By Sahar Chmais
Dripping Springs is working on a development code rewrite, which was enacted in 1995 and has some outdated concepts for the city.
Rewriting the development code will help determine appropriate uses for each zoning district in certain areas, it will limit types of uses in areas, regulate the layout and form development and place development standards. There are multiple steps to accomplish the rewrite, but the city hopes it will be done by early spring or in the summer of 2022.
The anticipated schedule has multiple benchmarks. The first one is to connect the research, evaluate current ordinances and compare them with other cities. There will also be a public outreach to citizens, developers and home builders to gauge a response on how they feel.
The second benchmark is to evaluate the current comprehensive plan and zoning for comparison. Then begins the drafting ordinance, which would potentially be an open house, but that depends on COVID-19.
Third benchmark would be to draft an ordinance and create workshops with Planning and Zoning Commissions and City Council.
While the city is working with a short time frame, they are trying to get the zoning code rewritten due to concerns with the current code being outdated and finding a balanced density.
There are many goals the city is trying to achieve through the rewrite. Some of them are creating easier language for people to follow such as using plan English and making it easier to navigate through charts and figures. Updating the zoning districts to ensure current districts fit in with the character of Dripping Springs. Another goal is to streamline the application process making it easier for users, developers and city staff.
The team has more goals in mind.
The development committee will consist of two city council members, two planning and zoning commissioners, a city administrator and deputy, the city engineer, city attorney, planning department and any various consultants that are needed. They will meet once or twice a month to review the drafter ordinances.