Zoning Ordinance – FAQ

 

The process of ordinances follow a certain path. For those that are interested, here is the simple version:

1) Planning and Zoning is given a directive by City Council to research a need brought to Council’s attention i.e. zoning ordinance, light ordinance, sign ordinance etc.

2) Planning and Zoning conducts regularly scheduled open posted meetings and where necessary and/or required by law holds public hearings to review and discuss proposed ordinances and resolutions prior to giving its formal recommendation to City Council.

3) Planning and Zoning makes its formal recommendation to City Council for consideration at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting. City Council will, as required by law and/or desired by Council, have their own public hearing(s).

4) City Council can choose to accept the recommendation made by Planning and Zoning, or, it can table it, reject it, or modify it in any way it sees fit, as long as the modification has been addressed during the previous public hearings. Should the Council’s required modification fall outside the recommendations discussed at previous public hearings, further public hearings will be required to address those modifications before City Council can adopt the final document.

5) The Planning and Zoning Commission CANNOT adopt zoning policy, it can only make recommendations. The Code Compliance Manager of the City CANNOT make changes to any recommendation or policy, he/she can only enforce the current policy adopted by City Council. City Council is the ONLY entity that can vote to adopt a zoning recommendation and make it a policy of the City of St. Hedwig. Once the zoning policy is adopted, the ONLY entity that can make a permanent change to it is City Council and only after the necessary public hearings have been held. The ONLY entity that can grant a variance to the zoning policy is the Board of Adjustments, after the required Board of Adjustments hearings have been held.

Zoning Ordinance FAQ’s:

When did the St. Hedwig Zoning Ordinance take affect?

The original zoning ordinance took effect in September of 2003. Since that time, it has had two updates: one in 2008, and most recently zoning ordinance 1404 was adopted in 2014. This ordinance repeals and replaces all previous St. Hedwig Zoning Ordinances.

Do the Zoning District restrictions in the Ordinance apply ONLY to property located with the 30.1 square miles of St. Hedwig City Limits?

YES, zoning district restrictions apply only to property located within the City Limits of St. Hedwig. For a current map of those districts please see the Ordinance page of this website. There are residential districts as well as a Historical Downtown District and various Commercial/Light Industrial districts color coded on the map. A copy of the map is also located inside City Hall and available for viewing during City Hall hours from 5-7pm Monday and Thursday of each week (unless otherwise posted). If you do not know if the property is located within the City Limits, the easiest way to find out is to look at the taxing jurisdiction listed on the property taxes. If taxes are paid to the City of St. Hedwig, the property is located within the City Limits.

When was the Zoning Map adopted?

The original Zoning Map was adopted in 2003 during the same time as the Zoning Ordinance. Since that time two updates have occurred: one in 2008 and most recently in 2014.

What are the main items in the Zoning Ordinance relating to residential properties?

1) Within the City Limits of St. Hedwig acreage requirements for residences are a minimum of 5 acres, unless written and dated proof via a deed shows the property was divided to smaller than the 5 acre minimum prior to September 2004.

2) All structures including residential structures, agricultural storage units, carports and garages require a building permit. The setbacks allowed in the zoning ordinance for a 5 acre parcel are minimum 25 feet from the side and rear property lines and minimum 75 feet from the front property line.

3) All properties located in the City Limits must have a minimum 30 foot frontage to a public road.

4) One extended family residence of 1000 square foot or less is allowed on each property as long as it is located behind the primary residence and does not have a separate driveway. It must abide by the requirements of the district in which it resides.

What if my property is able to meet the requirements listed above but I want to request a variance ?

If property owners are unable to meet the minimum requirements related to setbacks, frontage or acreage size a Board of Adjustments hearing is required for the property owner to request a variance to the Ordinance. The Board of Adjustments has specific guidelines set out by the Texas Local Government Code that they are required to use to determine the approval or denial of the variance request. Property CANNOT be granted a variance by any other entity other than the Board of Adjustments. For more information on a Board of Adjustments hearing and the guidelines they are required to use for decision making purposes, please see the Board of Adjustments page on this website.

Are there restrictions on the type of residence I can build on property located within the City Limits?

An individual landowner is not restricted to any type of residential structure other than the fact it must be a single family residence and must abide by the setback, road frontage and acreage minimums.

Are there restrictions on the type of residence I can build on property located in St. Hedwig’s ETJ?

Not at the present time. The current zoning ordinance only applies to property located within the City Limits of St. Hedwig.

Are there any restrictions on the amount of livestock, dogs, horses, etc allowed per residence in the Zoning Ordinance?

Commercial breeding or feeding of animals, birds, poultry, fish or reptiles is prohibited in residential districts. The operation of a commercial dairy, dog boarding kennel or veterinary hospital, or the operation of a commercial livery or commercial boarding stable for horses, a riding academy, or commercial rodeo and/or commercial roping arena is also prohibited. The restriction shall not be construed to prohibit the keeping of a reasonable number of domestic animals for family enjoyment, but where such domestic animals are kept, the premises shall be maintained in a clean condition and in a manner to avoid excessive noise, the breeding of flies or the production of noxious odors.

Are there any restrictions relating to Residential Home Office Businesses in the Zoning Ordinance?

Home Office businesses are allowed in the residential districts as long as it does not regularly cause clients or customers to come to the premises in a manner that disturbs the peace and quiet of the adjacent neighbors and/or community. The entrance to the Home Office is required to be within the dwelling, meaning a separate building cannot be used for conducting the home office business in a residential district.