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Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Galveston County
City of Galveston
News Release
Saturday, October 11, 2008

City Issues Guidelines for Commercial Permits

The City of Galveston has issued guidelines for commercial property owners seeking permits to make repairs following Hurricane Ike. 

A building permit must be requested for all work in conjunction with water or wind damage from Hurricane Ike.  Separate permits will be required for electrical, mechanical and plumbing work. 

A detailed breakdown of work, including costs for labor and materials, will be required for every permit.  

If the cumulative total labor and material costs of all permits exceeds 50% of the building’s appraised value by the Galveston Central Appraisal District (GCAD) plus 5%, the property will be evaluated for substantial damage.  Please be advised that permits will be reviewed for appropriate values consistent with standard repair costs for our area.  The City of Galveston reserves the right to request the property owner supply additional bids for the proposed work. 

If it is determined by the city’s Building Official that the permits for a property exceed 50% of the building’s appraised value, the property must be brought into conformance with the City of Galveston’s current floodplain requirements.  This may include:

  • Raising the structure to minimum base flood elevation;
  • Floodproofing; or
  • Demolishing the existing building and rebuilding to meet the required elevation.

Exceptions to this requirement include buildings that are already in conformance with the City’s floodplain ordinance or located in Flood Zone X, and buildings that are listed or determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  If you believe your property meets one of these exceptions, please provide either an elevation certificate for the building or documentation relating to the historic significance.  National Flood Insurance Program maps are available for order on  or visit the temporary Planning and Community Development Office to review the set on file at 601 54th Street.

In order to dispute a determination of substantial damage, the following actions may be taken by a property owner:

  • Provide additional bids from contractors certified by the City that indicate that the TOTAL work related to Hurricane Ike damage is less than 50% of the GCAD appraised value;
  • Provide a current certified appraisal of the property that indicates the value of the structure/improvements is more than determined by GCAD.
“The City’s Planning staff is here to help walk commercial property owners through the assessment and repair procedures,” commented Wendy O’Donohoe, Director of the City’s Planning and Community Development Department.  “The city is working closely with FEMA officials to expedite the determination process so that property owners can begin moving forward with their recovery plans,” she emphasized.  

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