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The City of Sugar Land Planning Department sent letters to property owners in The Hill area on June 10, 2020 notifying them of upcoming public hearings for a proposed rezoning and Development Code changes, including changes to The Hill Area Residential (HR-1) zoning district regulations. The public hearings are scheduled for the July 7th City Council Meeting where City Staff will present two ordinances to City Council on the proposed changes. Letters were sent to property owners in The Hill and property owners within 200 feet of the area being rezoned.
The homes east of Wood Street and north of Lakeview Drive are proposed to be rezoned as a result of The Hill Community Engagement project. In 2018, based on resident feedback, the City initiated a project to engage The Hill residents and property owners in evaluating whether there is a desire to maintain the character of The Hill neighborhood.
During the public engagement process, city staff informed The Hill community that the homes north of Lakeview Drive were zoned Standard Single-Family Residential (R-1) rather than Hill Area Residential (HR-1). The 38 single-family homes are very similar in character to the rest of The Hill neighborhood, and the community provided positive feedback to include them in the HR-1 zoning district. As a result of this community input, staff has initiated the process to rezone these properties to Hill Area Residential (HR-1).
Property owners can view the draft changes to the HR-1 zoning district regulations, including regulations that did not change, using the document link below. Any new or modified regulations are marked in yellow.
If City Council approves the rezoning for the homes east of Wood Street and north of Lakeview Drive, property owners wishing to make modifications to their home will need to follow regulations for The Hill Area Residential (HR-1) zoning district. However, property owners will not be required to change existing structures to meet the HR-1 zoning regulations.
In addition to the proposed rezoning and as a result of The Hill Community Engagement project, Development Code changes to the HR-1 zoning district regulations will also be presented to City Council at the July 7th meeting. City staff held an online town hall from February 28 through April 30 for The Hill community to provide input. The Planning and Zoning Commission also held public hearings at their May 28th meeting.
Property owners can access the current HR-1 zoning district regulations through Municode and review the proposed changes to the HR-1 zoning district regulations on the project webpage at www.sugarlandtx.gov/1981/HR-1-Zoning-District.
In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting will be conducted online. The City Council Chamber will be limited to 25% capacity. Members of the public wishing to speak during the public hearings scheduled for the July 7th City Council meeting regarding a proposed rezoning and Development Code changes may do so in three ways:
Written comments will be read into the record by City Staff. Those who register to participate live during the public hearings will receive instructions from the Office of the City Secretary. The meeting will live stream at https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1238/SLTV-16-Live-Video or https://www.youtube.com/user/SugarLandTXgov/live. Sugar Land Comcast Cable Subscribers can also tune-in on Channel 16.
Should the Centers of Disease Control, and/or the prevailing appropriate authority, lift the restrictions related to social distancing and the avoidance of large and small gatherings in public spaces prior to 72 hours of the date of the public hearings, the City of Sugar Land will provide notice to the public on the City Council meeting agenda at www.sugarlandtx.gov under “Meeting Agendas.”
For questions or assistance, please contact the Office of the City Secretary (281) 275-2730.
The Development Code is the collection of City ordinances that address all aspect of land development, including subdivision platting, zoning, site plan review, landscaping and tree protection, signs, flood mitigation and technical building codes. The Development Code ensures safe, orderly, and efficient development throughout the City in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan by providing for the public health, safety and general welfare of citizens. The Development Code was originally adopted in 1997 and provides the basis for the review of projects submitted by a property owner wanting to alter or develop property within the City of Sugar Land. The Development Code is updated periodically to clarify and update development standards in the City.
Zoning is a tool that most cities use to regulate land uses (e.g. residential, commercial, office, or industrial) and the physical development of land such as the size of buildings, and how buildings relate to their surroundings, including other buildings, open spaces, and the street. The purpose of zoning is to protect the value of property, prevent the establishment of nuisances, ensure compatibility between adjacent uses of land, and help to implement the land use objectives of a community’s comprehensive plan.
The City of Sugar Land is divided, or zoned, into thirteen (13) standard zoning districts and multiple customized planned development (PD) districts. The location and boundaries of the various zoning districts are shown on the City of Sugar Land official zoning map, which is available online at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov/273/City-Maps, under “Zoning Districts.” Each standard zoning district has development regulations that are housed in Chapter 2, Zoning Regulations of the City’s Development Code.
A rezoning involves a change from one official zoning district to another. When a property within the city limits of Sugar Land is rezoned, an ordinance is passed by City Council effecting a change in zoning designation and corresponding regulations for that property. For example, if a property is rezoned from Standard Single-Family Residential (R-1) to The Hill Area Residential (HR-1) and a property owner wants to build an addition, then the property must follow its new HR-1 zoning district development regulations. The Official Zoning District Map is also updated to reflect the zoning change. Before City Council takes action on the rezoning ordinance, the Planning and Zoning Commission provides a recommendation to the Council, but only Council has the authority to approve or deny rezonings. A property owner or the City can initiate rezoning a piece of property.
The Hill Area Residential (HR-1) district is a residential zoning district for the neighborhood known as The Hill, and was created with the adoption of the Development Code in 1997. This area is zoned differently due to the historic nature of the homes in this area, dating back to the 1920s when Sugar Land was a company town. However, the current regulations do not require new construction to build in character with the existing homes. In fact, many of the current HR-1 zoning district development regulations are the same as the Standard Single-Family Residential (R-1) zoning district regulations that apply throughout most residential areas in the city.