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BREAKING DOWN THE CODES The Land Development Ordinances project will review each of the four categories of the city’s codes and ordinances. LDOs are a set of regulations, standards and tools that describe what can be built and where in New Braunfels. LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCES
ORDINANCES TACKLING THE
Many codes and ordinances in New Braunfels have not been signicantly revised since the early 2000s. Recent population growth made some regulations ineective, ocials said, and stakeholders will work to update them.
A PATH TO REVISION
NOVEMBER 2021MAY 2022 • Code assessment conducted by Clarion Associates • Collect public input on existing codes
Zoning districts outline how pieces of property can be used.
• Conduct nal public meetings • Present LDO to City Council for adoption • Finalize transition plan • Begin implementing new codes
• City partners with Clarion Associates for project • Project kicks o • Background research conducted • Stakeholders interviewed
MAY 2022MARCH 2023
Includes rules for laying out roads, lots and utilities.
• Conduct public interest meetings • Draft new land development ordinances or LDO regulations
SOURCE: CITY OF NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Includes processes and guidelines for preserving historic structures and resources.
and goals titled the Code Assessment Report. The report took into account more than 700 commu- nity responses to a survey conducted in January, Looney said. “It’s really important to make the code easier to understand and to use and to provide a tool to implement Envision New Braunfels,” said Matt Goebel, project manager with Clarion Associates, during a June 3 public input meeting. “You’ve had incredible rapid growth and change. … So a new code is a [really] important goal for the city to help make growth more predictable for people that live here, for people that want to develop here.” Originally written in the 1960s and updated in the 1980s, the zoning ordinance includes zoning districts that separate activity and development by compatibility. Similarly the subdivision platting, historic pres- ervation and signage ordinances were written sev- eral decades ago and have only received piecemeal adjustments in recent years, Looney said. Looney gave current eorts to implement side- walks as part of the comprehensive plan as an exam- ple of changes that are hindered by the rule that properties are only required to install the feature when land is replatted. Additionally, some homeowners have been
required to go through an often expensive replatting process when renovating or building an addition to their home, he said, which is another issue that will be addressed during the project. Gathering input Representatives from existing city groups, such as the historic landmark and planning commissions, will work with individuals from a variety of related industries to evaluate the new code, Goebel said. “[The code] reminds me of a house when you have more people join the family, you just add on another room and after a while, it makes no sense, no logic to add to an existing old house,” said Johnnie Rosenauer, a retired professor of real estate at several universities in Texas and member of both the Work- force Housing Advisory Committee and the LDO citi- zen advisory committee. “As we’ve exploded, we just need to create a new system.” According to recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of New Braunfels jumped to more than 98,000 residents as of July 2021, up from approximately 56,080 in 2011. As the city continues its rapid expansion, Rosenauer said it is critical the remaining available land be uti- lized eectively to align with usages outlined in Envision New Braunfels, such as aordable housing,
This includes rules for commercial signage, such as height, appearance and location.
community space and walkable neighborhoods. In addition to creating standards for new develop- ment, the LDO will also re-evaluate the historic pres- ervation codes to better protect historically signicant buildings and neighborhoods throughout the city. Tara Kohlenberg, executive director of the Sophien- burg Museum and Archive and a lifelong resident of New Braunfels, said she is hopeful the new code will clarify historic preservation ordinances and outline how they will be enforced. “One of the things that makes New Braunfels so wonderful is the historic downtown. That historic downtown has taken work to preserve it,” she said. While four historic districts exist in the city, Kohlenberg said the current codes do not provide adequate parameters for changes made within them and do not appropriately protect structures, fea- tures or heritage trees. Tailoring historic district preservation standards
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