Denison adopted temporary resolutions to comply with Texas legislation on zoning ordinances during the City Council meeting Monday.
Beginning Sept. 1, House Bills 2439, 2497 and 3167 will go into effect making a number of modifications to a local government’s zoning policies.
“These ordinances are meant to make blanket changes to current ordinances that will be in line with state law,” Denison City Manager Jud Rex said. ” They are temporary in nature until we have a chance to amend ordinances to change our regulations. The biggest impact is on removing the city’s ability to regulate exterior building materials.”
Here are three things to know about the new legislation
1. Material use mandates
Currently the city has the ability to determine which exterior materials a builder can use during construction. For example the city has neighborhoods zoned to have brick homes. Rex said under the new law if someone wanted to build a new, metal home in one of those areas, the city couldn’t stop them from doing.
However, there are exemptions.
Historic districts and districts of architectural significance put in place prior to 2019 are exempt. Those include the highway overlay zone as well as any planned development districts previously approved by the city.
“It will impact any new development going forward,” Rex said. “This is strictly exterior building materials. The question we get asked most often is in regard to metal carports which we don’t permit right now. That won’t be the case any longer. As long as the structure complies with building codes it doesn’t matter what the exterior is.”
2. A neighbor’s right to appeal
Currently the board of adjustment hears cases where a resident wants to build a structure on his or her property that isn’t compliant in some way. The most common issues are setbacks.
Under the new rules anyone with property within 200 feet of the property is allowed to appeal decisions to the board of adjustments.
Currently only the individual who filed the request initially can file for an appeal. The process for getting approved will remain the same. All that is different in those cases is the right of neighbor’s to appeal a decision.
3. Quicker appeals process
The final ordinance requires the local governments to approve a plat presented to them within 30 days of it being filed with the city.
Rex said that is all plays at all levels, from cities to counties and on up. There weren’t blanket deadlines before the law.
“I don’t think there will be a lot of adjustments for us,” Rex said. “For the most part we would approve them within 30 days anyways. We want to make sure we keep the process moving as quickly as possible.”