Module 2 PUBLIC DRAFT March 2018 General Standards Administration and Procedures Definitions (partial)

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1 Module 2 PUBLIC DRAFT March 2018 General Standards Administration and Procedures Definitions (partial)

2 Denton, Texas Denton Development Code Module 2 - Administration and Procedures Public Draft March 2018

3 Table of Contents Subchapter 1: General Standards Title and Effective Date Purpose Authority, Applicability, and Jurisdiction Authority Applicability Compliance Required Conflicts with Other Ordinances Private Covenants Transfer of Ownership Emergency Powers Severability Nonconformities Purpose Regulations Applicable to All Nonconformities Nonconforming Uses Nonconforming Structures Nonconforming Lots Nonconforming Site Features Nonconforming Signs Amortization of Nonconforming Uses or Structures Illegal Nonconformities Enforcement Purpose Violations Continuing Violations Enforcement Actions Penalties and Remedies Continuation of Prior Enforcement Actions Transition from Prior Regulations Continuity of Provisions Violations Continue Legal Nonconformities Under Prior Regulations Uses, Lots, Structures, and Sites Rendered Nonconforming Pending Applications Preliminary Plat Approvals Approved Projects Transition to New Zoning Districts Map Interpretations Subchapter 2: Administration and Procedures Purpose and Organization Purpose Organization of this Subchapter Summary Table of Review Procedures Review and Decision-Making Bodies Denton, Texas Denton Development Code i

4 Purpose City Council Planning and Zoning Commission Zoning Board of Adjustment Historic Landmark Commission City Administration Development Advisory Committee Common Review Procedures Overview Consistency with State and Federal Provisions Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing Step 3: Staff Review and Action Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Step 5: Review and Decision Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Development Permits and Procedures Site Plan Review Specific Use Permit (SUP) Temporary Use Permit Change of Use Permit Gas Well Development Site Plan Watershed Protection Permit Subdivision Procedures Administratively Approved Plat General Development Plan Preliminary Plat Final Plat Conveyance Plat Development Plat Replat Vacating Plat Plan and DDC Amendments Comprehensive Plan Amendment Zoning Map Amendment Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District Zoning Text Amendment Annexation Flexibility and Relief Procedures Variance Minor Modification Appeal of Administrative Decision Alternative Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) Plan Historic Preservation Procedures Certificate of Appropriateness Certificate of Demolition Historic Conservation District Designation Historic Landmark Designation Historic District Designation Denton, Texas Denton Development Code ii

5 Subchapter 3: Zoning Districts Subchapter 4: Overlay and Historic Districts Subchapter 5: Use Regulations Subchapter 6: Development Standards Subchapter 7: Subdivision Regulations Subchapter 8: Definitions Rules of Construction General Headings, Illustrations, and Text Lists and Examples Computation of Time Delegation of Authority Nontechnical and Technical Words Mandatory and Discretionary Terms Conjunctions Definitions of Measurement Terms Site Measurement Height Lot Characteristics Setbacks and Yards Definitions of General Use Categories and Specific Use Types All Other Terms Defined Denton, Texas Denton Development Code iii

6 Subchapter 1: General Standards Commentary: This subchapter includes the provisions that apply to the entire DDC, such as the overall purpose and intent, and the applicability and jurisdiction of the DDC. This subchapter also addresses important issues such as nonconformities, enforcement, and transition from the current DDC to the new DDC. Further discussion is required regarding the overall organization and structural hierarchy of the DDC as it relates to the Code of Ordinances and other City ordinances. The current organization of the City s ordinances is complex and confusing. The City s ordinances are currently divided into two parts, the Code of Ordinances and the Development Ordinances. The Code of Ordinances includes the Charter, Subpart A: Code of Ordinances and Subpart B: Land Development Code. Subpart B includes several regulations that will need to be repealed with the adoption of the new DDC. We recommend City staff review the draft DDC together with the content the Code of Ordinances to identify material that needs to be amended, relocated, and/or appealed with the adoption of the this DDC. The overall goal is to eliminate redundancies and obsolete provisions to ensure a cohesive body of adopted regulatory standards Title and Effective Date 1 This document is Chapter --- of the Municipal Code of Ordinances of the City of Denton, Texas. It shall be officially known and cited as the Denton Development Code, and is referred to internally in this document as this DDC. This DDC shall become effective on [insert month/day/20 ]. 2 Purpose 2 Pursuant to the Texas Local Government Code (Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code), the City Council enacts this DDC to: 1 Promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the City s inhabitants; 2 Implement the City s comprehensive plan; 3 Improve the City s appearance; 4 Improve mobility for all modes of transportation and promote traffic safety; 5 Facilitate the adequate provision of public services and utilities; 6 Encourage the appropriate use of land, buildings, and structures; and 7 Establish procedures for the processing of planning and zoning actions that affect the development and use of property subject to the planning jurisdiction of the City. 3 1 A. Authority, Applicability, and Jurisdiction Authority 3 This DDC is adopted pursuant to the authority in Article X of the Denton Municipal Charter 10.06, as amended, and enacted pursuant to the powers granted and limitations imposed by provisions of the State of Texas, including the statutory authority granted in Chapters 42, 43, 211, 212, and 213 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t., and all other relevant provisions of the State of Texas. 1 From 35. Added this DDC to define that as the more common term used throughout this chapter. Effective date will be populated prior to adoption. The city is considering an effective date of three months following adoption. 2 From current 35.2 and , revised to simplify. 3 Replaces current preamble, section 35. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 1

7 Subchapter 1: General Standards 3 Authority, Applicability, and Jurisdiction 2 Applicability B. 2 A. B. 3 Whenever any provision of this DDC refers to or cites a section of the Texas state statute and that section is later amended or superseded, this DDC shall be deemed amended to refer to the amended section or the section that most nearly corresponds to the superseded section. Applicability 4 General Applicability This DDC applies to all land, buildings, structures, and uses located within the City of Denton, unless a variance or exemption is provided by or pursuant to the terms of this DDC or the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. Applicability to Public Agencies To the extent allowed by law, the provisions of this DDC shall apply to all land, buildings, structures, and uses owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by any district, county, state, or federal government agencies in the City of Denton. Where the provisions of this DDC do not legally control such land, buildings, structures, and uses, such agencies are encouraged to meet the provisions of this DDC. Compliance Required 5 No land shall be used or divided, and no structure shall be constructed, occupied, enlarged, altered, or moved until: A. B. C. All applicable development review and approval processes have been followed in accordance with Subchapter 2: Administration and Procedures; All applicable approvals have been obtained; and All required permits or authorizations to proceed have been issued. 4 Conflicts with Other Ordinances 6 Whenever any provision of this DDC conflicts with other provisions of the Municipal Code of Ordinances, the stricter provision, as determined by the Director, shall govern. 5 A. B. Private Covenants 7 This DDC is not intended to revoke or repeal any easement, covenant, or other private agreement; however, where the regulations of this DDC are more restrictive or impose higher standards or requirements than such easement, covenant, or other private agreement, then the requirements of this DDC shall govern. Nothing in this DDC shall modify or repeal any private covenant or deed restriction, but such covenant or restriction shall not excuse any failure to comply with this DDC. 4 New. This subsection may be amended to reflect applicable changes as a result of the adoption of the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) Ordinance currently underway as a separate project, The definition for city includes the ETJ. 5 New compliance requirements that we often include in development codes. This replaces a portion of the current language in enforcement and penalty section New. Current language states, as determined by the City Attorney. 7 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 2

8 Subchapter 1: General Standards 4 Severability 6 Transfer of Ownership C. 6 In no case shall the City be obligated to enforce the provisions of any easements, covenants, or agreements between private parties. Transfer of Ownership 8 Permits, licenses, or approvals authorizing a particular use of land or structure shall transfer with the ownership of the land or structures. So long as the land or structures, or any portion of the land or structures, continue to be used for the purpose and in the manner authorized by a permit, license, or approval, no person, including a successor or assignee of the person who obtained the permit or approval, may use the land or structure except in accordance with all the terms, conditions, and requirements of the permit or approval. 7 Emergency Powers 9 The City Council may authorize any deviation from this DDC during a local emergency. Local emergencies shall be declared by resolution of the City Council. Any deviations from this DDC during such emergency shall be authorized by resolution of the City Council without a requirement for notice or public hearing, and shall be temporary and of set duration. 4 Severability 10 In the event one or more of the provisions of this DDC shall for any reason be held to be illegal or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, it is the intention of the City Council that such illegality or invalidity shall not affect any other provision in this DDC, but this DDC shall be construed and enforced as if such illegal or invalid provision had not been contained. 5 Commentary: Nonconformities 11 This section replaces the current Subchapter 11, Nonconforming Uses. This new section reorganizes the content in a more logical way, beginning with standards applicable to all nonconformities followed by specific criteria for nonconforming uses, structures, and lots. We propose eliminating the special exceptions procedure after discussion with staff indicating the City currently does not have an ordinance authorizing such procedure. We also propose eliminating standards that would allow a nonconformity to expand, except for in specific circumstances that are contained in this section. We have also introduced more specific procedures for administering the standards in this section. It is likely that some single-family residential lots will not conform to the new zoning district dimensional standards adopted with the new DDC. New standards are introduced in this Section (5.5) help to minimize the impacts any changes to dimensional standards may have on existing single-family structures. 8 From current 35.5.A. 9 New. Many communities include similar emergency powers to expedite decision-making during unplanned emergencies e.g., natural or man-made disasters or any other emergency. 10 From Currently Subchapter 1 Revised as noted. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 3

9 Subchapter 1: General Standards 5 Nonconformities 5.1 Purpose 5.1 Purpose 12 The purpose of Section 5 is to regulate and limit the development and continued existence of land, buildings, structures, uses, and site features such as parking and landscaping, that were lawfully established prior to the effective date of this DDC, but that no longer conform to the requirements of this DDC. All such situations are collectively referred to in this Section as nonconformities. While nonconformities may continue, the provisions of this Section are designed to curtail substantial investment in nonconformities to bring about their eventual elimination in order to preserve the integrity of this DDC and the goals of the City of Denton. 5.2 A. B. C. D. Regulations Applicable to All Nonconformities Authority to Continue Nonconformities may continue to be used and occupied, subject to regulations as to the maintenance of premises and conditions of operations set forth in this Section, or unless such nonconformity is terminated as provided in this Section. Determination of Nonconformity Status 13 The burden of establishing the existence of a nonconformity shall be solely on the owner of the property containing the nonconformity. Maintenance and Minor Repair 14 Minor repairs and maintenance of nonconformities are permitted and encouraged, provided that the repairs and maintenance do not increase the degree of nonconformity. Minor repairs and maintenance include the following: Repairs necessary to maintain and to correct any damage or deterioration to the structural soundness of, or the exterior or interior appearance of, a building or structure without expanding the height or footprint of the building or structure, unless compliant with this DDC; Maintenance of land to protect against and mitigate health and environmental hazards; Resurfacing or restriping parking areas pursuant to Section 6.9: Parking and Loading; Replacing diseased or dead plant materials pursuant to Section 6.7: Landscaping, Screening, Buffering, and Fences; Repairs that are required to remedy unsafe conditions; and Repairs necessary to comply with current building code requirements. Change of Ownership or Tenancy Changes in ownership, tenancy, or management of property with an existing nonconformity may occur, but such nonconformities shall continue to be subject to the standards of this Section Replaces current We are currently discussing a formal process by which a property owner can receive an official nonconforming status from the City. This will likely be achieved on a case-by-case basis through issuance of a certificate of zoning compliance. This procedure may mirror the change of use procedure outlined in Subsection 5.4 of this draft. 14 Replaces B. Did not carry forward the limitation for repairs to be less than 50 percent of the replacement cost of the structure, this limitation is covered elsewhere in this Section. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 4

10 Subchapter 1: General Standards 5 Nonconformities 5.2 Regulations Applicable to All Nonconformities E. F. G. H. Compliance to the Maximum Extent Practicable Where compliance with the requirements of this Section is precluded by a lack of sufficient developable area due to the size of the lot, the layout of existing development, or the presence of significant wetlands, floodplains, watercourses, hazard areas, or other significant environmental constraints, the applicant shall comply with the requirements of this Section to the maximum extent practicable, as determined by the Director. Discontinuance Whenever a nonconforming use or structure is discontinued for one year or more, all nonconforming rights shall cease, and the use of the premises or the structure shall be in conformance with this Subchapter and all applicable codes of the City. For purposes of this provision, "discontinue" shall mean that the property or structure is vacant and no attempt to market the property is observable on the property or from the exterior of any structure, or that the property or structure is vacant and City taxes owed on the property are delinquent. 15 The right to maintain or operate a nonconforming structure may be terminated by the Zoning Board of Adjustment in accordance with Subsection 5.8. Any appeal of the termination of nonconforming rights under this Subchapter shall be made to the District Court within 10 days of receipt of written notice of the termination by the Director. 16 Nonconformity Due to Outside Action 17 Where a lot, tract, or parcel is occupied by a lawful structure, and where the acquisition of right-of-way, by eminent domain, dedication, or purchase, by a city, county, state, or federal agency creates noncompliance of the structure or property regarding any requirement of this DDC, such structure or property shall be deemed lawful. Such designation shall apply only to noncompliance that results directly from the acquisition of right-of-way or by acquisition through eminent domain. In the event that such structure is partially or totally destroyed by natural or accidental causes, the structure may be rebuilt upon approval of a building permit by the Building Official. Prior Construction Approved 18 Nothing contained in this Section shall require any change in the plans, construction, or designated use of a building legally under construction, or for which a permit for construction has been issued, at the time of passage of this DDC or amendments. For purposes of this provision, legally under construction shall mean that, at a minimum, the foundation of such building is lawfully under construction at the time of passage of this DDC or amendments. 15 From current A(1). Did not carry forward the special exception procedure for the Zoning Board of Adjustment, any appeals to an administrative decision can be made via the administrative appeals process (which is heard by the Zoning Board of Adjustment). We propose lengthening the duration for discontinuance from six months to one year, which is a more common timeframe. 16 From current A(4). 17 From current C. Section of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code enables the ZBA the authority to grant a special exception to the terms of the zoning ordinance so long as it is consistent with the general purpose and intent of the ordinance and in accordance with any rules contained in the ordinance. The intent is to allow people to have a simple process upon being nonconforming due to eminent domain. 18 From current B. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 5

11 Subchapter 1: General Standards 5 Nonconformities 5.3 Nonconforming Uses 5.3 A. B. 5.4 A. B. Nonconforming Uses Limitations on Continuation of Nonconforming Uses of Land or Structures A nonconforming use may be extended throughout the same building, provided that: c. No structural alteration of the building (or portion of such building containing the nonconforming use in the case of buildings with multiple uses) shall be permitted; No additional dwelling units shall be permitted in the building; and No additional nonresidential units and/or uses shall be permitted. Any existing occupied single-family detached or duplex uses that are deemed to be a nonconforming use may make improvements to the main and accessory structures so long as improvements do not increase the degree of nonconformity or increase the height or building footprint. No additional structure not conforming to the requirements of this DDC shall be erected in connection with the nonconforming use of land or structure. Any use of land that was established in the City's extraterritorial jurisdiction and annexed into the City shall be subject to the provisions established in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code, Section 4002, as amended. Change of Use 21 A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use, provided the Director determines that the new use creates lesser impacts on surrounding properties and is no more intensive than the use it replaces, and no structural alterations to the building are required to accommodate such change, except those alterations necessary to meet accessibility provisions required by state and federal law. A nonconforming use that has been changed to a less nonconforming use pursuant to this subsection may not subsequently be changed back to a more nonconforming use. A nonconforming use, if changed to a conforming use, may not subsequently be changed back to any nonconforming use unless otherwise permitted by this DDC. Nonconforming Structures 22 Expansion of a Nonconforming Structure A nonconforming structure may only be expanded or enlarged pursuant to paragraph 5.2C, and any such expansion or enlargement shall be in full compliance with this DDC. Increasing Level of Nonconformity Prohibited A nonconforming structure shall not be altered in a way that increases the nonconformity of the structure, but any structure or portion of a structure may be altered to decrease the nonconformity of the structure. 19 Some communities require a permit to complete any expansion to a nonconforming use, including any enlargement or remodeling, or relocation to another part of the lot. Is there interest in that approach in Denton? 21 From current B. Clarified that the Director has authority to approve a change from a nonconforming use to lesser nonconforming use. 22 Did not carry forward current regarding expansion of nonconforming structures. It is not common that a City would allow a building owner to expand a nonconforming structure up to 50 percent of its size. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 6

12 Subchapter 1: General Standards 5 Nonconformities 5.5 Nonconforming Lots C. D. E. 5.5 A. B. Damage or Destruction of Less than 50 Percent of the Gross Floor Area 23 A nonconforming structure that has been damaged or destroyed by fire or other natural or accidental causes may be restored to its original condition, provided that: The extent of the damage does not require the reconstruction of more than 50 percent of the gross floor area of the nonconforming structure, unless the applicant requests, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment approves, an alternative measurement; 24 Such work is commenced within one year of such event and completed within 18 months of such event; 25 A building permit is issued for the work to be performed; By written request from the property owner, the Director may grant one extension of either the work commencement and/or the completion of work time period. 26 A restoration or reconstruction in violation of this paragraph immediately terminates the right to operate the nonconforming use. Damage or Destruction of More than 50 Percent of the Gross Floor Area 27 A nonconforming structure that has been damaged or destroyed by fire or other natural or accidental causes shall not be rebuilt or occupied, except upon action of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to permit reconstruction and occupancy of such structure pursuant to the procedure in 8.3: Appeal of Administrative Decision. Single-Family Residential Setbacks 28 Single-family dwellings with setbacks made nonconforming by the adoption of this DDC are exempt from the requirements of this section if the following findings can be made: The proposed addition or alteration will not encroach any further into the required setback than the existing structure; and If the proposed alteration or addition is located on the side of the existing dwelling, and there is a minimum distance of 10 feet between the side of the existing structure and the nearest dwelling on the adjoining property, unless otherwise required by the building code or other life safety code. Nonconforming Lots 29 A structure situated on a nonconforming lot shall be considered a nonconforming structure, subject to the provisions of this Section 5. A nonconforming lot that was made nonconforming by virtue of enactment of this DDC may be used for construction of a building allowed in the applicable zoning district, provided that all 23 From current A and A(3). Did not carry forward language requiring the structure be built to the same height and floor area that it had immediately prior to its destruction. 24 From current A(2). Added language clarifying that the 50 percent threshold is calculated by the gross floor area of the nonconforming structure. The current provision only says 50 percent. 25 New. Most communities provide a time horizon for when the nonconforming structures lose their nonconforming status after being damaged or destroyed by a natural cause. 26 New. 27 From current and A(2). Included reference to the Zoning Board of Adjustment procedure, the current DDC does not clearly outline this procedure. 28 New. Expands exemptions listed in current A. 29 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 7

13 Subchapter 1: General Standards 5 Nonconformities 1 other zoning district and dimensional standards are met, unless as otherwise provided for in this Section A. B. 5.7 Nonconforming Site Features Applicability For purposes of this provision, the term nonconforming site feature includes any driveway, off-street parking or loading area, landscaping, buffer, or screening element that lawfully existed per regulations in place prior to the effective date of this DDC, as well as the lack of any such feature required by subsequently enacted City regulations. A nonconforming site feature may continue to exist even though it does not conform to current applicable standards of this DDC, subject to the requirements of this subsection. No action shall be taken that increases the degree of the nonconformity of a site feature. Continuation and Expansion 32 Any site features lawfully existing on [insert effective date of DDC here] that are made nonconforming by virtue of enactment of this DDC shall be allowed to continue, provided that any change or expansion of any use, structure, or site feature shall only be permitted if such change or expansion is provided in accordance with the requirements of this DDC. Nonconforming Signs 33 Nonconforming signs shall comply with the Municipal Code of Ordinances, Chapter 310, Nonconforming Signs. 5.8 A. B. Amortization of Nonconforming Uses or Structures 34 Initiation of Proceedings 35 The City Council may request the Zoning Board of Adjustment initiate proceedings to amortize a nonconforming land use or structure. Consideration by Zoning Board of Adjustment Generally The Zoning Board of Adjustment may require the termination of nonconforming uses of land or structures under a plan whereby the value of the structure and facilities can be amortized within a definite period of time, taking into consideration the general character of the neighborhood and the necessity for all property to conform to the regulations of this DDC. Criteria for Determining Amortization Period Before the Zoning Board of Adjustment may determine an amortization period, it shall consider the following factors: 32 Thresholds that trigger compliance will be established in Module 3: Development Standards. 33 Nonconforming signs may remain in the Code of Ordinances (Section 310). Updates to this this reference will be reflected in the Consolidated and Adoption Draft of this DDC. 34 From current Revised as noted. 35 From current A.. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 8

14 Subchapter 1: General Standards 6 Enforcement 5.9 Illegal Nonconformities c. d. e. f. The owner's capital investment in the structures on the property at the time the use became nonconforming; The amount of the investment realized to date and the amount remaining, if any, to be recovered during the amortization period; The life expectancy of the investment; The existence or nonexistence of lease obligations, as well as any contingency clauses therein permitting termination of such leases; Removal costs that are directly attributable to the establishment of a termination date; and Other costs and expenses that are directly attributable to the establishment of a termination date. Cessation of Use If the Zoning Board of Adjustment establishes a termination date for a nonconforming use, the use shall cease operations on that date and the owner shall not operate it after that date unless it becomes a conforming use. 5.9 Illegal Nonconformities 36 An illegal nonconformity exists when: A. B. 6 Commentary: A nonconforming structure is destroyed or substantially destroyed by an intentional act of the owner or an agent without a proper permit or other required city approval. If this occurs, the nonconforming structure shall lose its nonconforming status and shall be required to be in conformity with existing codes. If a nonconforming use was also in the structure, the nonconforming use and all site improvements shall lose their nonconforming status and be required to come into compliance with existing codes; and A use, structure, or site improvement results in a nonconformity without being lawfully authorized in accordance with the provisions of this DDC. Such use and/or structure shall cease operations until the required City approvals are obtained. Enforcement 37 This section replaces the current standards in 35.10, which did not include detailed enforcement standards. This draft grants authority to the Director to administer enforcement-related issues; the current DDC delegates this authority to the Building Official. 36 Replaces current We recommend replacing the current language with a general statement that does not attempt to list specific violations, as doing so may provide someone with the argument that the list is comprehensive. 37 From 35.10, largely carried forward intact, with revisions as noted. Compliance required section was relocated Section Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 9

15 Subchapter 1: General Standards 6 Enforcement 6.1 Purpose 6.1 Purpose 38 This Section 6 establishes procedures through which the City seeks to ensure compliance with the provisions of this DDC and obtain corrections for violations of this DDC. This section also sets forth the remedies and penalties that apply to violations of this DDC. 6.2 A. B. C. D. Violations 39 Generally Any person who violates any applicable provision of this DDC shall be deemed guilty of a violation punishable in accordance with Subsection 6.5. For purposes of this Subsection, the term "violation" shall mean a final finding by a court of record that an ordinance has been violated. Prior Violations If a development or activity in violation of the prior development regulations fully complies with this DDC, it shall no longer be deemed a violation. Unpaid fees and/or penalties from prior enforcement of violations are still valid and shall remain the responsibility of the violator under the prior regulations. Violations within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Any person who violates any applicable provision of this DDC within the extraterritorial jurisdiction shall not be guilty of a misdemeanor; however, the City may institute any appropriate action or proceeding in the District Court to enjoin the violation of this DDC. Activities Constituting a Violation Activity Inconsistent with this DDC Any erection, construction, reconstruction, remodeling, alteration, maintenance, expansion, movement, or use of any land, building, structure, or sign that is inconsistent with this DDC. Activity Inconsistent with a Permit or Approval Any development, use, or other activity that is in any way inconsistent with the terms or conditions of any permit or approval required to engage in such activity under this DDC. Illustrative Examples of Violations Examples of violations of this DDC include, but are not limited to: c. d. Increase of the density or intensity of any use of land or structure except in accordance with the requirements of this DDC; Reduction or diminishment of lot area, setbacks, buffers, open space, or other standards below the minimum requirements set forth in this DDC; Creation, expansion, replacement, or change of a nonconformity inconsistent with this DDC; Failure to install, improve, or maintain any public or private improvements required by the terms of any permit or approval; 38 New. 39 Replaces current Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 10

16 Subchapter 1: General Standards 6 Enforcement 6.3 Continuing Violations e. f. Failure to abide by conditions of any approval or agreements executed in association with an approval; and Failure to comply with applicable requirements for a certificate of occupancy or building permit. 6.3 Continuing Violations 40 Any violation of this DDC shall be considered a separate offense for each day during any portion of which any violation of this DDC is continued past the date of the issuance of notice of violation, with each violation punishable in accordance with Subsection A. B. C. D. Enforcement Actions Responsibility for Enforcement 41 This DDC shall be administered and enforced by the Director or such other person as may be designated by the Director. Investigation 42 Whenever the Director receives a written, signed complaint alleging a violation of this DDC or a permit or approval issued under this DDC, the Director shall investigate the complaint and inform the complainant in writing of his or her findings and any actions that have been, or will be taken. Persons Liable 43 The owner, tenant, or occupant of any building or land, or any part thereof, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, or other person who participates in, assists, directs, creates, or maintains any situation that is contrary to the requirements of this DDC or a permit or approval issued pursuant to this DDC, may be held responsible for the violation and be subject to the penalties and remedies provided in this Section. Procedures upon Discovery of Violations 44 If the Director finds that any provision of this DDC is being violated, the Director shall send a written notice to the person responsible for such violation, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct it. Additional written notices may be sent at the Director s discretion. The Director shall not be required to provide notice of intent to suspend or revoke for violations of this DDC that cause imminent destruction of property or injury to persons. If the person responsible for the violation does not take action to correct the violation within 30 days 45 of the first notice, a final written notice shall be sent by certified mail with return receipt required to the owner of record of the subject property, or to the homeowners association, as applicable. The final written notice shall state the action the 40 Replaces current B. 41 The current DDC grants enforcement authority to the Building Official. Given the variety of enforcement related issues, we recommend the Director be responsible for administering enforcement. 42 Replaces current New language clarifying who is liable in the event of a violation. 44 New. 45 There currently is no set timeline established in the DDC. This date can be adjusted to reflect a realistic timeline, or can be removed and replaced with a reference to the Administrative Manual. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 11

17 Subchapter 1: General Standards 6 Enforcement 6.5 Penalties and Remedies E. 6.5 A. B. 4. Director intends to take if the violation is not corrected and shall advise that the Director s decision or order may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, pursuant to Subsection 8.3: Appeal of Administrative Decision. Following an appeal to the City Council for failure to file a timely appeal of a decision, or notwithstanding the foregoing, when a delay would seriously threaten the effective enforcement of the DDC, or pose a danger to the public health, safety, and welfare, the Director may immediately issue an order for compliance by personal service, posting of the property, or certified mail with return receipt required to the owner of record of the subject property, or to the homeowners association, as applicable, and seek enforcement through the municipal court as authorized below. Continuation of Prior Enforcement Actions Nothing in this DDC shall prohibit the continuation of previous enforcement actions undertaken by the City pursuant to previous regulations. Penalties and Remedies Fines Any violator of this DDC shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in Section 1-12, Municipal Code of Ordinances. Deny, Withhold, or Revoke Approval The issuing/approval authority shall have the power to deny, withhold, or revoke any form of approval issued under this DDC for violation of this DDC or violations of any conditions of approval. The issuing/approval authority shall hold a hearing to determine the nature and extent of the alleged violation and shall have the power to deny, withhold, or revoke any form of approval issued under this DDC, to require the violator to take corrective measures, or to direct employees or agents of the City to enter onto the premises and to take the corrective measures required by the authority, the cost to be borne by the violator. If the issuing/approval authority is the Director, then the hearing shall be held at the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Any form of approval issued under this DDC may be denied, withheld, or revoked after notice and a hearing, when the Director determines that: c. d. There is a departure from the approved plans, specifications, limitations, or conditions as required under the approval; The approval was established by false representation; The approval was issued in error; or There is any other violation of this DDC. 47 New. The intent of these standards are similar to those in current ; however, rather than limiting the affected applications to variances or special exceptions, these provisions apply broadly to all approvals granted by the City. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 12

18 Subchapter 1: General Standards 7 Transition from Prior Regulations 6.6 Continuation of Prior Enforcement Actions C. 6.6 Stop-Work Orders The Building Official may issue a stop-work order whenever any building, structure, site, or portion of a building, structure, or site is being demolished, constructed, reconstructed, altered, or repaired in a hazardous manner, in substantial violation of any state or local building provision, or in a manner that endangers life or property. The Building Official may issue a stop-work order on any property with an uncorrected violation of this DDC or approval issued under this DDC. A stop-work order shall be in writing and directed to the applicant/permit holder and/or person performing the work, and shall specify the provision of this DDC or other law in violation. If a stop-work order is issued, no work shall proceed on any building, structure, site, or portion of a building, structure, or site subject to the order except to correct a violation or to comply with the order. Once conditions cited in the stop-work order have been adequately addressed, the Building Official shall rescind the stop-work order. Continuation of Prior Enforcement Actions Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prevent the City from pursuing any other remedies it may have for violations of this DDC Transition from Prior Regulations 49 Continuity of Provisions The provisions of this DDC, insofar as they are substantially the same as previously existing regulations relating to the same subject matter, shall be construed as restatements and continuations thereof and not new enactments. Any actions, proceedings, permits, or approvals commenced or issued pursuant to any previously existing ordinance and subject to Tex. Loc. Gov t Code 245 shall not be affected by the enactment of this DDC. 7.2 Violations Continue Any violation of the previous zoning and subdivision regulations will continue to be a violation under this DDC and be subject to penalties and enforcement under Section 6: Enforcement, unless the use, development, construction, or other activity complies with the provisions of this DDC. The enactment of this DDC shall not abate any pending prosecution and/or lawsuit or prevent any prosecution and/or lawsuit from being commenced for any violation of a previously existing ordinance occurring before [insert effective date of this DDC here]. 7.3 Legal Nonconformities Under Prior Regulations 48 New. 49 New provisions addressing issues related to the transition from the current DDC to this Code. This section could remain in the Code as shown, or could be relocated to the adopting ordinance that accompanies the Code. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 13

19 Subchapter 1: General Standards 7 Transition from Prior Regulations 7.4 Uses, Lots, Structures, and Sites Rendered Nonconforming Any legal nonconformity under the previous zoning and subdivision regulations will be a legal nonconformity under this DDC, as long as the situation that resulted in the nonconforming status under the previous zoning and subdivision regulations continues to exist. If a nonconformity under the previous zoning and subdivision regulations becomes conforming because of the adoption of this DDC, then the situation will no longer be a nonconformity. 7.4 A. B. 7.5 A. B. 7.6 A. B. C. D. Uses, Lots, Structures, and Sites Rendered Nonconforming When a lot is used for a purpose that was a lawful use before [insert effective date of DDC here] and this DDC no longer classifies such use as either a permitted use or conditional use in the zoning district in which it is located, such use shall be considered nonconforming and shall be controlled by the provisions of Section 5: Nonconformities. Where any building, structure, lot, or development site that legally existed on [insert effective date of DDC here] and does not meet all standards set forth in this DDC, such building, structure, lot, or site shall be considered nonconforming and shall be controlled by the provisions of Section 5: Nonconformities. Pending Applications Any complete application subject to Tex. Loc. Gov t Code 245 that has been submitted for approval, but upon which no final action has been taken by the appropriate decision-making body prior to [insert the effective date of this DDC here], shall be reviewed in accordance with the regulations in effect on the date the application was deemed complete unless the applicant requests otherwise pursuant to paragraph 7.5B below. If the applicant fails to comply with any applicable required period for submittal or other procedural requirements, the application shall expire and subsequent applications shall be subject to the requirements of this DDC. Any reapplication of an expired project approval shall meet the standards in effect at the time of reapplication. An applicant with a complete application subject to Tex. Loc. Gov t Code 245 that has been submitted for approval, but upon which no final action has been taken prior to [insert the effective date of this DDC here], may submit a written request for the complete application to be reviewed under this DDC. Preliminary Plat Approvals An application for which approval of a preliminary subdivision plat was granted prior to [insert the effective date of this DDC here], shall be considered as having received preliminary plat approval under this DDC. Preliminary approvals granted under the previous regulations shall be valid for two years from the date of approval. Failure to obtain a final plat approval in the time shall result in the expiration of the preliminary plat. In the instance of large tracts or blocks of land contained within a recorded subdivision and intended or designed for replatting into smaller tracts, lots, or building sites, the replatting shall comply with all provisions of this DDC except for those that, in the opinion of the Director, have been satisfied prior to filing of the original subdivision plat. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 14

20 Subchapter 1: 7 Transition from Prior Regulations 7.7 Approved Projects 7.7 A. B. C. D. 7.8 Approved Projects 50 Any permits, licenses, or approvals subject to the standards of this DDC that are valid on [insert the effective date of this DDC here], shall remain valid until their expiration date. Projects with valid permits, licenses, or approvals may be carried out in accordance with the zoning and subdivision regulations in effect at the time of approval, provided that the permit, license, or approval remains valid and has not lapsed. No provision of this DDC shall require any change in the plans, construction, or designated use of any structure for which a building permit has been issued prior to [insert the effective date of this DDC here], unless the building permit has expired. The Director may renew or extend the time of a previous approval of an application that was administratively approved if the required findings or criteria for approval remain valid. Any extension granted shall not exceed one year in length, and no more than one extension may be granted. Non-administratively approved projects may be granted extensions from the reviewing body by which they were originally approved where such extension would be permissible under the zoning and subdivision regulations in effect at the time of approval. If those regulations are silent as to extensions then no extension may be granted. Any re-application for an expired project approval shall meet the standards in effect at the time of reapplication. Transition to New Zoning Districts 51 Upon [insert the effective date of this DDC here], land that is zoned with a zoning district classification from the previous zoning regulations shall be re-classified or translated to one of the zoning district classifications set forth in this DDC by separate action of the City Council. 7.9 Map Interpretations Questions or disputes regarding zoning designations on the Official Zoning Map of City resulting from adoption of this new DDC shall be submitted to the Director for written interpretation. 50 Note that this would apply to existing ADPs. 51 A zoning transition table similar to the table provided in the Transmittal Memo for Module 1 can be inserted here. This requires further discussion. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 15

21 Commentary: This subchapter describes the process for reviewing and approving development applications in Denton. The subchapter begins with a summary table that provides a snapshot of the review procedures, the review and decisionmaking authorities, and public notice requirements. The next section describes the decision-making authorities in Denton as they relate to this DDC. The following section includes the common review procedures that apply to most development application types. Common review procedures will help Denton avoid repetition throughout the DDC and eliminate conflicting information among development applications. The remaining sections describe the application-specific development procedures, linking back to applicable common review procedures and noting any modifications or additions. Each specific procedure includes a flowchart depicting the steps for review and approval. The term Director is used throughout this article, and is defined as the Director of Development Services (or designee). The term Planning Commission or P&Z is defined as the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Denton. In this subchapter, we refer to an administrative manual, which is proposed to include the requirements for application submittal materials, fees, time periods for review, and other administrative information that does not need to be included in this DDC. 1 1 Purpose and Organization Purpose 52 This subchapter establishes procedures for the processing of planning and zoning actions that affect the development and use of property subject to the planning jurisdiction of the City. 2 A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Organization of this Subchapter 53 Section 2: Summary Table of Review Procedures, includes a summary table listing the land use and development procedures in the DDC. Section 3: Review and Decision-Making Bodies, describes the duties and membership of the boards, commissions, and committees that have review and decision-making responsibilities under this Code. Section4: Common Review Procedures, describes standard procedures that are applicable to most application types. Section 5: Development Permits and Procedures, describes the procedures for site-specific development provisions. Section 6: Subdivision Procedures, describes the procedures for applications for subdivision and conveyance of land. Section 7: Plan and DDC Amendments, describes the procedures for amending the comprehensive plan or amending the Code. Section 8, Flexibility and Relief Procedures, describes the procedures for applications to vary from strict conformance with the Code and contains various relief provisions. 52 Replaces current New list of subchapter contents. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 16

22 1 2 Organization of this Subchapter H. Section 9, Historic Preservation Procedures, describes the procedures for various applications related to historic properties. 2 Commentary: Summary Table of Review Procedures The Summary Table of Review Procedures is new to Denton and provides users with general information for how applications are processed. This draft proposes several changes from current practice in order streamline and eliminate unnecessary steps in the review process. As per the Assessment Memo, this draft grants more decisionmaking authority to the Director and City staff for applications that have clear approval criteria, including site plans, temporary use permits, change of use permits, minor plats, final plats, and development plats. The decision-making authority of the Planning and Zoning Commission has also been expanded, allowing the Commission to approve preliminary plats, conveyance plats, replats, and vacating plats. The City Council will still review plan and code amendment applications; however, development applications are proposed to be reviewed by the Director and/or the Planning Commission. To build this new table, we started with the Summary Table of Procedures delivered in the Assessment Memo, but we propose some modifications in this draft following additional internal review: Site Plan Review Appeal authority proposed to be changed from P&Z to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Specific Use Permit Carried forward. Temporary Use Permit Not previously included in the table. 4. Change of Use Permit New procedure. 6. General Development Plan We are having discussions with staff about how this process (current ) can be carried forward and how it can better complement the preliminary platting process. We are currently examining ways to streamline this procedure. Revised content for this subsection will be available in the Consolidated Draft. 7. Minor Plat Consolidated minor plat, minor replat, and amending plat into this procedure and renamed to Administratively Approved Plat. 8. Preliminary Plat Carried forward and recommend neighborhood meeting. 9. Final Plat Carried forward. 10. Variance (Subdivision) Did not carry forward. 1 Administrative Adjustment Consolidated with religious freedom and renamed to minor modification. 1 Alternative ESA Plan Now requires staff review. 1 Special Sign District Did not carry forward, content currently located in Section of the Municipal Code of Ordinances. Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures lists the development applications authorized in this DDC. For each type of application, the table indicates the role of City review, noticing requirements, and decision-making and appeal authorities. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 17

23 2 Summary Table of Review Procedures 2 Organization of this Subchapter Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures R = Review/recommendation D = Decision A = Appeal [R/D/A] = Public hearing required <R/D/A> = Public meeting required = Recommended = Required Public Notice Review and Decision-Making Bodies Procedure DDC Reference Neighborhood Meeting Online Mailed Published Posted Pre- Application Conference Devt. Advisory Committee City Staff P&Z Commission City Council Zoning Board of Adjustment DEVELOPMENT PERMITS AND PROCEDURES Site Plan Review 5.1 R D A Specific Use Permit 5.2 R [R] [D] At Director Temporary Use Permit 5.3 D A discretion Change of Use Permit D A Gas Well Development Site Plan SUBDIVISION PROCEDURES See Subchapter 22 ( ) (Administrative Approval by the Gas Well Administrator) Administratively At Director Approved Plat discretion General Development Plan R R <D> <A> D <A> 56 A Preliminary Plat 6.2 R R <D> <A> Final Plat 6.4 R R <D> <A> Conveyance Plat 6.5 R R <D> <A> Development Plat 6.6 R D A Replat [1] 6.7 R R/D [D] Vacating Plat 6.8 R R <D> <A> PLAN AND DDC AMENDMENTS Comprehensive Plan Amendment Zoning Amendment 7.1 Map 7.2 Rezone to PD 7.3 Text 7.4 Annexation 7.5 R R [R] [D] R R [R] [D] R R [R] [D] R R [R] [D] Pursuant to Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (Chapter 43) R R [D] 54 New. 55 Amending Plat was folded into this procedure. 56 Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code , minor plats that are disapproved administratively are to be referred to the municipal authority responsible for approving plats. 57 Having discussions with staff about how this process (current ) gets carried forward and how it can better complement the preliminary platting process. We are currently examining ways to streamline the process. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 18

24 3 Review and Decision-Making Bodies 1 Purpose Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures R = Review/recommendation D = Decision A = Appeal [R/D/A] = Public hearing required <R/D/A> = Public meeting required = Recommended = Required Public Notice Review and Decision-Making Bodies Procedure DDC Reference Neighborhood Meeting Online Mailed Published Posted Pre- Application Conference Devt. Advisory Committee City Staff P&Z Commission City Council Zoning Board of Adjustment FLEXIBILITY AND RELIEF PROCEDURES Variance 8.1 R R [D] Minor Modification 8.2 Pursuant to application procedure warranting the request Appeal of Administrative Decision 8.3 R Appeal authority determined by original application type and in accordance with this Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures Alternative ESA Plan R R [R] [D] HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROCEDURES 60 Certificate of Appropriateness Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness Standard Certificate of See Subchapter 4:Overlay and Historic Districts Demolition Historic Conservation District Designation Historic Landmark Designation Historic District Designation Notes: [1] Replats may be approved by Staff pursuant to Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code , as amended. The appeal authority is determined based on the original approval body (i.e., if the P&Z is approval authority then appeal authority is City Council; if City Staff is approval authority then appeal authority is Zoning Board of Appeals. 3 Commentary: Review and Decision-Making Bodies This new section carries forward some of the standards from the Municipal Code of Ordinances as it relates to the decision-making bodies of this DDC. We did not carry forward many of the specific duties of Denton s boards and commissions. Instead, we cross-referenced to those materials in the Municipal Code of Ordinances. 59 This procedure will be updated to reflect the revised ESA ordinance currently underway by City Staff. 60 These procedures will be updated to reflect the revised Historic Preservation ordinance currently underway by City Staff. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 19

25 3 Review and Decision-Making Bodies 1 Purpose 1 Purpose 61 This section establishes and prescribes the basic duties and operating procedures of the administrative entities responsible for administering and enforcing this DDC. 2 City Council See Chapter 2: Administration in the Municipal Code of Ordinances, Subpart A. 3 A. B. Planning and Zoning Commission 62 Composition A Planning and Zoning Commission is established which shall consist of seven real property taxpayers, who, during their respective terms of office and for at least one year prior to the beginning thereof, shall be residents of the City. They shall be appointed by the City Council for a term of two years, provided four members shall be appointed each odd-numbered year and three members each evennumbered year. The City Manager, Mayor, and the Director shall serve as ex-officio members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, but shall have no vote. None of the appointed members shall hold any other public office or position in the City while serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Planning and Zoning Commission shall elect its chairman from among its members. Seven members shall serve without pay and shall adopt rules and regulations as they deem best governing their actions, proceedings, deliberations, and the times and places of meetings. If a vacancy occurs on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Council shall appoint a commissioner to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term. Operational Procedures The Planning and Zoning Commission may adopt rules to govern its proceedings provided, that such rules are not inconsistent with this DDC or state law. Meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission may be held at the call of the chairman or at such other times as the Planning and Zoning Commission may determine and in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, V.T.C.A. Government Code Ch. 551, (Vernon 2014), as amended. The chairman or, in his or her absence, the acting chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. 64 The Planning and Zoning Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep a record of its examination and other official actions, all of which shall 61 New. 62 From current From current Ongoing discussion with City Attorney s Office regarding the necessity for the P&Z to administer oaths. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 20

26 3 Review and Decision-Making Bodies 4 Zoning Board of Adjustment C. 4 A. B. be immediately filed in the office of the Planning and Zoning Commission and shall be a public record. Powers and Duties of the Planning and Zoning Commission 65 The Planning Commission shall have the review and decision authority as shown in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures, pursuant to the application-specific procedures outlined in this DDC. The Planning Commission also has the powers and duties permitted under Section and Section of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. Zoning Board of Adjustment 66 Composition A Zoning Board of Adjustment (Board) is established which shall consist of seven members, each to be appointed by a majority of the City Council for staggered terms of two years and may be removed for cause by the City Council. All members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall serve without pay. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member whose place becomes vacant for any cause, in the same manner as the original appointment was made. The City Council shall appoint three alternate members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment who shall serve in the absence of one or more of the regular members when requested. It shall be deemed at their appointment that they have been requested by the Mayor and City Manager to fill in for an absent regular member whenever requested by the Director. The alternates shall be designated the first, second, and third alternate, and shall serve in the absence of one or more members. Alternate members shall serve in their designated numerical order. For example, in the absence of one member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the first alternate shall serve. Alternate members, when appointed, shall serve for the same period as the regular members, which is for a term of two years. Alternate members shall be subject to removal in the same manner as regular members. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as for regular members for the unexpired term. Operational Procedures 67 All cases to be heard by the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be heard by a minimum number of six members. The Zoning Board of Adjustment may adopt rules to govern its proceedings provided, however, such rules are not inconsistent with this DDC or state law. Meetings of the Zoning Board of Adjustment may be held at the call of the chairman or at such other times as the Zoning Board of Adjustment may determine and in accordance with the Open Meetings Law. 65 This content will be updated to reflect the standards in part with the ESA ordinance currently underway by City staff. Did not carry forward exaction variances, alternative development plans, special exceptions, or hardship variances from subdivision procedures. 66 From current , revised as noted. 67 From current Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 21

27 3 Review and Decision-Making Bodies 5 Historic Landmark Commission C. 5 A The chairman or, in his or her absence, the acting chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep a record of its examination and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and shall be a public record. At a public hearing relative to an appeal, any interested party may appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment in person or by agent or by attorney. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant to establish the necessary facts to warrant favorable action of the Zoning Board of Adjustment on any matter. Powers and Duties of the Zoning Board of Adjustment 68 The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the review and decision authority as shown in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures, pursuant to the application-specific procedures outlined in this DDC. The Zoning Board of Adjustment's jurisdiction shall extend to and include the hearing and deciding of final decisions regarding changes, the reestablishment, or termination of a nonconforming use. The Zoning Board of Adjustment also has the powers and duties permitted under Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code Historic Landmark Commission 69 Composition There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Historic Landmark Commission of the City, hereinafter called the "Landmark Commission," composed of nine members appointed by the City Council. The Landmark Commission shall include at least one representative from each of the following organizations or professions: c. d. e. County Historical Commission; The County Bar Association; A Certified Public Accountant; A registered architect; An owner of real property in the City. The other members of the Landmark Commission shall be appointed from such other individuals and organizations as the City Council may in its discretion wish to consult or consider; provided that no one business or professional interest shall constitute a majority membership of the Landmark Commission. 68 From current Did not carry forward distinction between variances from the zoning regulations and variances from the sign regulations. This will need to be reconciled as content from the Code of Ordinances is repealed, moved, or amended with adoption of this draft. 69 From current , The content in this subsection is currently being reviewed as a separate project and may be updated in the Consolidated Draft to reflect those efforts. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 22

28 3 Review and Decision-Making Bodies 5 Historic Landmark Commission B. C In addition to the nine members appointed by the City Council, the following persons or their designees shall sit on the Landmark Commission as ex officio members: c. The Director; The Building Official; The Chairman of the County Historical Commission. None of the ex-officio members shall have voting power, but shall assist the Landmark Commission in its various functions. The fact that one or more representatives from five fields of expertise may not at any given point be a member of the Landmark Commission, for whatever reason, shall not affect the validity of any decision or act of the Landmark Commission. Members of the Historic Landmark Commission shall be appointed for two-year staggered terms. Vacancies in an unexpired term shall be filled by the City Council for the remainder of the term. Operational Procedures The Historic Landmark Commission shall meet as often as necessary to dispose of the business of the Landmark Commission or upon call by the Landmark Commission chairman or upon petition of a simple majority of Landmark Commission members. Five members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and all issues shall be decided by a majority of those members present and voting, except that in those instances where only a quorum of five is present at a meeting, all issues shall be decided by at least four affirmative votes. The Landmark Commission shall adopt appropriate rules and regulations for the conduct of its business and the election of its chairman and other officers. The minutes of each meeting shall be filed in the office of the City Secretary. Powers and Duties of the Historic Landmark Commission 71 The Historic Landmark Commission shall have the review and decision authority as shown in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures pursuant to the application-specific procedures outlined in this DDC, and the following additional powers and duties under this DDC: The Landmark Commission shall thoroughly familiarize itself with buildings, structures, sites, districts, areas, and lands within the City that may be eligible for designation as historic landmarks and shall prepare an Historic Landmark Preservation Plan, hereinafter referred to as the "Preservation Plan," which shall: c. Establish criteria to be used in determining whether certain buildings, structures, sites, districts, areas, lands and other objects should be designated as historic landmarks; Establish guidelines to be used in determination of whether to grant or deny certificates of appropriateness and certificates of demolition or removal; Formulate a program for private and public action which will state the role of various City agencies in preservation of historic landmarks; 70 From From Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 23

29 3 Review and Decision-Making Bodies 6 City Administration d. e. Suggest sources of funds for preservation and restoration activities and acquisitions, to include federal sources, state sources, private and foundation sources, as well as municipal sources; Recommend to the proper agencies incentives designed to encourage historic preservation. The Preservation Plan shall be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration and recommendation to the City Council for inclusion in the comprehensive plan of the City. The Landmark Commission shall recommend to the Planning and Zoning Commission ordinances designating certain buildings, structures, sites, districts, areas and lands in the City as historic landmarks. The Landmark Commission shall hold a public hearing on all proposed ordinances and the owner of any land included in the proposed ordinance shall be given at least 15 days' 72 written notice of the public hearing. If the Landmark Commission finds that buildings, structures, sites, districts, lands or areas cannot be preserved without acquisition, the Landmark Commission may recommend to the City Council that the fee or a lesser interest of the property in question be acquired by gift, device, purchase, eminent domain or otherwise, pursuant to the Charter and state and federal law. Where there are conditions under which the required preservation of an historic landmark would cause undue hardship on the owner, use district changes may be recommended by the Landmark Commission. The designation of an historic landmark may be amended or removed using the same procedure provided in this article for the original designation. The Landmark Commission shall provide information and counseling to owners of designated historic landmarks. Any person making application to have any building, structure, site, district, area or land designated as an historic landmark pursuant to the provisions of this article shall pay to the Director a filing fee in an amount determined and as from time to time amended by ordinance by the City Council, a copy of which ordinance is on file with the Director. 6 City Administration 73 The Director of Development Services (referred to as Director ) shall have the responsibility for administering this DDC and shall have the review and decision-making responsibilities listed in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures, and elsewhere in this DDC. 7 Development Advisory Committee Changed from 10 days to be consistent with other noticing timelines in the DDC. 73 New. 74 Replaces current Per staff s request, the role of the Development Review Committee has been changed to that of a Development Advisory Committee. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 24

30 4 Common Review Procedures 4.1 Overview A. B. Composition The Development Advisory Committee (DAC) is an advisory group of City staff members and outside agencies (as necessary) who meet to review and comment on development applications and discuss other matters related to the City s review and management of development. The members of the Development Advisory Committee shall be composed of persons from various City departments, which have an interest in the development review and approval process, as designated by the Director. 75 Powers and Duties of the Development Advisory Committee The Development Advisory Committee shall have the review authority and responsibilities shown in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures and the following additional powers and duties under this DDC: To assist the Planning Director in developing and maintaining an administrative manual, on request; To provide expertise and technical assistance to the City s review and decision-making bodies on request; and To review and comment on proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. 4 Commentary: Common Review Procedures This section consolidates review steps that are common to multiple application types to ensure that the basic procedural steps are consistently applied. This structure is intended to help users better understand the City s basic development review procedures, avoid duplication, and eliminate the need to amend multiple parts of the DDC with subsequent updates. Several of these common review procedures are new to the City and are based on other jurisdictions and tailored for Denton. We have left specific timelines for submittals and review in the DDC (highlighted with yellow) that may be useful as staff creates the Administrative Manual; however, we think these timelines can be relocated outside the DDC prior to adoption. This will allow staff flexibility in adjusting these timelines without having to complete a zoning code text amendment. We have noted where specific timelines are prescribed by state code. 4.1 Overview A. B. The common review procedures in this Section provide the foundation for specific review and approval procedures identified in Subsections 5 through 8. The common review procedures are illustrated in Figure 4- Tailored versions of this illustration appear in each of the specific application types. Not all common review procedures apply to every development application type. Sections 5 through 8 identify how these common review procedures are applied to specific application types, and identify additional procedures and requirements beyond the common review procedures. Figure 4-1: Summary of Common Review Procedures 75 Changed from City Manager to Director. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 25

31 4 Common Review Procedures 4.2 Consistency with State and Federal Provisions Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations 4.2 Consistency with State and Federal Provisions 76 The notice, decision-making authority, public hearing, and other requirements for all approvals shall comply with the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code and other applicable state and federal provisions. This Subchapter shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with all applicable state and federal provisions. If these requirements conflict with the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code, the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code requirements control. 4.3 A. Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference 77 Purpose The pre-application conference is intended to provide an opportunity for a potential applicant to meet with City staff to review submittal requirements, procedures, and schedules; discuss details and potential impacts of the proposed project; and establish points of contact for the development review process. Applicability A pre-application conference is required prior to certain types of applications, as listed in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures and Section 4: Common Review Procedures. Procedure Request The applicant shall submit a request for a pre-application conference to the Development Services Department. Scheduling i. The Director shall coordinate with the applicant and facilitate the meeting, including the time and location of the meeting. 76 New. 77 Replaces current Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 26

32 4 Common Review Procedures 4.3 Step 1: Pre-Application Activities B. 4. c. ii. Applicants are advised that the meeting should take place prior to any substantial investment, such as a land acquisition for a proposed development, site and engineering design, or the preparation of other dat Meeting Process At the meeting, City staff may: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. Effect Determine the required application(s) and the timing of multiple application submittals (i.e., whether they may be processed concurrently or must be processed sequentially); Provide the applicant with application materials and inform the applicant of submittal requirements and procedures; Provide the applicant with an estimated time frame for the review process; Based on a conceptual plan of the proposal (if required), generally discuss compliance with the DDC s zoning, use, and design and development standards, and attempt to identify potentially significant issues regarding compliance; Refer the applicant to other departments or agencies to discuss potential significant issues prior to application submittal; and Consider or answer questions by the applicant relating to the application process, the standards established in this DDC, required documents, fees, and any other inquiries relating to the application. Any information or discussions held as part of the pre-application conference shall not be binding on the City or the potential applicant. Discussions of potential conditions to mitigate impacts do not reflect actions by the decision-making body until and unless a decision-making body takes formal action to attach that condition to a development approval. Neighborhood Meeting 78 Purpose The purpose of the neighborhood meeting is to allow residents, businesses, and organizations in the area surrounding a proposed development project an early opportunity to learn about the project details and to provide feedback to the potential applicants before significant funds have been spent on project design and engineering. Applicability A neighborhood meeting shall be recommended or required as indicated in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures New. This process was recommended by city staff to engage the public early in the development process; which allows the developer to get neighborhood feedback in the early stages of project design. Not all applications will warrant the need for a neighborhood meeting. 79 The summary of development review procedures table currently only recommends that a neighborhood meeting be held. If staff prefers specific application types require a neighborhood meeting we can revise the table. It is also possible to require these meetings at the Director s discretion. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 27

33 4 Common Review Procedures 4.4 Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing Notification Notification of the required neighborhood meeting shall be sent by mail or electronically to those registered neighborhood groups that have boundaries included within the proposed project site, and to all property owners within 200 feet of the project site, at least 10 days prior to the meeting date. Meeting Specifics c. City staff may attend the meeting, but are not required to attend nor facilitate the meeting. The potential applicant shall present information about the proposed land uses, dimensional standards, location of buildings, scale of buildings, and overall site layout and design. Detailed engineering is not required. The material presented shall be adequate to describe the project features without the need for the applicant to have retained architects, engineers, or consultants. The potential applicant shall only be required to hold one meeting if required, but may agree to conduct additional meetings before or after filing an application. Summary Required with Application Submittal Details of the meeting, including proof of notification, a meeting summary, and a list of meeting attendees, as well as copies of any exhibits used at the meeting, shall be provided with the filing of the project application pursuant to Subsection A. B. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing Authority to Submit Application 80 Unless expressly stated otherwise in this DDC, a development application shall be submitted by: The owner, contract purchaser, or any other person having a recognized property interest in the land on which development is proposed; or A person authorized to submit the application on behalf of the owner, contract purchaser, or other person having a recognized property interest in the land, as evidenced by a letter or document signed by the owner, contract purchaser, or other person; or If there are multiple owners, contract purchasers, or other persons authorized to submit the application, all such persons shall sign the application or a letter or document consenting to the application. Application Content The application shall be submitted to the Department of Development Services. The application shall be submitted on a form established by the Director. The applicant bears the burden of ensuring that an application contains sufficient information to demonstrate compliance with application requirements. The application shall include all required information as indicated in the Administrative Manual, and any additional information requested by the Director or other staff during a pre-application conference. 80 Replaces current Suggesting that all applications are submitted to the Director. 81 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 28

34 4 Common Review Procedures 4.4 Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing C. D. E. Application Fees 82 Application fees shall be paid at time of submittal according to the type of application. Fees shall be established by resolution by the City Council. All fees required by this DDC, the Administrative Manual, or otherwise prescribed in the Municipal Code of Ordinances shall be paid to and collected by the Department of Development Services. Where initial application fees are based on the estimated costs of review of the application by an outside consultant (for example, review of a project s traffic impacts by a traffic consultant), and the Director determines that additional funds are needed to complete the consultant s review, the Director may impose additional application fees to recover the City s actual costs in completing review. Prior to imposing such additional fees, the Director shall notify the applicant of the additional fees and provide the applicant with the option to move forward or withdraw the application. Submittal and Review Schedule The Director shall establish a submittal and review schedule for development applications and shall include that information in the Administrative Manual. The Director may amend the schedule to ensure effective and efficient review under this DDC. Determination of Application Completeness 83 Application Materials c. d. e. No application is complete unless all of the information required by Subchapter 2: Administration and Procedures, the Administrative Manual, and any application materials required by the Department of Development Services are included, and all required filing fees are paid. An application is not considered filed until it is complete. The applicant shall file an application in advance of any required public hearing or public meeting where the application is considered. The Director may establish a schedule for filing and reviewing any application that requires action by the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Historic Landmark Commission, Director, or Building Official. The schedule shall provide adequate time for notice and/or publication consistent with the applicable state statutes and this Subchapter. Completed applications shall be filed according to any published schedule. A determination of completeness shall not constitute a determination of compliance with the substantive requirements of this DDC, other Ordinances of the City of Denton, or state or federal law. 82 New. 83 Previously 35.B.2, 4, 5, and 6; and includes standards from Subdivision procedures in (application and fees). These standards were merged for clarity and consistency. Removed standard proposed use must be permitted from G. That requirement should be addressed prior to application submittal likely through the Pre-Application Conference and it is not necessary to include in the development code. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 29

35 4 Common Review Procedures 4.4 Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing Review Procedure 85 c. d. e. No later than 10 business days 86 after an application is filed, the Director shall determine whether the application is complete and shall transmit a written determination to the applicant. If the written determination is not made within this time period, the application is deemed complete. Failure to complete this review within the specified time does not constitute approval and does not give rise to any cause of action against the City. If the application is determined not to be complete, the Director shall provide written notice to the applicant of the failure. The notice shall specify the necessary documents or other information and the date the application will expire if the documents or other information is not provided. The Director shall provide this notice no later than the 10th business day after the date the application is filed. The application expires on or after the 45th day 87 after the date the application is filed if: i. ii. iii. The applicant fails to provide documents or other information required by paragraph 4.4B above; The Director provides the notice described in 4.4E.b, above; and The applicant fails to provide the specified documents or other information within the time provided in the notice. If an application expires, the City shall not process the application. The applicant shall file a new application to obtain the requested approval. An applicant and the Director may mutually agree to an extension of any time limit provided by this section. Notice of Application Acceptance When the Director determines that an application is filed in proper form and is ready to be formally accepted, the Director shall notify the applicant in writing. The application is then processed according to the remainder of this subchapter, including referrals to outside agencies and scheduling for public hearing and/or meetings, as applicable. Time Limits Triggered by Complete Application Whenever this subchapter establishes a time period for processing an application, the time period does not begin until the Director has reviewed the application for completeness and the applicant has corrected all deficiencies in the application. Appeal If the application is determined to be incomplete, the applicant may appeal that decision in writing to the Zoning Board of Adjustment pursuant to Subsection 8.3: Appeal of Administrative Decision. 85 Replaces C. 86 Established in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (e)(2). 87 Established in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (e). Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 30

36 4 Common Review Procedures 4.5 Step 3: Staff Review and Action F. G. H. 4.5 Minor Application Revisions 91 An applicant may revise an application after receiving notice of compliance deficiencies following staff review according to Subsection 4.5, or on requesting and receiving permission from an advisory or decision-making body after that body has reviewed, but not yet taken action on, the application. Revisions shall be limited to changes that directly respond to specific requests or suggestions made by staff or the advisory or decision-making body, as long as they constitute only minor additions, deletions, or corrections and do not include significant substantive changes to the development proposed in the application, as determined by the Director. All other application revisions shall be processed as a new application per this Subsection4.4. Application Withdrawal 92 After an application has been accepted for review, the applicant may withdraw the application at any time by submitting a letter of withdrawal to the Director. An applicant is not entitled to a refund of application fees for withdrawn applications; however, the Director may refund fees not expended if the application is withdrawn. If an applicant fails to respond to staff comments within 45 days, or an application is otherwise determined by the Director to be inactive for a period of 45 days, then the Director may withdraw the application. 93 Concurrent Review 94 Where possible without creating an undue administrative burden on the City s decisionmaking bodies and staff, this Subchapter intends to accommodate the simultaneous processing of applications for different permits and approvals that may be required for the same development project in order to expedite the overall review process. Review and decision-making bodies considering applications submitted simultaneously shall render separate reports, recommendations, and decisions on each application based on the specific standards applicable to each approval. Some forms of approval depend on the applicant having previously received another form of approval, or require the applicant to take particular action within some time period following the approval in order to avoid having the approval lapse. Therefore, even though this Subchapter intends to accommodate simultaneous processing, applicants should note that each of the permits and approvals set forth in this Subchapter has its own timing and review sequence. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 91 New. 92 New. 93 The 45 day period is established in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (e). 94 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 31

37 4 Common Review Procedures 4.5 Step 3: Staff Review and Action A. B. C. D. Refer Application to Staff and Review Agencies The Director shall distribute the complete application to appropriate staff and appropriate internal and external review agencies per the Administrative Manual. Staff Review and Application Revisions 95 Staff shall review the application and submit recommendations and comments to the applicant in a form established by the Director. The application shall not move forward for further review until the Director determines that the applicant has adequately responded to staff recommendations and comments. Applications Subject to Staff Recommendation Staff Report The Director shall submit a written report to the agency with recommending or decisionmaking authority. The Director's report shall include the reports and recommendations of other City departments, if applicable and shall state whether or not the application complies with all applicable DDC requirements. The staff report may also include a recommendation for a decision by the authorized decision-making body and recommend how noted deficiencies may be corrected and negative impacts mitigated. Distribution and Availability of Application and Staff Report Within 72 hours before a meeting or hearing at which a development application is scheduled for review by an advisory or decision-making body, the Director shall submit a copy of the staff report to the applicant and advisory or decision-making body, and shall make the staff report and all related materials available for public review. Forwarding Applications for Review The Planning and Zoning Commission may remand the application back to the Director for further consideration, and the City Council may remand the application back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further consideration. Applications Subject to Staff Decision If an application is subject to staff review and a final decision by the Director per Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures, the Director shall make a decision based on the review standards applicable to the application type. The decision shall be in writing and shall clearly state reasons for a denial or for conditions of approval. The Director may, at his/her discretion, require that the application be forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their review. 95 This is a broad statement that should be clearly outlined in the Administrative Manual. It is important that Denton establish a framework for how applications are submitted, the timeline for review, and how often the applicant can resubmit without incurring additional fees. In our experience, development review can be frustrating for all parties involved if staff redlines and applicant resubmittals are delivered piecemeal and without an established process. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 32

38 4 Common Review Procedures 4.5 Step 3: Staff Review and Action E. Approval Criteria Applicable to all Applications Generally c. Unless otherwise specified in this DDC, City review and decision-making bodies shall review all development applications submitted pursuant to this subchapter for compliance with the general review criteria stated below. The application may also be subject to additional review criteria specific to the type of application, as set forth in Sections 5 through 8. If there is a conflict between the general review criteria in this section and the specific review criteria in Sections 5 through 8, the applicable review criteria in Sections 5 through 8 controls. Prior Approvals The proposed development shall be consistent with the terms and conditions of any prior land use approval, plan, or plat approval that is in effect and not proposed to be changed. This includes an approved phasing plan for development and installation of public improvements and amenities. Consistent with Comprehensive Plan and Other Applicable Plans The proposed development shall be consistent with the comprehensive plan and any applicable plans. The decision-making authority: Shall weigh competing plan goals, policies, and strategies; and May approve an application that furthers the overall goals of the comprehensive plan even if the development does not match the future land use designation in the comprehensive plan. Compliance with This DDC The proposed development shall comply with all applicable standards in this DDC, unless the standard is lawfully modified, or varied. Compliance with these standards is applied at the level of detail required for the subject submittal. Compliance with Other Applicable Regulations The proposed development shall comply with all other City regulations and with all applicable regulations, standards, requirements, or plans of the federal or state governments and other relevant jurisdictions. This includes, but is not limited to, wetlands, water quality, erosion control, and wastewater regulations. Consistent with Interlocal Agreements The proposed development shall be consistent with any adopted interlocal agreements, and comply with the terms and conditions of any interlocal agreements incorporated by reference into this DDC. Minimizes Adverse Environmental Impacts The proposed development shall be designed to minimize negative environmental impacts, and shall not cause significant adverse impacts on the natural environment. Examples of 97 New language that we often include in development codes to establish a legal foundation for decision making Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 33

39 4 Common Review Procedures 4.5 Step 3: Staff Review and Action F the natural environment include water, air, noise, stormwater management, scenic resources, wildlife habitat, soils, and native vegetation. Minimizes Adverse Impacts on Surrounding Property The proposed development shall not cause significant adverse impacts on surrounding properties. Minimizes Adverse Fiscal Impacts The proposed development shall not result in significant adverse fiscal impacts on the City. Compliance with Utility, Service, and Improvement Standards As applicable, the proposed development shall comply with federal, state, county, service district, City and other regulatory authority standards, and design/construction specifications for roads, access, drainage, water, sewer, schools, emergency/fire protection, and similar standards. Provides Adequate Road Systems Adequate road capacity must exist to serve the uses permitted under the proposed development, and the proposed uses shall be designed to ensure safe ingress and egress onto the site and safe road conditions around the site, including adequate access onto the site for fire, public safety, and EMS services. Provides Adequate Public Services and Facilities Adequate public service and facility capacity must exist to accommodate uses permitted under the proposed development at the time the needs or demands arise, while maintaining adequate levels of service to existing development. Public services and facilities include, but are not limited to, roads, domestic water, sewer, schools, public safety, fire protection, libraries, and vehicle/pedestrian connections and access within the site and to adjacent properties. Rational Phasing Plan If the application involves phases, each phase of the proposed development shall contain all of the required streets, utilities, landscaping, open space, and other improvements that are required to comply with the project s cumulative development to date, and shall not depend upon subsequent phases for those improvements. Conditions of Approval 98 Except for zoning map amendments or annexations, where this DDC authorizes a review body to approve or deny an application subject to applicable criteria, the review body may approve the application with conditions necessary to bring the proposed development into compliance with this DDC or other regulations, or to mitigate the impacts of that development on the surrounding properties and streets. All conditions of approval shall be reasonably related to the anticipated impacts of the proposed use or development or shall be based upon standards duly adopted by the City. Such conditions may include those necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of the City s comprehensive plan, other adopted City plans, and this DDC. 98 Replaces This new language enables the decision-making body to impose conditions; however, rather than attempting to list specific elements of a project that can be conditioned, this language provides more flexibility and is more general in nature. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 34

40 4 Common Review Procedures 4.6 Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings No conditions of approval shall be less restrictive than the requirements of this DDC, except where the DDC expressly allows deviations. Any condition of approval that requires an applicant to dedicate land or pay money to a public entity in an amount that is not calculated according to a formula applicable to a broad class of applicants shall be roughly proportional both in nature and extent to the anticipated impacts of the proposed development, as shown through an individualized determination of impacts. During its consideration, the decision-making body may consider alternative potential conditions, and no discussion of potential conditions shall be deemed an attempt or intent to impose any condition that would violate the federal or state constitutions, statutes, or regulations. Discussions of potential conditions to mitigate impacts do not reflect actions by the decision-making body unless and until the decision-making body takes formal action to attach that condition to a development approval. 99 Unless otherwise provided in this DDC, any representations of the applicant in submittal materials or during public hearings shall be binding as conditions of approval. 4.6 Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Commentary: These procedures consolidate the public noticing requirements scattered throughout the current DDC. The current regulations vary in how development applications are noticed and the applicable timeframes required. We are proposing a more standardized notification procedure, with 15 days for all notices. A. B. Scheduling If an application is subject to a public hearing per Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures, the Director shall schedule the public hearing for either a regularly scheduled meeting or special meeting of the appropriate decision-making body. Unless otherwise specified, notice for public hearings shall be provided at least 15 days before the date of the hearing. Public Notice 101 All public hearings required by this DDC shall be preceded by the notices identified in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures. Contents of Notice Required published or mailed notices shall: c. Identify the application by type and application number; Describe the nature and scope of the proposed development; Identify the address or location of the property subject to the application and the name of the applicant or the applicant s agent; 99 New. We include this provision in development codes to protect local governments based on recent case law, specifically Koontz vs. St. John s River Water Management District. The intent is to clearly designate that talk is talk concerning mitigating conditions, unless and until it is integrated into an official decision by a local government. 101 The Texas Open Meetings Act (Texas Government Code Chapter 551) only requires a 72-hour notice for public meetings; however, a 10 day written notice is required for a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission (as prescribed in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code 21007). This requires further discussion with staff. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 35

41 4 Common Review Procedures 4.6 Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings 4. d. e. f. g. Identify the date, time, and location of the hearing being noticed; Identify where and when the application and associated materials may be inspected by the public; Include a statement that the public may appear at the public hearing or be heard and submit evidence and written comments with respect to the application; and Include a statement indicating the City will accept public comments prior to the public hearing, describing where written comments will be received, and stating that comments must be submitted prior to the close of the public hearing in order to be entered into the record. Published Notice When published notice is required, the Director shall prepare the content of the notice and publish the notice in an official newspaper or a newspaper of general circulation in the City. The content and form of the published notice shall be consistent with Chapter 211, Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. Written (Mailed) Notice c. d. e. f. Written notice is required if this DDC requires a public hearing on the application. When written notice is required, the Director shall prepare and mail the written notice. Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures, indicates when written notice is required. The Director shall send the written notice to: i. ii. iii. iv. The owner of the property for which the approval is sought, and Each owner, as indicated by the most recently approved municipal tax roll, of real property within 200 feet of the property, as measured from the property boundaries, including streets, alleys, and other rights-of-way; and Courtesy notices shall be mailed to all properties within 500 feet of the subject property, as measured from the property boundaries. 102 Any other parties entitled to receive written notice by mail under state law. The notice required by this DDC shall be postmarked no later than 10 days prior to the public hearing via first class mail. The applicant shall be responsible for the cost of the mailings and the published notice. Posted Notice c. d. Required posted notice shall include at least one sign on the subject property at least 10 days prior to the public hearing. The applicant shall be responsible for posting the required sign(s). The sign(s) shall be clearly visible from adjacent streets or public rights-of-way and shall remain on the property until action is taken on the application. The Director may require additional signs based on access and configuration of the property. 102 From current of the Municipal Code of Ordinances; this is not required by state law. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 36

42 4 Common Review Procedures 4.7 Step 5: Review and Decision C e. f. Required posted notice shall: i. ii. iii. iv. Identify the application by type and application number; Describe the nature and scope of the proposed development; Identify the date, time, and location of the hearing being noticed; and Identify a telephone number for additional information. It is unlawful to intentionally or knowingly remove a notification sign that has been posted pursuant to this section, or to in any way tamper with or conceal the sign message. Other Notices Applicants are responsible for any additional notice requirements in this DDC, other City ordinances, or state law. Certification of Notice 104 The applicant shall provide certification that proper notice has been posted, including photographic evidence (for posted notices) and a signed affidavit. The format of such certification shall be established by the Director. The applicant shall submit the certification to the Director at least seven days prior to the scheduled public hearing. Constructive Notice Minor Defects in Notice Shall Not Invalidate Proceedings Minor defects in any notice shall not impair the notice or invalidate proceedings pursuant to the notice if a bona fide attempt has been made to comply with applicable notice requirements. Minor defects in notice shall be limited to errors in a legal description or typographical or grammatical errors that do not impede communication of the notice to affected parties. In all cases, however, the requirements for the timing of the notice and for specifying the time, date, and place of a hearing shall be strictly construed. Failure to Receive Notice Shall Not Invalidate Action Failure of a party to receive written notice shall not invalidate subsequent action. Re-Noticing A new notice is required if there is a substantial difference between the action described in the notice and the final action, unless the final action is a smaller change from the existing situation. Step 5: Review and Decision 105 The application shall be subject to review, hearings, recommendations, and decisions as indicated in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures and the following: A. Generally If the application is subject to a public hearing, the applicable review body shall hold a public hearing on the application in accordance with Subsection New. 105 Replaces Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 37

43 4 Common Review Procedures 4.8 Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations B. C. D. E. F. G The applicable review body shall consider the application, relevant support materials, staff report, and any evidence and public comments from the public hearing (if required). The applicable review body shall approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application based on the applicable approval criteria, including the general criteria in 4.5E, Approval Criteria Applicable to all Applications, and the specific standards in Sections 5 through 8. If the review involves a quasi-judicial hearing, the recommendation or decision (as applicable) shall be based only on the record of the public hearing and shall be made in writing; include findings of fact based on competent, material, and substantial evidence presented at the hearing; reflect the determination of contested facts; and state how the findings support compliance with applicable review standards. Conditional Approvals The decision-making body may incorporate or require, as part of a condition of approval, a written agreement between the applicant and the City that enforces the conditions. All conditions shall comply with the limitations in 4.5F, Conditions of Approval. Postponement of Public Hearings at Applicant s Request An applicant may request a postponement of the scheduled public hearing at least seven business days prior to the scheduled public hearing. If any publication or notice is provided by the City, the applicant is responsible for any costs or fees associated with the postponement. If the request is submitted less than seven days prior to the scheduled public hearing, the decisionmaking body may, in its discretion, either hold or continue the public hearing. Continuances The decision-making body may continue a hearing to a specified date, time, and place. The date of continuance shall be made part of the motion and publicly announced at the public hearing. The Director shall ensure that notice of the continuance is posted at least 72 hours before the continued public hearing date in the same manner as originally posted. Publication or property owner notification of the continued date is not required, unless required by state law or recommended by the hearing body or the Director. Tabling a Decision A decision-making body may close a public hearing and table the decision. The request shall appear on each subsequent agenda unless the decision is deferred to a specific date. Other Rules to Govern Other matters pertaining to the public hearing shall be governed by other provisions of these regulations applicable to the body conducting the hearing and its adopted rules of procedure. Findings All decisions shall include the following elements at a minimum: A clear written statement of approval, approval with conditions, or denial, whichever is appropriate; and A clear written statement of the basis upon which the decision was made, including specific findings of fact with reference to the relevant standards of this DDC. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 38

44 4 Common Review Procedures 4.8 Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations A. B. C. D. E. Notice of Decision Appeal Within 10 days after a final decision on an application, the Director shall provide written notification of the decision via personal delivery, electronic mail, or first-class mail to the applicant and make a copy of the decision available to the public in the Planning and Development Department. If the review involves a quasi-judicial hearing, the Director shall, within 10 days after a final decision on the application, also provide a written notification of the decision via personal delivery, electronic mail, or first-class mail to the owner(s) of the subject site, and any other person that submitted a written request for a copy of the decision before its effective date. A party aggrieved or adversely affected by any decision by the City Council or Zoning Board of Adjustment may seek review of the decision in the courts in accordance with applicable state law. A party aggrieved by other final decisions may appeal the decision in accordance with the procedures and standards in Subsection 8.3 and as set forth in Sections 5 through 8, as applicable. Expiration of Approval An application approval under this subchapter expires if no progress is made towards completion of the project within two years after it is approved or the expiration date provided in Sections 5 through 8, whichever occurs later. A change in ownership of the land shall not affect the established expiration time period of an approval. For purposes of this subsection, progress towards completion of the project is as defined in Tex Loc. Gov t. Code Modification or Amendment of Approval Unless otherwise provided in this DDC, any modification of an approved plan, permit, or condition of approval shall require a new application that is submitted and reviewed in accordance with the full procedure and fee requirements applicable to the particular type of the original application. Extensions of Approval Period The original approval body may grant one extension of an approval period of up to one year for good cause. All requests for extensions shall be submitted to the Director in writing at least 30 calendar days prior to the expiration of approval. An extension request shall include: c. d. A narrative stating the reasons for the applicant's inability to comply with the specified deadlines; and A narrative describing any changes in the character of the neighborhood, the Comprehensive Plan, or this DDC that have occurred since approval of the permit/plan; How any changes described in 4.8E.3, above, affect the permit/plan; and The anticipated time schedule for completing the review project and/or the specific project. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 39

45 4 Common Review Procedures 4.8 Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations F. 4. Additional review of the permit/plan may result in additional conditions, as applicable. Limitation on Subsequent Similar Applications Following denial of an application, applications shall be deemed incomplete that are the same or substantially similar within one year of the previous denial. This waiting period may be waived by the decision-making body provided that: There is a substantial change to circumstances, or new information available, relevant to the issues or facts considered during the previous application review; or The new application is materially different from the previous application, as determined by the Director. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 40

46 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.1 Site Plan Review 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.1 Commentary: Site Plan Review The current procedures for reviewing and approving site plans are located within Subchapter 13 Site Design Standards. The procedure was relocated here and revised to clarify its purpose and applicability. New thresholds for when a site plan is required are proposed, replacing those currently found in the site design standards. The approval authority has been changed from the Development Review Committee to City Staff. A. B. C. Purpose 106 The site plan review procedure is intended to ensure compliance with the development and design standards of this DDC and to encourage quality development reflective of the adopted goals and objectives of the City. The site plan review procedure ensures that proposed development applications address and mitigate potential adverse impacts associated with the proposal. Applicability 107 Site plan review is required for the following types of activities. All other activities are exempted. Residential c. New construction or redevelopment of multifamily buildings. Expansion of multifamily buildings by more than 10 dwelling units or 10 percent of the number of existing units, whichever is less. Reconstruction of a multifamily building after voluntary demolition. Mixed-Use and Nonresidential c. d. New construction or redevelopment of mixed-use or nonresidential buildings. Expansion of a mixed-use building by more than 2,000 square feet of nonresidential space or the lesser of more than 10 dwelling units or 10 percent of the number of dwelling units. Site Plan Procedure Expansion of a nonresidential building by the greater of either 2,000 square feet or more or 20 percent of the total square footage of the building. Reconstruction of a mixed-use or nonresidential building after voluntary demolition. Figure 5-1 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of site plans. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 5-1: Summary of Site Plan Procedure 106 New. 107 These thresholds for when a site plan is required replace those in Section 35.1a and are based on prior recommendations from staff. They are for discussion purposes and should be revisited following the drafting of Module 3: Development Standards. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 41

47 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.1 Site Plan Review Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required Submit to Director Review and decision by Director This step does not apply This step does not apply Site plan expires after 24 months inactivity Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing 108 Generally i. ii. The site plan application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with paragraph 4.4. The Director may require at any stage of review of any site plan, submission of any plan, study, survey or other information, in addition to that specified in this article or the Administrative Manual, and at the applicant's expense, as determined necessary to enable review, recommendation, and/or approval of the site plan. Concurrent Review i. Civil Engineering Plans 110 For properties that have already been platted, the Director may require submittal of civil engineering plans for proposed streets, sidewalks, drainage, utility, or other public improvements associated with the site plan review. If required, such civil engineering plans may be submitted and reviewed concurrently with the site plan application. 108 Did not carry forward TIA requirements from 35.1B. 110 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 42

48 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.1 Site Plan Review ii. Other Applications 111 An application for a site plan approval may be submitted and reviewed concurrently with rezonings, specific use permits, subdivision applications, and variance applications. In such case, decisions can be made on concurrent applications at the same public hearing (where applicable) provided that the appropriate approval body shall not decide the site plan approval application until after an official decision is made on the rezoning, subdivision, and/or variance application. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 112 The Director shall review the site plan application and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application in accordance with Subsection 4.5, which includes general approval criteria applicable to all applications, and the following specific approval criteria: The lot on which the development is proposed has been legally platted or is otherwise exempt from platting requirements; The site plan complies with all site specifications adopted by the City. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision Review and decision is subject to paragraph 5.1C. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations c. No Building Permit without Approval 113 No building permit shall be issued until the site plan and any associated construction plans have been approved. Lapse of Approval 114 Unless otherwise provided in the conditions of approval, site plans shall expire after 24 months if the authorized use or construction has not obtained all necessary permits. Extensions may be granted by the Director for good cause shown due to unforeseen circumstances such as changes in market conditions, lack of available financing, changes in financial condition of the applicant, or application for amendments to the approved site plan. Such extensions may only be granted if a written request is made to the Director prior to expiration. Amendments 115 During construction, the Director may authorize minor adjustments without requiring resubmittal of a site plan application provided such adjustments: i. Comply with the standards of this DDC; 111 New. The procedures for concurrent reviews requires further discussion in terms of the order of approvals required, and whether or not those approvals can occur at the same meeting and by the same approval body. 112 From current A more comprehensive list of approval criteria is provided in the Common Review Procedures Section 3) 113 New. 114 New. The 24-month time frame was included for consistency with specific use permit expiration. 115 New. We often include these new suggested allowable adjustments to allow staff to efficiently conduct business without overly burdening the developer when unforeseen changes arise. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 43

49 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.1 Site Plan Review ii. iii. iv. Are necessary to meet provisions of the building code or other life safety code; Are necessary to meet conditions of approval by other City, County, or State departments and/or agencies; and/or Would not significantly alter the function, form, intensity, character, demand on public facilities, or impact on adjacent properties as approved with the site plan. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 44

50 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.2 Specific Use Permit (SUP) 5.2 A. B. C. Specific Use Permit (SUP) 116 Purpose 117 The specific use permit (SUP) procedure provides a mechanism for the City to evaluate proposed development and land uses that have unique or widely varying operating characteristics or unusual features. This procedure is intended to ensure compatibility with surrounding areas and that adequate mitigation is provided for anticipated impacts. Applicability 118 The specific use permit procedure shall apply to uses identified in Table as requiring a specific use permit. No such use may be established, enlarged, or altered without approval of a specific use permit. The City Council may grant, repeal, and amend Specific Use Permits for certain uses, but only where specified in this DDC. SUP approval occurs by ordinance, and is a type of zoning amendment. Specific Use Permit Procedure 120 Figure 5-2 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 34 that apply to the review of specific use permits. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 5-2: Summary of Specific Use Permit Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required, Neighborhood meeting recommended Submit to Director Review by Director P&Z and City Council hearings required P&Z review; City Council review and decision Specific use permit expires after 24 months of inactivity 116 Carried forward from Subchapter 6, Specific Uses, revised as noted. Consolidated Draft: Update Pawn shop provisions to be compliant with LGS This procedure may be relocated to the Plan and DDC Amendments Section of this DDC. 117 Replaces current New. 119 Cross-reference table of allowed uses with consolidated draft. 120 Replaces current , requiring the specific use permit process follow the same procedure as the zoning amendment procedure. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 45

51 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.2 Specific Use Permit (SUP) Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is recommended in accordance with paragraph 4.3B. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The specific use permit application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with paragraph 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 121 The Director shall review the specific use permit application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings The specific use permit application shall be scheduled for public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council and shall be noticed pursuant to Subsection 4.6. Step 5: Review and Decision 122 c. Planning and Zoning Commission Review and Recommendation The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review the specific use permit application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and shall forward its recommendation to the City Council. City Council Review and Decision i. ii. The City Council may review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the specific use permit application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. If the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends denial of the specific use permit, the specific use permit shall become effective only by a three-fourths vote of all members of the City Council. Protest Procedure i. ii. The rules governing amendment over protest are contained in Chapter 211 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. The Director may prescribe forms for protest petitions. A protest against a specific use permit shall be signed by the owners of 20 percent or more of the area included in such proposed specific use permit or of the area of those lots within 200 feet of the property proposed for the specific use permit, as indicated on the most recently approved City tax roll. In the case of a protest against a specific use permit, approval shall require three-fourths vote of the City Council for a specific use permit to become effective. In such case, a 121 Replaces current The approval criteria listed in the common review procedures address the general concerns associated with a specific use permit application. 122 From 35.4.C. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 46

52 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.2 Specific Use Permit (SUP) 6. d. supermajority vote shall not be required by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Concurrent Review An applicant may request a subdivision approval concurrent with a rezoning. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply with the following modifications: c. Expiration of a Specific Use Permit 125 A specific use permit shall expire if the authorized use or construction is not substantially underway within 24 months after the date of specific use permit approval, or an extension is granted pursuant to paragraph 4.8C. The City Council may, in the adopting ordinance, provide an alternate expiration period. Expansion or Enlargement 126 i. ii. Expansion or enlargement of a specific use shall require a new application, unless the Director determines that: The expansion or enlargement is not expected to increase potential negative impacts to surrounding property or the City; and The expansion or enlargement will not require adjustments to any standards greater than allowed through the minor modification procedures in Subsection 8. Any expansion or enlargement of a specific use that does not meet the criteria for Director approval shall require review and recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Commission and approval by the City Council. Denial or Revocation of Permit 128 i. ii. A specific use permit may be revoked or modified after notice to the property owner and a hearing before the City Council, for either of the following reasons: The specific use permit was obtained or extended by fraud or deception; or One or more of the conditions of approval imposed on the specific use permit has not been met or has been violated. If a specific use permit is denied or revoked in accordance with this section, then the subject property shall not be eligible for resubmittal for 12 months unless the applicant can show a substantial change in circumstances to justify a resubmittal Replaces current A. 126 New. 128 Replaces current Changed review authority from City Council to the P&Z Commission. 129 New language to prevent applicants from resubmitting applications until in an attempt to wear down staff and/or officials or gain approval by means other than substantive changes to the application itself. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 47

53 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.3 Temporary Use Permit d. Recording 130 All approved Specific Use Permits shall be referenced on the Official Zoning Map of City as "SUP". 5.3 A. B. C. Temporary Use Permit 131 Purpose The temporary use procedure provides a mechanism for the City to evaluate prospective uses and/or structures on private property of limited duration to ensure compliance with applicable standards of this DDC, including Section -- [reference temporary use section in Module 1]. Applicability A temporary use permit is required before establishing, constructing, or installing any temporary use or structure designated as requiring a temporary use permit in Section -- [reference temporary use section in Module 1]. Temporary Use Permit Procedure Figure 5-3 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of temporary use permits. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 5-3: Summary of Temporary Use Permit Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference optional Submit to Director Review and decision by Director This step does not apply This step does not apply Temporary use permits expire based on application approval 130 New. Because this action is considered a zoning amendment it is recommended that these actions somehow be notated on the City s zoning map. 131 Replaces current Several temporary use standards were relocated to Section 5.5 in Module 1, Districts and Uses. May need to further discuss the distinction between temporary uses and special events, as well as address in consistencies that may exist between the Municipal Code of Ordinances and the DDC. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 48

54 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.3 Temporary Use Permit Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference is optional in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting Not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The temporary use permit application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with paragraph 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 132 The Director shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the temporary use permit application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and the applicable temporary use standards in Section [reference temp use in Module 1]. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision Review and decision is subject to paragraph 4.7. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply, with the following modifications: c. Effect of Approval A temporary use permit authorizes establishment, construction, or installation of the approved temporary use or structure in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit. Expiration of Approval i. ii. iii. A temporary use permit shall be valid beginning on the date specified on the permit and shall remain valid for the time period indicated on the permit. Upon request, the Director may grant a one-year extension; however, in no case shall a temporary use permit be valid for more than one year after its original expiration date. This one-year extension period may not be further extended. Any temporary use permit requesting an approval period beyond one year shall require a specific use permit approval pursuant to Subsection 5. Removal and Restoration Before the expiration of a temporary use permit, the permittee shall disconnect all temporary uses and structures, and associated property and equipment, and free the temporary use site from all trash, litter, and debris to the satisfaction of the Director. 132 The Building Official is the current decision-making authority with regard to temporary use permits. We propose changing this to Director. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 49

55 5 Development Permits and Procedures 5.4 Change of Use Permit d. Appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment The applicant may appeal the denial, revocation, or suspension of a temporary use permit to the Zoning Board of Adjustment in accordance with Subsection Change of Use Permit 133 A. B. C. Purpose The change of use permit procedure provides a mechanism for the City to evaluate new uses of properties and/or buildings, and/or change in occupancy due to change of ownership or tenancy to ensure compliance with applicable standards of this DDC. Applicability A change of use permit is required before the following activities: 4. Occupying or using vacant land; Occupying a vacant building; Changing the use of a property or building; and/or Changing occupancy of a property or building. Change of Use Permit Procedure Figure 5-4 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of change of use permits. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 5-4: Summary of Change of Use Permit Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference optional Submit to Director Review and decision by Director This step does not apply This step does not apply Appeal to Zoning Board of Adjustment 133 New procedure developed to provide a review tool for staff to evaluate whether or not changes of use of existing properties and buildings comply with zoning regulations. Business licensing should be coordinated with this new procedure to establish an enforcement trigger for the change of use permit. This process can also be adapted to serve as a certificate of zoning compliance for persons seeking an official letter from the City to determine if their property complies with the DDC or if it is nonconforming. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 50

56 5 Development Permits and Procedures Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference is optional in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The change of use permit application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with paragraph 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action The Director shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the change of use permit application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision Review and decision is subject to paragraph 4.7. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply, with the following modifications: c. Effect of Approval i. ii. iii. A change of use permit authorizes establishment of a new use and/or change of occupancy of an existing property or building with any additional terms and conditions of the permit. The change of use permit shall clearly state that the proposed use of a building or property complies with the provisions of this DDC. For any proposed change of use or occupancy requiring a building permit, a change of use permit shall be issued at the time of permitting. Revocation of a Change of Use Permit i. ii. A change of use permit may be revoked by the Director if the use of the property or building is inconsistent with the authorized use of the change of use permit. The Director shall notify the permit holder in writing and provide 30 days from the date of the letter for the permit holder to bring the use of the property into compliance with the change of use permit, or the permit shall be revoked. Appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment The applicant may appeal the denial, revocation, or suspension of a change of use permit to the Zoning Board of Adjustment in accordance with Subsection Gas Well Development Site Plan See Subchapter 22, Gas Well Drilling and Production. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 51

57 6 Subdivision Procedures 5.6 Watershed Protection Permit 5.6 Watershed Protection Permit See Section 35.29, Watershed Permits for Gas Well Developments. 6 Commentary: Subdivision Procedures This draft aligns platting procedures with the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code to help streamline and simplify the development review process. This draft also proposes final plat approval by the Director, since it involves ensuring compliance with the approved preliminary plat (currently requires Planning Commission recommendation and City Council approval) and other standards in this DDC. The approval authority for each type of subdivision requires further discussion with staff. The procedures as drafted are intend to streamline and expedite review times; therefore, retaining this process would not provide an immediate benefit to an applicant. This approach requires further discussion with staff. 6.1 A. B. C. Administratively Approved Plat 135 Purpose The administratively approved platting procedure is used to evaluate proposed plats that will create few lots and/or involve minimal adjustments to approved final plats. The administratively approved platting procedure also provides a mechanism for administrative platting decisions, to address plat errors, and to apply minor adjustments to property boundaries. Applicability The administratively approved platting procedure shall apply to: c. Subdivisions of properties creating four or fewer lots and fronting on an existing street and not requiring the creation of any new street or the extension of municipal facilities; 136 and An amending plat as permitted by Tex. Loc. Gov't. Code 21016, as amended; 137 and A replat as permitted by Tex. Loc. Gov't. Code , as amended. Administratively Approved Plat Procedure Figure 6-1 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of administratively approved plats. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 6-1: Summary of Administratively Approved Plat Procedure 135 Replaces current Changed approval authority from Development Review Committee Chairman to the Director. 136 Threshold taken from Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (a)(2) 137 Replaces current Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 52

58 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.1 Administratively Approved Plat Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Handling Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference optional Submit to Director Review and decision by Director This step does not apply This step does not apply Record with Denton County Clerk and Recorder within 30 days of approval Step 1: Pre-Application Activities An optional pre-application meeting may be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Step 2: Application Submittal and Handling The administratively approved plat application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action Review and Decision The Director shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the administratively approved plat application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and ensuring the request will not affect a recorded easement without approval from the easement holder. Appeal to Planning and Zoning Commission 138 The decision on an administratively approved plat may be appealed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision Review and decision is subject to paragraph 4.7. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply, and the City shall record administratively approved plats with the County Clerk within two years of approval by the Director. 138 Pursuant to Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (c). Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 53

59 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.2 General Development Plan 6.2 General Development Plan 139 [insert text here] 6.3 A. B. C. Preliminary Plat Purpose The preliminary plat procedure provides a mechanism for the City to review an overall plan for a proposed subdivision to ensure compliance with this DDC, the Comprehensive Plan, and the adequate provision of facilities and services in the City. Applicability 140 A preliminary plat is required if the proposed subdivision: 4. Is on land that has not been platted; Land that will be developed in phases; Will include the dedication of public right-of-way, other public tracts, or public improvements not determined to be eligible for minor subdivision processing; or Is not eligible to be processed as an administratively approved plat, pursuant to Subsection 6. Preliminary Plat Procedure Figure 6-2 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of preliminary plats. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. 139 We are having discussions with staff about how this process (current ) can be carried forward and how it can better complement the preliminary platting process. We are currently examining ways to streamline this procedure. Revised content for this subsection will be available in the Consolidated Draft. 140 The current DDC A prohibits preliminary plats within the ETJ, A Preliminary Plat is neither required nor permitted in the extraterritorial jurisdiction. Language in A allows final Plats within the extraterritorial jurisdiction to satisfy both the requirements of a Preliminary Plat and a Final Plat. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 54

60 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.3 Preliminary Plat Figure 6-2: Summary of Preliminary Plat Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required; Neighborhood meeting recommended Submit to Director Review by Staff P&Z hearing required P&Z review and decision Preliminary plat expires if final plat not recorded within 24 months 4. Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is recommended in accordance with paragraph 4.3B. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The preliminary plat application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action The Director shall review the preliminary plat application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the following specific approval criteria: c. d. Provides a layout of lots, streets, blocks, driveways, utilities, drainage, and other public facilities and services designed to minimize the amount of disturbance to sensitive areas and/or community assets; Provides evidence of public water and sewer system connections; Identifies and adequately mitigates known natural hazard areas; and If applicable, proposes reasonable project phasing in terms of infrastructure capacity. Step 4: Scheduling of Public Meetings The preliminary plat application shall be scheduled for public meetings before the Planning and Zoning Commission. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 55

61 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.3 Preliminary Plat Step 5: Review and Decision The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the preliminary plat application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and paragraph 6.3C. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply with the following modifications: c. Expiration of Approval 142 A preliminary plat shall become null and void 24 months from the date of approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission, unless a final plat is filed and approved for all or part of the preliminary plat within that time or within the time provided by a phasing schedule approved for the preliminary plat. Effect of Approval i. ii. iii. Within six months of approval of the final plat for the first phase of the development, or within such other period as may be provided in an phasing schedule approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, a complete application for a final plat must be approved for the next phase of the development, continuing with each successive phase, until final plats have been approved for all the land subject to the original preliminary plat in accordance with this section or a phasing schedule approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. If the applicant fails to receive approval for a final plat for any phase of the development within the prescribed period, or within any extension granted pursuant to paragraph 6.3C.6.c below, the original preliminary plat shall expire for that phase and for all other phases for which a final plat has not been approved or no longer remains in effect on the date of expiration. If an approved final plat expires, the preliminary plat for that phase shall also expire, as well as for all other phases for which a final plat has not been approved or is not pending approval, or has lapsed subsequent to approval, on the date of expiration. Extension of Preliminary Plat Approval 143 i. The Commission may extend a preliminary plat or any phase thereof pursuant to paragraph 4.8E and the following criteria: The request must be considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission before the preliminary plat or phase expires and must document the reasons for the extension. In determining whether to grant a request, the Planning and Zoning Commission shall take into account: The reasons for the requested extension; 142 From current E. 143 From current F. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 56

62 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.4 Final Plat 7. c. The ability of the applicant to comply with any conditions attached to the original approval; Whether the extension is likely to result in timely completion of the project; and 4. The extent to which any newly adopted regulations should be applied to the proposed development. In granting an extension, the Planning and Zoning Commission may impose such conditions as are needed to assure that the land will be developed in a timely fashion and that the public interest is served, including compliance with one or more new adopted development standards. Concurrent Review with Site Plan Preliminary plat applications may be submitted and reviewed concurrently with an application for a site plan pursuant to paragraph 5.1C. 6.4 A. B. C. Final Plat Purpose The final plat procedure completes the subdivision process and ensures compliance with the approved preliminary plat and applicable standards in this DDC. Applicability The final plat procedure applies to all subdivisions in the City unless otherwise stated in this DDC. Final Plat Procedure Figure 6-3 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of final plats. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 6-3: Summary of Final Plat Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required; Neighborhood meeting recommended Submit to Director within 24 months of preliminary plat approval Review by Staff This step does not apply P&Z review and decision Record with Denton County Clerk and Recorder Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 57

63 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.5 Conveyance Plat Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting Not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The final plat application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4, and subject to the following modifications: The final plat application shall be submitted within 24 months of preliminary plat approval; and The final plat may reflect the entire areas covered by a preliminary plat or any part thereof. Step 3: Staff Review and Action The Director shall review the final plat application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the following specific approval criteria: The final plat conforms to the approved preliminary plat, including any conditions of approval; and The development will comply with the applicable technical standards and specifications adopted by the City. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the final plat application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and paragraph 6.4C. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations 144 Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply and the Director shall record the approved final plat with the Denton County Clerk and Recorder upon acceptance of any public improvements or dedications. 6.5 Conveyance Plat Land dedication and subdivision improvements agreements will be developed in Module 3 and that information will be crossreferenced here in the Consolidated Draft. 146 From , revised as noted. We are having discussions with staff about how this process can be carried forward and how it can be folded into the Administratively Approved platting procedures in Subsection 6. We are currently examining ways to streamline this procedure. Revised content for this subsection will be available in the Consolidated Draft Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 58

64 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.5 Conveyance Plat A. B. C. Purpose 147 The intent of the conveyance plat is to provide an interim plat recording the subdivision of property or to define the remainder of a property created by the approval of a final plat for the sole purpose of conveying land and not for development. A conveyance plat may be used solely for the purpose of subdividing land and the recording of same, or recording a single existing lot or parcel created by other means. Applicability 148 A conveyance plat may be used in order to subdivide or sell land without plans for its immediate development. A conveyance plat allows the recording of a subdivision without requiring the construction or design of public improvements or collection of development fees. Easements, dedications, and reservations may be recorded on a conveyance plat. Conveyance Plat Procedure Figure 6-4 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of conveyance plats. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 6-4: Summary of Conveyance Plat Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Handling Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference optional Submit to Director Review and decision by Director This step does not apply This step does not apply Record with Denton County Clerk and Recorder within 30 days of approval Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply, and the City shall record administratively approved plats with the County Clerk within two years of approval by the Director. 147 From A and the definition of conveyance plat, revised for clarity. 148 Replaces A. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 59

65 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.5 Conveyance Plat Step 1: Pre-Application Activities An optional pre-application meeting may be held in accordance with Subsection 4.Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The conveyance plat application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 150 The Director shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the administratively approved plat application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and the following specific approval criteria: Reservation of Rights-Of-Way i. ii. iii. Conveyance plats shall identify any future rights-of-way for public thoroughfares and streets specified on the City's thoroughfare plan; The identification of the right-of-way does not grant any right or interest in the property to the City or other entity; and The final alignment may be adjusted upon final platting in order to meet engineering design standards. Dedication of Rights-Of-Way i. ii. Dedication of right-of-way shall be required where a conveyance plat is used to record the remainder of a tract created by the final platting of a portion of the property; and The required right-of-way dedication shall be limited to that which is necessary to provide access to the property proposed for final plat approval and to complete turn lanes, intersections and transitions in road pavement width resulting from development of property proposed for final plat approval. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision 151 The Director shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the conveyance plat application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the approval criteria in paragraph 6.5C.4. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Signing and Filing 152 i. After the approval of the conveyance plat, the applicant shall submit filing fees and the required number of copies for filing to the City for filing with the county. Having submitted all copies and fees, the applicant may request a delay of filing for up to two years 153 from the date of approval. 150 Replaces B. 151 The Planning and Zoning Commission is the current review and approval authority for conveyance plats; however, some communities elect to approve these applications administratively (i.e., the Director). 152 First half of C.2, revised for clarity. 153 Changed from 180 days for consistency with other platting requirements. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 60

66 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.6 Development Plat c. d. ii. iii. Prior to filing, the Director shall certify the conveyance plat and it shall be recorded with the Denton County Clerk and Recorder. The Director shall forward one copy of the recorded conveyance plat to the property owner. Effect of Approval 154 i. ii. iii. iv. Conveyance plat approval and acceptance by the City does not relieve the owner from obligations, including fees, required by other sections of this or any other Chapter of the Municipal Code of Ordinances pertaining to the improvement of the property or extension of services as required to make the property suitable for development. Neither reservation nor dedication of right-of-way shall relieve the property owner from any obligation for street construction or assessments associated with public street improvement programs. Easements for access, utilities, and drainage shall be recorded on conveyance plats. No building permits shall be issued, nor development begin, nor permanent utility service provided for land which has only received approval as a conveyance plat. This information shall be set forth in bold type on the plat. A conveyance plat may be vacated, replatted, or superseded in total or in part by compliance with the procedures and requirements of this DDC. Lapse of Approval 155 i. ii. Any conveyance plat that has not been filed with the county within two years 156 of the date of approval shall be void. Prior to filing with the county, the property owner may withdraw and void a conveyance plat. Any conveyance plat withdrawn or voided must be resubmitted under current regulations and procedures and reapproved by the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Director and filed with the county. Appeal to Planning and Zoning Commission 157 i. The decision on an administratively approved plat may be appealed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. 6.6 A. Development Plat 158 Purpose The development plat procedure provides a mechanism for any person who proposes development of a tract of land located within the corporate limits or within the City's extraterritorial jurisdiction that is not required by this Subchapter to prepare a preliminary or final plat , revised for clarity. 155 Second half of C. 156 Changed from 180 days for consistency with other platting requirements. 157 Pursuant to Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code (c). 158 Replaces current The general applicability of development plat requires further discussion. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 61

67 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.6 Development Plat B. C. Applicability 159 The development plat procedure is available for any person who proposes the development of a tract of land located within the corporate limits or within the City's extraterritorial jurisdiction that is not required by this Subchapter to prepare a preliminary or final plat, unless the development is an addition or alteration to existing development which, after development, would result in development no less compliant with the DDC than before the development. Development Plat Procedure Figure 5-1 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of development plats. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 6-5: Summary of Development Plat Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required Submit to Director Review and decision by Director This step does not apply This step does not apply Development plat expires after 24 months inactivity Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting Not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The development plat application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection Section A(1) provides a reference for exceptions ( ) to development plat procedure. Is this reference correct? Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 62

68 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.7 Replat Step 3: Staff Review and Action 160 The Director shall review the development plat application and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application in accordance with Subsection 4.5 and Tex. Loc. Gov't Code through 21050, as amended. No new development may begin on the subject property until the development plat is filed and approved by the City. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Not required. Step 5: Review and Decision Review and decision is subject to paragraph 6.6C. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations A development plat shall become null and void two years from the date of approval by the Director. 6.7 A. B. C. Replat 161 Purpose The intent of the replat procedure is to outline the process for replatting any portion of an approved final plat, other than to amend or vacate the plat. Applicability A replat of a subdivision or part of a subdivision may be recorded and is controlling over the preceding plat without vacation of that plat if the replat: Is signed and acknowledged by the owners of the property being replatted; Is approved after a public hearing; and Does not attempt to amend or remove any covenants or restrictions. Replat Procedure Generally Replats are subject to the procedures established for administratively approved plat (see Subsection 6.1) and shall conform to the requirements of Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code if: i. ii. iii. The replat involves four or fewer lots fronting an existing street that does not require the creation of any new street or the extension of municipal facilities; or The replat is for part of a subdivision without vacation of the preceding plat as provided in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code ; or The amending plat is signed by the applicants only and is solely for one or more of the purposes identified in Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code Current standards require approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, we propose allowing the Director to approve development plats. 161 Replaces current We are continuing to work through coordinating these procedures with those established in Subsection 6.1: Administratively Approved Plats. Revision to this section will be available for review in the Consolidated Draft. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 63

69 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.8 Vacating Plat c. Replats without vacation of the preceding plat are subject to the procedures established for administratively approved plat (see Subsection 6.1) and shall conform to the requirements of Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code if: i. ii. During the preceding five years, any of the area to be replatted was limited by an interim or permanent zoning classification to residential use for not more than two residential units per lot; or Any lot in the preceding plat was limited by deed restrictions to residential use for not more than two residential units per lot. All other replats are subject to the approval procedures established for preliminary plats (see Subsection 6.2) in addition to the requirements in Subsection A. B. C. Vacating Plat 162 Purpose 163 The intent of the vacating plat procedure is to outline the process for vacation of all or a portion of a prior-approved plat. Applicability 164 The property owner of the tract covered by a Plat may vacate the Plat pursuant to Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code 21013, as amended. Vacating Plat Procedure Figure 6-6 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of vacating plats. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 6-6: Summary of Vacating Plat Procedure 162 Replaces current New. 164 From current Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 64

70 6 Subdivision Procedures 6.8 Vacating Plat Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-Application conference required Submit to Director Review by Staff Public meeting required before the P&Z Commission (not a hearing) P&Z Commission review Record vacation with Denton County Clerk and Recorder Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The vacating plat application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action The Director shall review the vacating plat application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings The vacating plat application shall be scheduled for a public meeting before the Planning and Zoning Commission and shall be noticed pursuant to Subsection 4.6. Step 5: Review and Decision The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the vacating plat application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection As a condition of approval, the Planning and Zoning Commission may require the applicant to prepare a revised final plat in accordance with Subsection Replaces current C. 166 New, based on Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 65

71 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.1 Comprehensive Plan Amendment 6. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations 167 Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply and the Director shall record the vacating plat with the Denton County Clerk and Recorder prior to the recordation of a new plat. Regardless of the Planning and Zoning Commission's action on the application, the applicant will have no right to a refund of any monies, fees, or charges paid to the City nor to the return of any property or consideration dedicated or delivered to the City except as may have previously been agreed to by the Planning and Zoning Commission A. B. C. Plan and DDC Amendments 169 Comprehensive Plan Amendment 170 Purpose 171 The purpose of this section is to provide standards for amending the text and or maps of the comprehensive plan or for adoption of a new comprehensive plan. The amendment process is established to provide flexibility in response to changing circumstances and to reflect changes in public policy, and to advance the general welfare of the City. Applicability 172 An amendment to the comprehensive plan may be initiated by the City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Director, 173 or the property owner(s) with an application executed by all property owners, or their authorized agents. Comprehensive Plan Amendment Procedure Figure 7-1 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of comprehensive plan or mobility plan amendments. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. 167 From current , revised for clarity. 169 Did not carry forward current 35.13, Development Criteria Manual Procedure, this information should be relocated to the Administrative Manual. 170 Currently Denton Plan Amendment procedure in 35. We are not using that term in this Code. 171 New. We removed the language stating that this procedure should be used for adoption of a new zoning code or for a zoning amendment that does not conform to the Future Land Use element of the Denton Plan. 172 From current 35.C. 173 Revised from city manager. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 66

72 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.1 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Figure 7-1: Summary of Comprehensive Plan Amendment Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required; Neighborhood meeting recommended Submit to Director Review by Staff P&Z and City Council hearings required P&Z review; City Council review and decision Action is final and cannot be appealed 4. Step 1: Pre-Application Activities 174 Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is recommended in accordance with Subsection 4.3B. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing 175 The comprehensive plan amendment application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4. Step 3: Staff Review and Action Director Review and Recommendation The Director shall review the comprehensive plan amendment application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the specific criteria in 7.1D below. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings The comprehensive plan amendment application shall be scheduled for public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council and shall be noticed pursuant to Subsection Should City-initiated applications be exempt from this step? 175 Second half of E Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 67

73 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.1 Comprehensive Plan Amendment D Step 5: Review and Decision 176 Planning and Zoning Commission Review and Recommendation The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review the comprehensive plan amendment application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the specific criteria in 7.1D below, and shall forward its recommendation to the City Council. City Council Review and Decision The City Council may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the comprehensive plan amendment application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the specific criteria in in 7.1D below. The adoption or amendment of a new comprehensive plan shall become effective by a simple majority vote of all members of the City Council. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations The City Council decision is a final action and may not be appealed. 177 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Approval Criteria 178 Comprehensive plan amendments may be approved by the City Council only following a determination that the proposed amendment is consistent with the overall purpose and intent of the Comprehensive Plan and that any one of the following criteria has been met: c. d. There was an error in the original Comprehensive Plan adoption; The City Council failed to take into account then-existing facts, projections, or trends that were reasonably foreseeable to exist in the future; Events, trends, or facts after adoption of the Comprehensive Plan have changed the City Council s original findings made upon plan adoption; and/or Events, trends, or facts after adoption of the Comprehensive Plan have changed the character or condition of an area so as to make the proposed amendment necessary. In addition to the above-listed criteria, any proposed amendment is subject to the following additional review standards: c. d. That the amendment is not in conflict with any portion of the goals and policies of the plan. That the amendment constitutes a substantial benefit to the City and is not solely for the good or benefit of a particular landowner or owners at a particular point in time. The extent to which the proposed amendment and other amendments in the general area are compatible with the land use goals of the plan and that they avoid creation of isolated uses that will cause incompatible community form and a burden on public services and facilities. That the development pattern contained in the existing plan does not provide adequate and appropriate optional sites for the use or change being proposed in the amendment. 176 From current D. 177 From current 35.D. 178 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 68

74 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.2 Zoning Map Amendment e. f. That the impact of the amendment, when considered cumulatively with other applications and development in the general area, will not adversely impact the City or a portion of the City by: i. ii. iii. iv. Significantly altering acceptable existing land use patterns; Having significant adverse impacts on public services and facilities that are needed to support the current land use and that cannot be mitigated to the maximum extent feasible; Adversely impacting environmentally sensitive areas or resources; or Adversely impacting existing uses because of increased traffic on existing systems. That site conditions, including but not limited to topography, utility corridors/easements, drainage patterns, noise, odors, or environmental contamination, would make development under the current plan designation inappropriate. 7.2 Zoning Map Amendment Commentary: The zoning amendment procedure is divided into three separate procedures: 1) zoning map amendment; 2) zoning text amendment; and 3) rezoning to a PD. We did not carry forward earlier versions of rezoning to a master planned community, which were not included with the districts in Module A. B. C. Purpose The purpose of the zoning map amendment procedure (referred to as rezoning ) is to make amendments to the Official Zoning Map of the City of Denton to reflect changes in public policy, changed conditions, or to advance the welfare of the City. The purpose is neither to relieve particular hardships nor to confer special privileges or rights on any person. Applicability 4. A rezoning may be approved by the City Council following review and recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Rezonings should not be used when a specific use permit, variance, or minor modification could be used to achieve a similar result. Changes to the characteristics of zoning districts (such as setback requirements) and development standards (such as parking requirements) shall be processed as zoning text amendments according to Section 7.4. A rezoning to a Planned Unit Development is a distinct type of amendment to the Official Zoning Map and shall follow the procedures in Section 7. Rezoning Procedure Figure 7-2 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of rezonings. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 69

75 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.2 Zoning Map Amendment Figure 7-2: Summary of Rezoning Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-Application Conference Required Neighborhood Meting Recommended Submit to Director Review by Staff P&Z and City Council hearings required P&Z review; City Council review and decision Director to amend the Official Zoning Map Step 1: Pre-Application Activities 179 Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is recommended in accordance with Subsection 4.3B. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing c. The zoning map amendment application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4. In addition to the persons authorized to submit an application listed in paragraph 4.4A, the Planning and Zoning Commission may initiate a rezoning application following discussion at any Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. When multiple parcels are proposed for rezoning, a separate application for each property shall be submitted unless the Director approves a consolidated application during the pre-application conference. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 180 The Director shall review the rezoning application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection Should City-initiated applications be exempt from this step? 180 Replaces current 35.4.B. The approval criteria listed in the common review procedures address the general concerns associated with a rezone application. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 70

76 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings The rezoning application shall be scheduled for public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council and shall be noticed pursuant to Subsection Step 5: Review and Decision 183 c. d. Planning and Zoning Commission Review and Recommendation The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review the rezoning application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and shall forward its recommendation to the City Council. City Council Review and Decision i. ii. The City Council may review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the rezoning application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. If the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends denial of the rezoning, the rezoning shall become effective only by a three-fourths vote of all members of the City Council. Protest Procedure i. ii. The rules governing amendment over protest are contained in Chapter 211 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. The Director may prescribe forms for protest petitions. A protest against a rezoning shall be signed by the owners of 20 percent or more of the area included in such proposed rezoning or of the area of those lots within 200 feet of the property proposed for rezoning, as indicated on the most recently approved City tax roll. In the case of a protest against a rezoning, approval shall require three-fourths vote of the City Council for a rezoning to become effective. In such case, a supermajority vote shall not be required by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Concurrent Review An applicant may request a subdivision approval concurrent with a rezoning. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations 184 Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply with the following modifications: The City Council decision is a final action and may not be appealed. Following approval of a rezoning by City Council, the Director shall prepare a revision to the Official Zoning Map. 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District Some municipalities do not require a mailed notice to be sent to properties within 200 feet for citywide rezonings per the standards established in the Texas Loc. Gov t. Code, Section This requires further discussion with staff and the City Council. 183 From 35.4.C. 184 Carried forward from 35.4.C.6 and 35.4.D. Standards from 35.C.5 regarding resubmittal of a denied application has been relocated to Section 6. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 71

77 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District A. B. C. Purpose The zoning classification of any parcel may be changed to a Planned Unit Development (PD) pursuant to this section. The purpose of rezoning to a PD is to achieve greater flexibility than allowed by the strict application of the DDC while providing greater benefit to the City and to ensure efficient provision of services and utilities. Applicability The PD procedure shall not be used when a specific use permit, variance, minor modification, or rezoning to an existing base zoning district could achieve a similar result. A rezone to a PD application (referred to as PD application ) may be submitted for any contiguous area of five acres or more within any combination of zoning districts. 186 A PD proposed within the Central Business District may be reduced to one acre in size. Rezoning to PD Procedure Figure 7-3 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of rezoning to PDs. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. Figure 7-3: Summary of Rezoning to PD Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-Application Conference Required Neighborhood Meting Recommended Submit to Director Review by Staff P&Z and City Council hearings required P&Z review; City Council review and decision Director to amend the Official Zoning Map 185 Replaces master planned community found in current From A minimum size requirement for PD districts was not established with Module 1 of the DDC update. Should we include a minimum project size for PD districts? Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 72

78 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District Step 1: Pre-Application Activities 187 Pre-Application Conference 188 A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. In addition, the applicant shall include a concept/schematic plan for review by the Director to help determine whether or not a PD is the appropriate procedure for the applicant and the City. The concept/schematic plan shall include at a minimum the following: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Proposed uses; Number and type of dwelling or commercial units (as applicable); Floor area of all buildings; Floor area of each use for mixed-use buildings (if applicable); Proposed parking capacity and configuration; General site planning layout and phasing; and Summary of proposed deviations from DDC standards and a description of compensating public benefits achieved through the PD process. 189 Neighborhood Meeting A neighborhood meeting is recommended in accordance with Subsection 4.3B. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing The PD application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4 and shall include the following: i. ii. PD Zoning Document The PD zoning document establishes zoning standards for a planned development and typically addresses land uses, densities, setbacks, building heights, lot coverage and specifically identifies where there are deviations from this DDC. The PD zoning document shall include a development plan map. An application and development plan shall be reviewed by the Director and Planning and Zoning Commission, whose recommendations are forwarded to the City Council for review and approval. PD Development Standards Document The PD development standards document sets forth the developer s proposal for and confirms compliance with the development and design standards of this DDC, and identifies the alternative development standards associated with the content of this DDC. 187 Ongoing discussions regarding whether City-initiated applications be exempt from this step? 188 From A, reworded for clarity. Also, instead of three stages (conceptual schematic, PD zoning document, and PD development standards document), we proposed each of these to be application requirements so it is clear that they can be submitted concurrently. We propose the conceptual schematic be submitted prior to the pre-application conference. Did not carry forward cost impact analysis requirement. 189 New. This will allow the applicant to make an argument for pursuing a PD development and allow city staff to determine if the PD process is the appropriate procedure for the proposal. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 73

79 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District iii. The PD development standards document shall include design standards that will govern the orientation and design of buildings and other improvements, including but not limited to the following: 5. Architecture, including design standards and building materials for buildings, fences, walls, and other structures, buffering, fencing, etc. The regulations of Subchapter 6 shall be specified, referencing both the existing regulations and the wording of each corresponding substitution, as proposed. The proposed PD district should represent a quality development when weighed overall against the standards in this DDC or the alternative regulations proposed by the applicant; 6. Signs; 7. Narrative description and/or graphic plan that details landscape standards for parks, open space systems, and public-right-of-way. Include general information as to how buffering will be achieved (i.e. fence, vegetation, berm, wall, etc.); 8. Street cross-section design, by classification, for all streets; 9. Parking facilities, parking lot layout, and parking lot landscaping; 10. Bicycle parking facilities, including specifications; 1 All existing and proposed provisions for pedestrian circulation including sidewalks, walkways, crosswalks, trails, pedestrian plazas, and other amenities; and 1 Identification of any alternative pavement treatments, streetscape furniture, art or other amenities associated with plazas, trails, sidewalks, roadways, etc. if applicable. Deviations from the DDC Where the applicant is proposing deviations from the zoning provisions of this DDC, the applicant shall specify both the existing regulations and the wording of each corresponding substitution, as proposed. The proposed PD district shall represent a quality development when weighed overall against the standards in the DDC or the alternative regulations proposed by the applicant and shall address and/or include, but not be limited to, the following development standards: c. d. e. f. g. Maximum gross density; Minimum lot area; Minimum lot width and frontage; Minimum lot depth; Minimum yards and building setbacks: Front (include arterials, collector, and local); side yard (include arterial, corners, and accessory structures) and rear yards; Maximum building height (include primary and accessory structures); Parking and loading; Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 74

80 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District iv. v. vi. vii. h. i. Land uses allowed in each area listed in a land use schedule. This should include the following: permitted uses, uses by right, uses by specific use permit, accessory uses, temporary uses and outdoor operation uses (including walk-up and drive-through for all uses); and Proposed parks, open areas, trails and school sites (if applicable). Prohibited Deviations from the DDC 190 Deviations from the following standards shall not be allowed in conjunction with a PD zoning district: c. d. Section 5.7: Gas Well Drilling and Production Section 6.4: Environmentally Sensitive Areas Section --: Floodplains Section --: Tree Code Public Benefits to be Provided 191 When an applicant is proposing deviations from the zoning provisions of this DDC to establish a PD zoning district, the applicant shall demonstrate how the proposed PD zoning district will generally provide public benefits to justify the increased flexibility offered by the City through this procedure. Comprehensive Plan Amendment A comprehensive plan amendment application submitted under Section 7.1 may be reviewed concurrently with a PD application. Concurrent Subdivision Review A subdivision application submitted under Section 5.6 may be reviewed concurrently with a PD application. A preliminary plat for a PD shall only be approved following approval of the rezoning to PD. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 192 The Director shall review the PD application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the following specific approval criteria: c. d. The proposed development complies with the goals of the comprehensive plan; The proposed PD district complies with this DDC, except where modifications are expressly authorized through the PD zoning document, the PD development standards document, and in the PD development plan map; The proposed development shall provide a greater level of building design quality, community amenities, and connectivity than would be required if the project were not being developed in a PD district; In the case of proposed residential development, that the development will promote compatible buildings and uses and that it will be compatible with the character of the surrounding area; 190 New. These references will be updated in the Consolidated Draft to reflect the new organization and structure of the DDC. 191 New. 192 Currently findings from , and includes criteria from D.1 and Revised and consolidated for clarity. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 75

81 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District e. f. In the case of proposed commercial, industrial, institutional, recreational and other non-residential uses or mixed-uses, that such development will be appropriate in area, location and overall planning for the purpose intended; and The provisions for public facilities such as schools, fire protection, law enforcement, water, wastewater, streets, public services and parks are adequate to serve the anticipated population within the PD district. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings The PD application shall be scheduled for public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council, and noticed in accordance with Subsection 4.6. Step 5: Review and Decision c. Planning and Zoning Commission Review and Recommendation The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review the PD application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the approval criteria in paragraph 7.3C.3, and shall forward its recommendation to the City Council. City Council Review and Decision i. ii. iii. iv. The City Council may review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the PD application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the specific approval criteria in paragraph 7.3C. If the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends denial of the PD application, the rezoning shall become effective only by a three-fourths vote of all members of the City Council. The City Council may also remand the PD application back to the Director or the Planning and Zoning Commission for further consideration. If the City Council remands the PD application back to the Director or Planning and Zoning Commission, additional public hearings may be required before final adoption. Protest Procedure i. ii. The rules governing amendment over protest are contained in Chapter 211 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. The Director may prescribe forms for protest petitions. A protest against a rezoning shall be signed by the owners of 20 percent or more of the area included in such proposed rezoning or of the area of those lots within 200 feet of the property proposed for rezoning, as indicated on the most recently approved City tax roll. In the case of a protest against a rezoning, approval shall require three-fourths vote of the City Council for a rezoning to become effective. In such case, a supermajority vote shall not be required by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 76

82 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District 6. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations c. d. Adoption of a Planned Development District At the time a PD zoning document is approved by the City Council, it becomes an integral part of this DDC for that PD district established by the City on the property. All future development within the adopted PD district shall thereafter be in conformity with the PD zoning document for that property. Future Development Upon adoption of the PD district, the applicant may proceed with the development of the property in accordance with the PD zoning document and, the PD development standards document by applying for preliminary and final plat(s) approval in accordance with the phasing plan in the PD district. Administration and Enforcement i. ii. While ownership of a project may subsequently be transferred (in whole or in part), PD zoning will continue to be implemented and maintained on the total acreage of the PD district. It is the responsibility of the owner to notify all prospective purchasers of the existence of the PD district and the PD development plan. In the event that the applicant has failed to comply with the conditions adopted by the City Council in conjunction with the approved PD zoning document, the City may proceed in accordance with Section 6, Enforcement. Amendments to a Planned Development i. ii. Generally c. d. The applicant or its successors may request amendments to the PD zoning document and or PD development standards document. Amendments to the approved PD documents shall be delineated as major or minor amendments, according to the criteria set forth in this subsection. Amendments to the approved PD documents will not affect development units not included in the proposed amendment. Upon receipt of a PD amendment application, the Director 193 shall determine if the proposed amendment constitutes a major or minor amendment subject to the criteria in paragraphs ii and iii below. Major Amendments 194 An amendment will be deemed major if it involves any one of the following: A change in the overall PD district boundary; A significant change to the approximate boundary of one or more development unit(s) from that approved in the PD district, as determined by the Director. A change to an individual development unit generally shall be deemed to be significant if it represents a 10 percent 193 Currently DRC Chair. 194 Revised the determination authority to the Director rather than the DRC. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 77

83 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.3 Rezone to a Planned Unit Development (PD) District iii. iv. increase to the approximate gross area of the development unit as approved in the PD district; An increase of 10 percent or more of the approved number of projected dwelling units or gross leasable area (GLA) for an individual development unit; 4. Any change in land use or density that is likely to negatively impact or burden public facilities and utilities infrastructure as determined by the Director; 5. Any change in land use or density that is likely to negatively impact or burden mobility adjacent to the PD district or to the overall major street system as determined by the Director; or 6. Any other proposed change to the development plan, which substantively alters one or more components of the PD district, as determined by the Director. If the Director determines the amendment to be major, the amendment request shall be processed under the rezoning procedure described in Subsection 7. Minor Amendments c. d. e. Amendments not meeting one or more of the criteria listed above for major amendments shall be considered minor. If the Director determines the amendment to be minor, the Director may administratively act on the amendment and attach stipulations or conditions of approval thereto, to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. At least 15 days prior to consideration of a requested minor amendment by the Director, notice of the proposed minor amendment shall be mailed to each owner of property wholly or partly within 200 feet of the affected development unit(s) to which the amendment relates. If written protest to any minor amendment is received from any notified property owner within 10 days of the notification mailing date and such protest cannot be resolved, then the minor amendment shall be reclassified as a major amendment. No additional application shall be required; however, all provisions governing major amendments shall then apply. If written protest is not received as described above, the Director shall render a decision on the minor amendment request. The Director s decision shall be final unless appealed to the Planning and Zoning Commission pursuant to Subsection 4.8. Administrative Decision Appeals The applicant or a property owner within 200 feet may appeal an action or decision by the Director on minor amendments to the Planning and Zoning Commission within 10 days 195 from the date of the Director's decision. 195 Changed from seven days to 10 days to be consistent with other appeal processes. (current A) Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 78

84 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.4 Zoning Text Amendment v. Appeals shall be in writing on a form provided by the Director and shall include only the specific items being appealed. Appeals Concerning Size of a Planned Development An applicant may appeal to the Planning and Zoning Commission and then to City Council if the land area to be proposed for PD does not meet the minimum size requirements in paragraph 7.3B of this DDC when the applicant can demonstrate that: The development is unique and requires PD in order to be developed; and The development is not a single use. 7.4 A. B. C. Zoning Text Amendment 196 Purpose This section describes the review and approval procedures for amending the text of this DDC to respond to changed conditions or changes in public policy, or to advance the general welfare of the City. Applicability 197 A zoning text amendment shall be initiated by the Director, the Planning and Zoning Commission, or the City Council. DDC Amendment Procedure Figure 7-4 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of a zoning text amendment. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. 196 Mostly new procedures. Replaces the minimal standards in current 35.4, Zoning Amendment Procedure. 197 From 35.4.C(1)(d), revised to remove the ability of a property owner or their authorized agent to initiate a Code amendment. These are larger policy decisions (legislative amendments) that should be initiated by the City. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 79

85 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.4 Zoning Text Amendment Figure 7-4: Summary of Zoning Text Amendment Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations This step does not apply Application prepared by the Director Review by Staff P&Z and City Council hearings required P&Z review; City Council review and decision Zoning text amendment shall not authorize specific development activity Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing A zoning text amendment application shall be prepared by the Director. If the zoning text amendment is initiated by the Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council, the Director shall prepare the application at the request of the Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council. Step 3: Staff Review and Action The Director shall review the zoning text amendment application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings The zoning text amendment application shall be scheduled for public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council, and noticed in accordance with Subsection 4.6. Step 5: Review and Decision Planning and Zoning Commission Review and Recommendation The Planning and Zoning Commission shall review the zoning text amendment application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and shall forward its recommendation to the City Council. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 80

86 7 Plan and DDC Amendments 7.5 Annexation 6. c. City Council Review and Decision i. ii. The City Council may review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the zoning text application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5. If the City Council remands the application back to the Director or Planning and Zoning Commission, additional public hearings may be required before final adoption. Protest Procedure i. ii. The rules governing amendment over protest are contained in Chapter 211 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. The Director may prescribe forms for protest petitions. A protest against a zoning text amendment shall be signed by the owners of 20 percent or more of the area included in such proposed rezoning or of the area of those lots within 200 feet of the property proposed for rezoning, as indicated on the most recently approved City tax roll. In the case of a protest against a rezoning, approval shall require three-fourths vote of the City Council for a rezoning to become effective. In such case, a supermajority vote shall not be required by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Step 6: Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Post-decision actions and limitations in Subsection 4.8 shall apply with the following modifications: Approval of a zoning text amendment authorizes the approved revision to the text only. A zoning text amendment shall not authorize specific development activity. A zoning text amendment shall remain valid until the revised text of the DDC is subsequently amended in accordance with this Subsection Annexation 198 Annexation into the Denton city limits may occur pursuant to the procedures outlined in Chapter 43 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code and any other applicable City Ordinance. 198 Replaces current 35.14, Periphery Development Annexation Criteri This language aligns the DDC with provisions in the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 81

87 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.1 Variance A. B. C. Flexibility and Relief Procedures Variance 199 Purpose 200 This section describes the process for gaining relief from the strict application of the DDC, where literal enforcement of the DDC will result in an unnecessary hardship and where the variance is necessary to develop a specific parcel of land which cannot otherwise be developed in the same manner allowed for other similar parcels. The variance procedure is not intended to allow a use in a zoning district where it is not currently permitted, or to alleviate inconveniences or financial burdens imposed on landowners. 201 Applicability Any property owner seeking relief from this DDC may request a variance when the strict application of the DDC would meet the approval criteria listed in paragraph 8.1C. Variance Procedure The following variance procedure is established to comply with Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code and Figure 8-1 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 4 that apply to the review of variances. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. 199 Adapted from current 35.6, Zoning Board of Adjustment Procedure. Did not carry forward hardship variance from subdivision procedure currently approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The new suite of flexible standards introduced in the new DDC should address requests for minor deviations from the Code (i.,e., minor modification and PD development). 200 From the first portion of 35.6.B.2, revised for clarity. 201 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 82

88 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.1 Variance Figure 8-1: Summary of Variance Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Pre-application conference required Submit to Director Review by Staff Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing required Zoning Board of Adjustment review and decision Variance expires after 24 months inactivity Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference A pre-application conference shall be held in accordance with Subsection 4. Neighborhood Meeting Not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing 202 The variance application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with paragraph 4.3B. Initiation of a variance application may be made by recommendation of the Director or application by the property owner or their authorized agent. Step 3: Staff Review and Action 203 The Director shall review the variance application and prepare a staff report and recommendation in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the following specific approval criteria: Special circumstances or conditions apply to the parcel for which the variance is sought, which circumstances or conditions are peculiar to such parcel and do not apply generally to other parcels in the same district or neighborhood and that said circumstances or conditions are such that the strict application of the provisions of this ordinance would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of such parcel; 202 From current 35.6.C.1, revised to the Director instead of the City Manager. 203 Combination of the criteria from the zoning variance and the sign regulations variance. We did not carry forward paragraph 35.6.B.2 that specified which development regulations the Board may grant variances from, since it is stated in the applicability section that a variance can be granted from the zoning regulations, generally. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 83

89 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.1 Variance c. d. e. f. The granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property or improvements in the district or neighborhood in which the parcel is located; The variance granted is the minimum variance that will accomplish this purpose; The literal enforcement and strict application of the provisions of this ordinance will result in an unnecessary hardship inconsistent with the general provisions and intent of this ordinance and that in granting such variance the spirit of the ordinance will be preserved and substantial justice done; The granting of a variance is not solely for the purpose of mitigating a financial hardship; and The condition or feature that creates the need for the variance did not result from the owner's actions. Step 4: Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/Hearings Variance applications shall be scheduled for a public hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. All public hearings shall be noticed pursuant to Subsection 4.6, Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code 21008, and any rules of procedure adopted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Review and Decision The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall review and approve or deny the variance application in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and the specific approval criteria in paragraph 8.1C. After closing the public hearing, the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall take action consistent with this DDC and state law. A concurring vote of 75 percent 204 of the members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be required to approve a variance application. Post-Decision Actions and Limitations c. Notice of Decision Within five business days following any decision by the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Director shall provide written notification of such decision to the applicant. Expiration of Variance 205 If the property owner has not commenced development or obtained the required permits to carry out the approved variance within 24 months of the variance approval, the variance shall automatically expire. Non-Transferable 206 An approved variance shall apply only to the property or structure described in the approval and shall not be transferable to any other property or structure. 204 State Code requires a concurring vote of 75 percent of the members of the board (21009). 205 New. Would Denton like to impose expirations of a variance? 206 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 84

90 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.1 Variance d. e. Appeals The decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment is final and may be appealed to a district court, county court, or county court at law within 10 days after the date the decision is filed in accordance with the procedures contained in Chapter 211 of the Tex. Loc. Gov t. Code. Suspension and Revocation of a Variance 207 i. ii. iii. iv. When the City determines there is a failure to comply with any term, condition, or requirement made a condition of the approval of a variance, the City Council may direct the Building Official or Director, as appropriate, to suspend the variance pending compliance with the terms, conditions, or requirements under which the variance was approved. Notice of suspension or revocation of a variance shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall hold a public hearing no later than 45 days after notification. If the body granting the variance determines there is a failure to comply with any term, condition, or requirement made a condition of the variance, the body may revoke the variance or take such action as it considers necessary to ensure compliance. A decision to revoke a variance is effective immediately. Notice of the decision by the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be sent by certified mail. 207 From current Did not carry forward provisions for the special exception procedure. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 85

91 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.2 Minor Modification 8.2 Commentary: Minor Modification 208 As recommended in the Assessment Memo, this new minor modification procedure replaces the current Alternative Development Plan (ADP) and gives staff flexibility to approve minor deviations from certain dimensional or other numeric standards. The review standards are intended to ensure that they are approved only when justified by unique circumstances, rather than assumed an automatic deviation by right. This new procedure differs from the current ADP process by allowing staff to make the determination based on a set of qualifying criteri The application does not require Planning and Zoning Commission review; however, the Director may refer the application to the Planning and Zoning Commission. This procedure is intended to streamline development review times and to allow a degree of flexibility often required when developing challenging sites. Many communities use the minor modification procedure modestly at first, and then revise it to add additional adjustments or remove adjustments if the tool proves successful. In this draft, we include a table of allowable minor modifications to indicate which standards may be adjusted, and to what extent. A. B. Purpose The minor modification procedure is intended to allow minor modifications or deviations from the dimensional or numeric standards of this DDC with approval by the Director. Administrative adjustments are intended to provide greater flexibility when necessary, without requiring a formal zoning amendment or variance. The minor modification procedure is not a waiver of current standards of this DDC and shall not be used to circumvent the variance procedure. Applicability Generally The minor modification procedures shall apply to the standards and limitations established in Table 2, Allowable Minor Modifications. The minor modification procedure shall not apply to any proposed modification or deviation that results in: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. An increase in the overall project density; 209 A change in permitted uses or mix of uses; A deviation from the use-specific standards in Section --, Use-Specific Standards; A deviation from floodplain regulations in Section --; A deviation from sensitive area protection standards in Section --, Environmentally Sensitive Areas; A change to a development standard already modified through a separate minor modification or variance; or Requirements for public roadways, utilities, or other public infrastructure or facilities. 208 This new procedure replaces the current Alternative Development Plan procedure in its entirety. 209 Density metrics requires further coordination with Module 1: Zoning Districts and Uses. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 86

92 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.2 Minor Modification Table of Allowable Minor Modifications An application for a minor modification that is not related to a request for "reasonable accommodation" under the Federal Fair Housing Act or the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act may request only the types of adjustments shown in Table 2: Allowable Minor Modifications. Table 2: Allowable Minor Modifications DDC Standard Site Standards Allowable Minor Modification (maximum percentage) 210 Lot area, minimum 10 Lot coverage, maximum 10 Lot Dimensional Standards Front setback, minimum 10 Side setback, minimum 10 Rear setback, minimum 10 Encroachment into setback, maximum 10 Building Standards Building height, maximum 10 Accessory building height, maximum 10 Minimum unit sizes 10 Development Standards Number of required parking spaces 10 Lighting height, maximum 10 Sign height, maximum 10 Fence or wall height, maximum 10 (1 foot maximum) Minimum landscaping requirements 10 Reasonable Accommodations Under the FFHA 211 In response to a written application identifying the type of housing being provided and the portions of the Federal Fair Housing Act that require that reasonable accommodations be made for such housing, the Director is authorized to take any of the following actions in order to provide reasonable accommodations without the need for a rezoning or variance: i. ii. Modify any facility spacing, building setback, height, lot coverage, or landscaping requirement by no more than ten percent; or Reduce any off-street parking requirement by no more than one space. The Director may approve a type of reasonable accommodation different from that requested by the applicant if the Director concludes that a different form of accommodation would satisfy the requirements of the Federal Fair Housing Act with fewer impacts on adjacent areas. 210 These values are suggestions only and can be modified prior to adoption. 211 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 87

93 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.2 Minor Modification C c. d. The decision of the Director shall be accompanied by written findings of fact as to the applicability of the Fair Housing Act, the need for reasonable accommodations, and the authority for any reasonable accommodations approved. Requests for types of accommodation that are not listed above may only be approved through a variance or rezoning process. Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) 212 c. d. The Director may grant minor modifications in order to eliminate a substantial burden on religious exercise as guaranteed by the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, as amended. In no circumstance shall the Director approve an adjustment that allows a religious assembly use, or any uses, structures, or activities accessory to it, in a zoning district where this DDC prohibits such use or accessory use, structure, or activity. A person may claim that a provision of the DDC substantially burdens the person's free exercise of religion. In making such a claim a person shall give written notice to the City by certified mail, return receipt requested according to the provisions of Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code , et. seq. (Vernon Supp. 2001). The Director may grant a waiver or partial waiver of the provisions of the DDC according to federal or state law to accommodate a person's free exercise of religion. 213 Limitations on Minor Modifications 214 Except when requested as a reasonable accommodation for Federal Fair Housing Act ("FFHA") purposes, a request for an minor modification shall not be used to further modify a development standard that, as applied to the subject property, already qualifies as an exception to, or modification of, a generally applicable development standard required under Subchapter --: Development Standards. Minor Modification Procedure Generally An application for a minor modification shall only be submitted and reviewed concurrently with an application for a specific use permit, temporary use permit, site plan approval, or plat approval (minor, preliminary, final, conveyance, or replat). Each code standard in Table 2 shall be considered a separate minor modification request as it relates to the approval criteria in paragraph 8.2D, but multiple modifications may be considered in one minor modification application. Review and Decision Where the concurrently reviewed application requires review and approval by the Director, he Director shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the modification in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5 and the specific criteria in paragraph 8.2D. The 212 The first two paragraphs are new, the other provisions are from current 35.9, Religious Freedom Procedures. 213 Updated from City Council to Director. 214 New. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 88

94 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.3 Appeal of Administrative Decision D. 8.3 A. B. C. 4. Director may refer the minor modification to the Planning and Zoning Commission prior to making a decision. Where the concurrently reviewed application requires review and approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council, the Commission or Council, as applicable, shall review and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the modification in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, and the specific criteria in paragraph 8.2D. 215 Effect of Approval Approval of a minor modification authorizes only the particular modification of standards approved, and only to the subject property of the application. Expiration of Minor Modification A minor modification shall automatically expire if the associated development application is denied or if approval of the concurrently reviewed application expires, is revoked, or otherwise deemed invalid. Minor Modification Approval Criteria 216 In reviewing a proposed minor modification, the decision-making body shall consider whether and to what extent the modification is of a technical nature that: Compensates for an unusual site condition; Eliminates a minor inadvertent failure to comply with a DDC standard; or Protects a sensitive resource, natural feature, or community asset. Appeal of Administrative Decision 217 Purpose The purpose of this section is to establish a remedy whereby persons claiming to having been aggrieved by a decision of the Director or other administrative official in administering this DDC may appeal that decision administratively. Applicability Any person may appeal a decision of an administrative office or agency made in the administration or enforcement of this DDC. Appeals shall be made to the appropriate body as indicated in Table A: Summary of Development Review Procedures in accordance with state law. Procedure Figure 8-2 identifies the applicable steps from the common review procedures in Section 3 that apply to the review of appeals. Additions or modifications to the common review procedures are noted below. 215 This provision requires further discussion. 216 Replaces current A. 217 Replaces current 35.7.D. Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 89

95 8 Flexibility and Relief Procedures 8.3 Appeal of Administrative Decision Figure 8-2: Summary of Appeal Procedure Pre-Application Activities Application Submittal and Processing Staff Review and Action Scheduling and Notice of Public Meetings/ Hearings Review and Decision Post-Decision Actions and Limitations Optional Submit to Director within 10 days of decision being appealed Review and staff report by Director Hearing required with appeal decision authority depending on application type Review and decision depends on application type Further appeals to the courts Step 1: Pre-Application Activities Pre-Application Conference Not required. Neighborhood Meeting Not required. Step 2: Application Submittal and Processing An appeal application shall be submitted and accepted, and may be revised or withdrawn, in accordance with Subsection 4.4, with the following modifications: c. Burden of Proof on Appellant The appellant has the burden of proving the necessary facts to warrant approval of an appeal by the appropriate decision-making body. Such proof shall be provided at time of application. Time Limit Appeals shall be made in writing and filed with the Director within 10 days of the action or decision being appealed. Stay of Proceedings An appeal stays all proceedings from further action unless the Director determines that a stay would create adverse impacts to the health, safety, or welfare of the City or neighborhood. Step 3: Staff Review and Action The Director shall review the appeal application and prepare a staff report in accordance with the general approval criteria applicable to all applications in Subsection 4.5, with the following modifications: Denton, Texas Denton Development Code 90

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