Texas Legal

Mickelson, Kimberley
February 2006
Planning;Feb2006, Vol. 72 Issue 2, p46
Trade Publication
The article focuses on various issues related to urban planning in Texas. Texas has adopted some of the aspects of the Standard Zoning Enabling Act which was drafted by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1920s. In Texas, counties have very limited planning authority. Earlier there was very little emphasis on comprehensive planning in the state. In 2001 new status were added to comprehensive plans of municipalities. The status aims at promoting the sound development of municipalities. The provision allows the municipal governing body to decide whether to prepare a comprehensive plan and what it should include. Zoning in Texas is applicable within municipal boundaries only. Property owners have vested rights in the original zoning classification and this right has been given to them after amendments to the measure passed in 2003 and 2005. The impact of this law on planning departments is still not very clear. A number of Texas cities have adopted form-based codes, specific-use permit processes and development agreements for particular projects in order to encourage downtown development.


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