Sugar Land City Hall

Rumor versus Fact

Rumor versus Fact: Keep up to date on the latest information that aims to dispel inaccurate information about recent City initiatives and community concerns.

Aug 16

Rumor:Voters approved two of three projects in 2013;City says voters ok'd tax increase for three.

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 4:19 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: This is not true. The three projects included in the 2013 bond election would have required a 5 cent increase on the tax rate. Voters approved bonds totaling $31.5 million and authorized only 3.1 cents of the proposed 5 cent tax increase to fund two of the three parks projects. To date, the city has only increased the tax rate .7 cents. The remaining voter-authorized tax increase has not yet been implemented.
Jun 21

Rumor: Short-term rentals are prohibited because they do not generate HOT taxes like a hotel would.

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 1:35 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: There is a misconception that Sugar Land prohibits STRs for the purpose of collecting more revenue when in fact, any owner that is operating a lodging business – including a short term rental – anywhere in the state of Texas is required to collect state hotel occupancy taxes that must be submitted to the State Comptroller. Additionally, if STRs were allowed in Sugar Land (they are not), they would also be subject to the city’s hotel occupancy tax.

The purpose of the city’s regulations is to preserve neighborhood integrity. Authorizing this type of commercial operation to exist within residential districts disrupts the nature of that residential district. Several of the concerns expressed by Sugar Land residents living near a short term rental (STR) have been:
  • Increased traffic associated with the STR
  • Nuisance complaints regarding parties/noise, trash and parking issues
  • Concerns regarding strangers coming in and out of the neighborhoods on a frequent basis
Jun 21

Rumor: Sugar Land allows short-term rentals to operate within the city limits.

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 9:19 a.m. by Web Admin

Fact: While short-term rentals (STRs) have become quite popular across the country, the use of a residential property as an STR advertised via websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, etc. violates the city of Sugar Land zoning regulations. STRs are classified under SIC Code #7021 Rooming and Boarding and are prohibited within residential zoning districts. The information can be found in the Sugar Land Development Code Land Use Sec. 2-71 at
Jun 05

Rumor: The Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land has building violations

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 2:08 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: The Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land was designed and constructed in accordance with all appropriate codes and the proper inspection procedures were followed as outlined by the city and state. Additionally, the building also went through a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation inspection, which – as is common in large scale building construction projects – did identify 33 violations, all of which were related to accessibility and did not impact life-safety measures. Though the city has up to one year to rectify the violations in accordance with state code, these were remedied by March 31, 2017, and the building currently has no violations. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation holds the Smart Financial Centre’s inspection status as approved. 
Jun 05

Rumor: The city of Sugar Land can control the railroads and rights of ways at the crossings

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 2:07 p.m. by Web Admin

Fact: UPRR owns the rights to the railroad and all of the rights of way at the crossings. The city cannot have any work performed within 25 feet of the rail track without proper permits from UPRR. However, the city works with UPRR to address the concerns of Sugar Land residents during their projects.
May 30

The city knows when the railroad crossing arms are down or malfunctioning

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 8:40 a.m. by Web Admin

As motorists ourselves, we understand the frustration of the “ghost train” and malfunctioning crossing arms. It is not guaranteed that the city will receive notifications of these issues ahead of time. We are working on improving the communication process with Union Pacific to receive more immediate railroad service notifications, future construction schedules and work as they make changes to try and address the ongoing issues. We ask that our citizens partner with us in delivering messages to Union Pacific Railroad when they encounter issues with the tracks by contacting the UP Response Management Communications center at 888-877-7267.
Jun 22

The City should or can hold a referendum election regarding the use of red light cameras.

Posted on June 22, 2016 at 2:59 p.m. by Web Admin

State law and City Charter does not allow Sugar Land to call a non-binding referendum election to gauge public opinion. To do so would require an election to amend the City Charter. The Texas Constitution, Article XI, Section 5 (b) provides that “…no city charter shall be altered, amended or repealed oftener than every two years.” On May 7, a city charter election was held; therefore, an election cannot be held to amend the city charter sooner than Nov. 6, 2018.

A Secretary of State legal opinion posted at explains that a non-binding referendum cannot be held.
May 27

Classification of the senior independent living facility use (Telfair Tract 5 PD zoning application)

Posted on May 27, 2016 at 4:33 p.m. by Web Admin

The City classifies senior independent living facilities as a Residential Care Limited to Homes for the Aged, and Rest Homes (SIC 8361) per the City’s Land Use Classification Matrix.

Included in the recently submitted Telfair Tract 5 Planned Development zoning application (proposed by Newland Communities) is an option to locate a senior independent living facility that will not only have an age-restricted requirement, but other requirements such as a required common dining facility, and optional transportation, housekeeping, and other services and features. The proposal is similar to a project in the Imperial development, known as The Overture. This is not considered in the same category as standard multi-family housing.
May 27

PD approved, age-restricted senior independent living facilities can be converted

Posted on May 27, 2016 at 4:32 p.m. by Web Admin

No, an age-restricted senior independent living facility approved through Planned Development (PD) cannot be converted without a public hearing and zoning amendment to the PD ordinance.
Mar 16

Ordinance 2014 doesn't allow two-story buildings under urban requirements

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 4:04 p.m. by Doug Adolph

RUMOR: It was stated on a local Facebook page that "Ordinance 2014 does not allow for two-story (buildings) under the urban requirements, and the only power left to the City under the new ordinance is landscaping, set back and exterior finishes."  This implies the updated Development Code does not provide the City with the ability to impose restrictions on developers through the planned development process.

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