San Marcos home and business owners looking to make improvements to their properties will continue to be able to receive an exemption on permits after city councilmembers voted to extend an incentive program last month.
San Marcos city councilmembers voted to extend the Residential Home Improvement Incentive Program for homeowners through the 2014 calendar year during their Dec. 7 meeting. Before the program was first established in June 2011, home and business owners were required to apply and pay for a permit before making improvements on their residents or storefronts. Over the past few years, the incentive program has enabled home and business owners the ability to receive the permits without having to pay a fee.
By renewing this program, the city hopes to continuously encourage homeowners to improve their properties, said Kristy Stark, assistant director of planning development services for San Marcos. The program has had great success, with about 50 and 60 homeowners utilizing it in the past year, Stark said.
From March to December 2012, 21 homeowners joined the program, which would have brought in $2,361 in permit fees. During January through November 2013, 52 homeowners participated and were exempted from paying approximately $4,072 in permit fees.
The incentive program is much needed and continues to help a number of San Marcos homeowners, said Randy Haas, manager of McCoy’s Building Supply.
“We still get an estimated five to 10 donation requests a week for people that need help, whether it’s a group or individual project,” Haas said.
Although the incentive program’s main target audience is homeowners, some “mom-and-pop shops” receive assistance as well, Haas said.
Residents who obtain permits from the city for improvement projects are able to receive discounts on store products through local retailers who partner with the incentive program each year. McCoy’s Building Supply is currently the only official participant in the program for 2014, Stark said.
McCoy’s Building Supply offers various discounts, including $20 off a purchase of $100 or more. The process to apply for a discount at the store is very simple, said Dan Stauffer, vice president of marketing and real estate at McCoy’s Building Supply. Residents must have a San Marcos building permit within 30 days of issue as well as current identification to receive a coupon for McCoy’s Building Supply, Stauffer said.
“We enjoy helping, especially in a situation when people need help, and we do get a lot of positive reactions when people are done with their home improvements,” Haas said. “We are known for that here in San Marcos. We are willing to help.”