Brownsville streamlines zoning codes

Local News
February 07 2021 06:00 pm

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — The City of Brownsville City Commission has adopted a Unified Development Code (UDC) and Zoning map that Mayor Trey Mendez says streamlines the development process, making it less confusing.

This announcements comes from the city’s effort to provide improved planning and building processes

A business owner of a local coffee shop says they almost lost their business prior due to the complicated approval process to remodel/build within the city.

Business owner Martin Leal. 

“Oh it was a big jigsaw puzzle and the thing is we had to put together a puzzle that we didn’t know what the picture looked like,” said business owner Martin Leal. 

The city says the Unified Development Code (UDC) will create orderly growth and land development while protecting and promoting the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community.

This will be done by establishing a comprehensive guide that is in line with the policies and goals of the future land use plan and other relevant officially adopted plans of the city.

“The new Unified Development Code and Zoning Map will ensure that Brownsville has the tools needed to manage our city’s exciting growth while also maintaining the things that make our shared communities so special,” said City Manager, Noel Bernal. “The adoption of these tools aligns with our comprehensive plan and development priorities and puts us on the right path to grow in a fiscally sustainable manner in a post-COVID-19 world.”

The city hired the consulting team of Freese and Nichols, Inc. and after a year the code is finally revised. 

With clearer guidelines for building and remodeling, the planning and zoning department said the new plan is pro-business.

Rick Vasquez – Re-planning and zoning department

“From a developers perspective time is money, so we’re not going to waste time having different application of regulations they are standardized now,” said Rick Vasquez from the re-planning and zoning department.   

Now, developers do not have to wait 30 to 60 days to be approved by a board. It is the first time in 60 years the city’s code has been updated.

“For so long it seems that progress had been held back in Brownsville because this was so difficult to understand and navigate in certain respects,” said Mayor Trey Mendez. 

“We really took the customer service oriented approach; we want people to feel that there is customer service in our planning department—like they’re welcomed,” said Mendez. 

The City Commission voted to adopt the UDC and Zoning Map on November 19.

They were developed in partnership with Freese and Nichols, Inc. (FNI).

These regulations are adopted pursuant to the authority granted by the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and the laws of the State of Texas, specifically Chapters 211 and 212 of the Texas Local Government Code.

For more information on the UDC and Zoning Map, please click here.

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