Alarm Permits

Does the City of Heath Require Permits for Residential or Commercial Alarm Systems?
On September 16, 2008, the Heath City Council ordained that effective January 1, 2009, anyone responsible for the operation of or in possession of an alarm system in the City of Heath will be required to obtain a permit for operation of such system. The permit requirement applies to monitored and non-monitored systems. For purposes of this ordinance, vehicle alarms and alarms designed to alert only the inhabitants of a premise, i.e. smoke alarms, are not considered an alarm system and do not require a permit. A separate alarm permit is required for each street address and each system.


How frequently does the alarm permit have to be renewed?
The permit is good for a calendar year and must be renewed annually by or upon the expiration date.


Are alarm permits transferable?
Alarm permits are not transferable to other individuals or businesses. Should you change your home or business location, your permit automatically expires and the new owners will be responsible for a permit upon occupation of the property.


What is the annual fee for an alarm permit?
The residential permit fee is $35.00/year. The commercial permit fee is $50.00/year.


How do I apply for an alarm permit?
Applications may renewed online from the DPS page, or an application can be picked up at City Hall, 200 Laurence Drive, Heath. An application may also be obtained by mail by calling the Heath Department of Public Safety at 972-961-4900. Once you have completed the application, please return the two-page form with a check for the appropriate amount. If you mail in your registration, a receipt will be returned to you by mail if requested. Please make your check payable to City of Heath.


What if I do not apply for an alarm permit?
The City of Heath is allowing a grace period of 60 days from the effective date of January 1, 2009. After March 2, 2009, citizens or businesses that do not apply for a permit are subject to a non-registration penalty of $200.00.


Does the City of Heath monitor false alarms?
Alarm calls will be tracked to identify when systems have not been properly registered or when an alarm system results in excess of three false alarms per calendar year. Penalties for alarm calls in excess of three false alarm calls per calendar year range from $50.00 to $750.00 per occurrence; depending upon the type of alarm system and number of false alarms. There are no penalties for the first three false alarm calls.

Building Permits

When is a building permit required?
Any time you or your contractor constructs, repairs, alters, erects, enlarges, converts, installs or replaces an existing building or its utility system(s). Work that begins without a permit is subject to fines up to $500.

Examples of projects that require a permit are:

  • Fences
  • Storage Sheds over 120 sq ft.
  • Retaining Walls
  • Swimming Pools
  • Swimming Pool Repairs that require draining the pool
  • Interior Remodels & Additions
  • Outdoor Kitchens/Fireplaces
  • OSSF Replacements/Repairs
  • Cabanas, Guest Houses
  • Sea Wall Repairs/Replacements
  • Roofing
  • Window Replacements
  • Foundation Repair
  • Miscellaneous Plumbing, Electrical or Mechanical work
  • Irrigation Systems

See Construction Forms and Documents for more information or contact the Building Department at 972-961-4883.

Capital Improvement Plan

What is the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)?
In January 2014, the City Council adopted a Capital Improvement Plan that provided more than $20 million in investments to ensure the City remains a premier North Texas community. These projects benefit the entire City with improvements to roads, trails, parks, public utilities and other infrastructure. Most are completed or underway.

What are the new CIP funds being used for?
At the January 10, 2017 meeting, the City Council voted to approve a new Plan of Finance from the City’s financial advisor that funds close to $20 million in new Capital Improvement Projects, mainly water and sewer facilities. The new plan includes the financing of approximately $6.6 million to fund various projects including streets, trails, a fire truck and public works building improvements. These investments are not anticipated to impact the current tax rate. The plan also includes $13 million to fund critical water and sewer infrastructure to serve a growing community, with a very minimal impact anticipated to service rates.

City Employment

How can I obtain a job application form?
Job Application Forms and Background Releases are available at Heath City Hall located at 200 Laurence Drive Heath, Texas 75032. Visit the Human Resources page to download an employment application and view current openings.


How do I apply for employment?
There are three ways to apply for employment: In Person – Heath City Hall at 200 Laurence Drive, Heath, Texas 75032 to apply in person, review the current job openings and complete an employment job application and background check release. Fax – The completed employment application and background check releases can be faxed to Human Resources at (972) 961-4935. Mail – The completed employment application and background check releases can be mailed to City of Heath, Attn: Human Resources, 200 Laurence Drive, Heath, Texas 75032.


Can I fax an application for employment?
Faxed applications to the City of Heath Human Resources Department are accepted 24 hours a day at (972) 961-4935. Faxed applications must be complete. Applications will only be accepted for current open positions.


Can I leave anything blank on my application?
The information on the application is needed to process qualified applicants. Incomplete applications may be disqualified.


Should I turn in a resume with my application?
You may submit a resume with your application. It is not required. Any other materials should be kept for the interview process.


How do I know if I am qualified for the job?
Each current position opening has a detailed description of the minimum qualifications relating to the position. Read minimum qualifications carefully to discern that your qualifications are a close match.


Do I have to take a drug test to become an employee of the City of Heath?
Yes. All applicants must successfully complete and pass a drug-screening test and a criminal credit background check prior to any job offer being final.


Who may I contact to ask about the status of my job application?
You will be contacted if you have been selected for an interview.


Will I be informed if I did not get the job I interviewed for?
The appropriate department will call candidates to schedule interviews and subsequently select the applicants to be hired. There are no time restrictions to complete the process. All applicants who are interviewed will be notified when a selection is made.


Can I submit a resume instead of completing the job application form?
No. Resumes without an application will not be accepted. You may attach a resume to an application.


Where is the Human Resouces office located?
The Human Resources office is located in the Heath City Hall at 200 Laurence Drive, Heath, Texas 75032.


Are all employees eligible for benefits?
All benefits are available to eligible full-time employees and a limited number of benefits are available to part-time employees. There are no benefits for temporary employees.


How long do I have to work for the City before I am able to retire?
The City of Heath is part of the Texas Municipal Retirement System. Employees become vested for retirement after five years. Employees may retire after five years and at least 60 years of age, or after 20 years of service at any age.


Does the City participate in Social Security and Medicare?
Yes, the City participates in Social Security and Medicare.

Communication

The City is committed to keeping citizens informed about new projects and developments happening within the City. Here is how you can get the information you need:

  • City website, www.heathtx.com
  • The monthly City newsletter, included in your hard copy utility bill, or as a link if you receive your bill via email
  • City of Heath Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Attendance at all City Council and Board/Commission meetings—dates are posted at www.heathtx.com
  • Sign up for the City’s Notify Me service to receive an email notice and link to the City Council and Planning and Zoning agendas when posted. Sign up at www.heathtx.com using the form on the right of the home page.
  • Contact the City by phone at 972-771-6228, or email a City Councilmember or staff member. Email addresses can be found on the website under each department page. Councilmember email addresses can be found on the Government page.
Economic Development

Why does the City need economic development?
City leaders past and present have recognized the need for responsible and quality economic growth to ease the tax burden on residents by increasing the City’s sales tax and commercial property tax base.

What news businesses are coming to the City?
In December 2016, it was confirmed that Heath Hub will be built on the retail-zoned site behind CVS on FM 740. Heath Hub will be a unique and fun place to gather with friends and family for upscale dining and entertainment. Heath Hub is being developed by a group of restaurateurs, who are also Heath residents who want only the best for their hometown.

City’s leaders’ vision for a hometown grocer will come to life. In the final days of 2016, official confirmation was received that Tom Thumb will build on the property across from Shell. The developers who recruited Tom Thumb are in the engineering stage and will provide a concept plan in the near future. The developers anticipate breaking ground in the mid to latter part of 2017, and to be open for business by the third quarter of 2018.

Additional businesses opening in Heath include the Hidden Creek special events venue, located on Chris Cuny Boulevard on land owned by the Heath Municipal Benefits Corporation.

Emergency Response

Why is the difference between a DPS Officer and a Police Officer?
Each DPS Officer is tripled certified as a police officer, a fire fighter and an EMT professional. That means as first responders, they are able to give the necessary care or protection needed immediately upon arrival.

What other Agencies does Heath DPS work with in emergencies?
When the tornados hit Rowlett and Garland on December 26, 2015, Rockwall County Emergency Management staff and Heath DPS officers were among the professionals and volunteers who immediately became involved in assisting with response and recovery activities. In addition to helping our neighboring communities, the City of Heath and Rockwall EMC staff learned valuable lessons that have been incorporated into Rockwall County’s Emergency overall strategies. This includes a mitigation plan, a debris management plan, and a community-wide coordinated effort for organizing volunteers and the receipt of donations. Each plan will continue to be tested, refined and can immediately be activated if needed.

How can I plan ahead for emergencies?
Heath citizens are encouraged to do their part by reviewing the emergency update section on the City website, and taking advantage of free emergency warning systems, such as Nixle.com.

Financial Standing

In 2016, the Heath City Council adopted a balanced budget that reduces the tax rate for citizens while funding the addition of a new Public Safety Officer, a Streets and Parks Maintenance staff member and a Parks Master Plan for improving and expanding the City’s park system.

At the same time, the City maintains a healthy fund balance and exceptional bond ratings, both cited by the City’s independent financial advisory firm, First Southwest, as some of the strongest among the Texas cities it serves.

The strong financial standing puts the City in a favorable position to fund important future projects, as well as refinance past bond debt for a savings.

The City’s current Ad Volerum tax rate is among one of the lowest in North Texas at: $0.417311 per $100.

The City of Heath has earned multiple awards for its best practices in financial management including:

  • Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada (GFOA)
    –2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
  • Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
    –FY 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016

You can find the City’s current budget under the Finance Department menu, along with other financial reports.

Fire Department

Why is a fire engine sent when I call for an ambulance?
The Heath Department of Public Safety has adopted the concept of utilizing “first responder” dual-trained personnel in fire suppression and EMS. The fire truck, whichs arrives first on the emergency scene, carries all necessary equipment to provide basic life support until an ambulance arrives. Upon receiving a life-threatening call, an engine is dispatched to initiate immediate care and an ambulance is dispatched to provide advanced life support and transportation. This method allows us to provide both fire and EMS services at the lowest possible cost.


What type of fire extinguisher is best for my home?
A multi-purpose fire extinguisher is best for the home. The extinquisher can be used on any type of fire commonly found in the home and has a rating of at least 2A:10B:C. Look for the rating for the label. It will often be labeled A-B-C and may located at many retail establishments.


Where can I get certified in CPR?
The American Heart Assocaition offers CPR classes on a regular basis. For further information or to register for a class, visit their website.


Can I get my blood pressure checked at the fire station?
Yes. We offer this service free at the Department of Public Safety located at 200 Laurence Drive, Heath, Texas 75032. Please note from time to time our personnel might be absent from the station due to emergency calls or training activities.


Can I get a break on my insurance by installing an alarm or fire sprinkler system in my home?
The State of Texas has passed a law requiring insurance companies to give rate reductions to homeowners who have installed alarm and/or fire sprinkler systems in their homes. Check with your homeowner’s insurance agent for the amount of discount. There are many other reasons to put sprinklers in your home, as well.


Is burning allowed in the City of Heath?
No. The City of Heath has a no burn ordinance. For questions regarding burning, contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at 1-800-687-4040 or visit the TCEQ website.

Homestead Exemptions

What is a homestead exemption?
One of the easiest ways a homeowner can lower his or her property tax bill is to file a homestead exemption. A homestead is generally the house and land used as the owner’s principal residence on January 1 of the tax year.

Homestead exemptions reduce the appraised value of your home and, as a result, lower your property taxes. To apply for an exemption on your residence homestead, contact the Rockwall Central Appraisal District at 972-771-2034 or go to www.rockwallcad.com where you will find an online application in the forms section.

Does the City of Heath offer a homestead exemption to homeowners who are 65 or older?
Yes, the City of Heath, Rockwall County and Rockwall ISD all offer homestead exemptions for homeowners aged 65 or older.  Exemptions are also available to disabled homeowners, disabled veteran homeowners, and surviving spouses of members of the U.S. Military who are killed in action.

You can find the most current information through the Rockwall Central Appraisal District: 972-771-2034 or www.rockwallcad.com

NOTE: A homestead exemption for homeowners 65 or older should not be confused with a tax freeze. Both Rockwall County and Rockwall ISD offer a tax freeze to homeowners 65 or older and disabled homeowners.

Planning and Zoning

What is Zoning?
Zoning designates legal areas in a municipality to permit and prohibit specific land uses. Zoning is a technique of land-use planning used by local governments in most developed countries.

There are a great variety of zoning types, some of which focus on regulating building form and the relation of buildings to the street with mixed-uses, known as form-based, others with separating land uses, known as use-based or a combination thereof.

Similar urban planning methods have dictated the use of various areas for particular purposes in many cities from ancient times.

Heath’s land use map illustrates the zoning that has been granted to each parcel of land within the City, while Heath’s Zoning Ordinance contains the specific regulations governing allowed uses, parking requirements, height, setbacks, landscaping, and other items.

Who can Request Rezoning?
Only three entities may initiate a rezoning:

  1. The property owner
  2. The Heath Planning and Zoning Commission
  3. The Heath City Council

What is the Process for Re-zoning a Property?
When a property owner submits a rezoning request to the City, several actions are taken:

  1. The City places a sign on the property advertising the requested zoning change 10 days prior to the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.
  2. City planning staff review and discuss the request with the applicant as to its conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, Thoroughfare Plan and other adopted guidelines of the city. Staff then formulates a recommendation to the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval or denial based on this review.
  3. Written notices of the public hearing before the Planning & Zoning Commission and the City Council are sent to all property owners within 200 feet of the property to be rezoned, as required by state law. The notice includes a response letter that can be sent back registering the property owner’s support or opposition to the case.
  4. The Planning & Zoning Commission holds a public hearing at their regular meeting, and anyone can get up and speak for or against the case. The Commission may recommend approval, denial, or to table a zoning request. If the Commission recommends approval, the case is automatically scheduled for a public hearing before the City Council. If the Commission denies a request, the recommendation is sent forward to the City Council and requires a three-forth majority vote for approval.
  5. Notice of the public hearing before the City Council is published in the newspaper at least 15 days in advance of the hearing. The City Council will hold the public hearing, and may approve, deny, or table the applicant’s request.

Are there Special Types of Zoning?
PD:  A planned development (PD) district is most often used when an applicant’s proposal does not fit neatly into the City’s existing Zoning Ordinance. The creation of a planned development district results in special restrictions or allowances that are only applicable within that particular district.

CUP:   Conditional Use Permits (CUP) are also a specialized form of zoning. A CUP allows a use that may be appropriate in some locations in a given district but not all.

How can Property Owners get Involved?
Citizens are invited to attend Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, regularly scheduled for the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Citizens are also encouraged to attend City Council meetings, regularly scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Sign up for “Notify Me” at www.heathtx.com, and you will receive an email alert when agendas are posted for these meetings.

Specific questions and concerns regarding zoning and development should be addressed to City staff at (972) 961-4875

Tips for Presentations before the Planning & Zoning Commission & City Council
Homeowner groups should designate two or three representatives to speak on their behalf, rather than have 50 people say the same thing repeatedly.  It is much more effective to ask your group to stand to show opposition or support.

Public Works

What can I do to help with mosquito control? Follow the four D’s:
1. DRAIN the water. Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding. 2. Avoid going out during DUSK AND DAWN. Mosquitos are active during these times, especially the two hours after sunset. 3. DRESS appropiately. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Also, make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes. 4. Wear a good repellant that has DEET in it. Apply according to directions.


How can I treat mosquito breeding sites?
Use mosquito fish or other fish species in permanent bodies of water whenever the water will support them. Mosquito fish can be found in other ponds, pet shops or bait stores. Use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (also known as “Bt”) products such as Mosquito Dunks® to treat permanent water bodies to eliminate larvae. You can use oil treatments on the surface of standing water to kill larvae. Use commercial products according to the instructions on the product label. Be aware that other organisms in the water body may be affected by the treatment.


How can I reduce adult mosquito populations?
Mow tall grass or reduce the amount of brush and other foliage in your area to reduce the resting sites for adult mosquitoes.

Residential Development

How many news homes are currently being developed?
Over 2,600 residential lots are currently at some stage of development. This will essentially double the rooftops in Heath. The growth has been anticipated for many years, with planning and preparing to respond with the needed infrastructure a primary focus of elected leadership and staff, past and present.

What is the City’s current population?
Heath’s current population is 7,633, and the build-out population is projected to be 25,000.

What is the average new home permit value?
The average new home permit value is just over $545,000 for 2016, while the average home value in Heath is over $456,000.

What guidelines are developers required to follow?
Developers and builders are required to follow the vision for high quality development as specified by the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is currently in the process of being updated by a group of dedicated citizen representatives, who will present their findings to City Council.

What impact does the City’s growth have on RISD schools?
In August 2017, a third elementary school will open in Heath to relieve the soaring attendance rates at Amy Parks Elementary. The school has been named Linda Lyon Elementary School, and will be led by Principal Megan Gist. While this school is located within the City of Heath, City leadership—both elected and on staff—were not involved in the RISD’s attendance re-zoning process.

You can learn more about the school and attendance zones at Rockwall ISD’s website: www.rockwallisd.org.

TxDOT FM 740 Project

Who is in charge of the FM 740 road construction project and when will it be completed?
FM 740 is a TxDOT project. Anticipated completion date in November 2017.

What are the benefits of the FM 740 Project?

  • The completed FM 740 will ultimately benefit the City’s quality of life by adding to a growing trail system with additional sidewalks and trails.
  • The widened FM 740 will also help alleviate traffic congestion and provide a safer driving environment.
  • The completed FM 740 will have a positive impact on the ability to attract high quality businesses to Heath.
Utilities

How do I report a streetlamp outage?
Please use the Streetlight Outage Reporting Form to report an outage.

Waste and Recycling

When is my weekly trash and bulky item collection day?
Apart from the streets and areas listed below, waste is collected on Mondays for residents west of FM 740; and Tuesdays for residents east of FM 740. EXCEPTIONS: The following streets and areas are collected on Tuesdays: -Stanford Court -Normandy Lane -Foxborough Court -Dunford Drive -Lee Drive & Court -Michael Drive & Circle -Scenic Drive & Place -Linda Lane -Reba Lane -Victoria Place -Skyline Drive -Thomas Circle -Gordon Circle -Hubbard Drive, from the Intersection of FM 740 South to the dead end


What does the weekly trash collection include?
The weekly trash collection includes emptying of the trash poly cart, emptying of the recyclables poly cart, pick up of any other bags or bins set out, bulky items such as furniture and pick up of bundled brush and limbs that does not exceed 4 feet in length.


When is the monthly unbundled brush collection?
The monthly unbundled brush collection occurs during the weeks of the first and third Mondays each month. To guarantee pick up of unbundled brush, please place unbundled brush out no later than 7:30am on Monday morning. Brush should not be placed at the curb prior to the Friday preceding the first and third Monday of each month.


What is the collection size of monthly unbundled brush?
IESI will collect up to three cubic yards, approximately the size of a picnic table, from every single-family household a month. Should a household exceed the three cubic yard limit, the customer will be charged $10.00 for each cubic yard in excess of the allowed amount. By setting the brush at the curb, the customer accepts responsibility for the charges.


What items are accepted with the weekly bulky waste collection?
Items accepted are brush and limbs that are bundled and do not exceed four feet in length; furniture such as couch, chair, mattress, box springs; appliances (Freon must be removed and certified); swing sets that are disassembled; broken down cardboard boxes; debris from minor home improvement projects that are no more than one cubic yard total on collection day.


What items are not accepted?
Items not accepted for trash collection are roofing materials; debris from construction, demolition or remodeling by a contractor; dirt, rocks or concrete; hazardous materials such as herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or pool chemicals; tires, batteries or automobile parts; liquids such as paints, motor oil, solvents; television sets.


What items are accepted for recycling?
Accepted items for recycling include mixed paper such as newspaper, office paper, magazines or junk mail; plastic bottles and jugs; glass bottles and jars – all colors mixed (no plate glass, mirrors or ceramics accepted); aluminum and tin cans.


Does the City provide trash and recycling bins?
Yes, the City trash collection service, IESI, provides polycarts which includes one 94-gallon rolling poly cart with a lid for trash collection and one 64-gallon rolling poly cart with a lid for recyclables. Polycarts belong to the property, not the owner. Residential customers have the option of exchanging their 64-gallon blue recycling polycart for a 95-gallon recycling polycart. The enlarged cart is $1 extra per month. The polycart may be exchanged by calling City Hall at 972-771-6228.

Water Supply

Who is the City of Heath’s water supplier?
The City of Heath’s water supplier is the City of Rockwall, which is a member city of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).


What is the NTMWD?
The NTMWD is a conservation and reclamation district and political subdivision of the State of Texas. NTMWD’s primary mission is to meet the needs of member and customer cities, whether that is the need for drinking water, solid waste disposal or wastewater treatment. NTMWD acts as a regional wholesaler of water to its member and customer cities.


How are water rates set?
NTMWD is responsible for setting the rates charged to their customers. Rates are calculated annually and are based on the projected cost of providing the service. Water rates are set per 1,000 gallons. As our provider, the City of Rockwall charges Heath an administration fee of 10 cents per 1,000 gallons in addition to the NTMWD’s rate.

The rates charged to the City of Heath’s customers are based on a rate study performed by Willis, Graves and Assoc., Inc. The study takes into account the City’s cost of providing water, including debt service and administrative costs in addition to the actual cost of the water. The study also structured the rates to promote water conservation.


Why are rates higher or lower in some communities?
In a community with a large population such as Plano, the cost of providing water is distributed over a greater number of customers, allowing for lower per-customer rates. In a low-density community such as Heath, a smaller number of customers share the cost of water delivery, creating the need for higher per-customer rates.


What are the water sources?
Lavon Lake serves as the NTMWD’s main raw water supply source. The NTMWD also holds water rights for raw water supplies from Lake Texoma, Jim Chapman Lake and the wetland facility near Crandall. Additional supplies are available if needed through a water transfer to Lavon Lake from Lake Tawakoni. The raw water supply from Lake Texoma is currently unavailable due to efforts to prevent the spread of zebra mussels, which have invaded the lake.