, and post-construction stormwater management.

As mentioned above, ignoring stormwater management requirements may lead to state or federal fines for homebuilders, homeowners, or the City of Bryan, if not administered in accordance with the SWMP. Therefore, City of Bryan staff wants to help in any way we can to avoid penalties and assist homebuilders and homeowners in planning for, implement, and maintain useful stormwater management practices.

For questions regarding building site stabilization requirements and options, please contact

Lisa Miller, CESSWI
Stormwater Quality Inspector
City of Bryan
979.209.5881 (office)
979.446.3046 (cell)

For additional information please see: