While we have been told for nearly a year that the new Chapter 42 development regulations would only be applicable to properties inside of Beltway 8, the Administration has recently decided to create ONE SET OF DEVELOPMENT RULES applicable to the entire city. Thus the movement of the “Urban” development line to Beltway 8 (and the distinctions between “Urban” and “Suburban” development) are being replaced by making the new Chapter 42 rules applicable to the ENTIRE CITY.
We have previously called out only a few neighborhoods in Memorial SN (those inside Beltway 8) where the new rules would be applicable. We have previously told Briar Forest SN that the new rules would only be applicable to Briar Grove Park. And we have told the Eldridge/West Oaks SN that the new rules would not affect it at all.
THIS HAS CHANGED!!!
First, remember that these new rules will only allow denser single family developments in neighborhoods that do not have deed restrictions that (i) either provide that lots may not be further subdivided or create a minimum lot size (e.g., if your deed restrictions require the minimum lot size in your neighborhood to be 10,000 square feet, a developer cannot under the new rules subdivide a 10,000 square foot lot into 4 home sites with a shared driveway) and (ii) create building set back lines either in the deed restrictions or by reference to a recorded plat.
Now is the time for subdivisions in the city limits outside of Beltway 8 to check their deed restrictions and make sure they feel they are adequately covered (hopefully those inside the Beltway have heeded our advice and checked on this long ago).
For those neighborhoods that do not have these protections, the new ordinance creates a mechanism to create a Special Minimum Lot Size Area. This is done through a petition process and now may include up to 500 home sites in the same subdivision (before, you had to apply blockface by blockface). These provisions will be in place for 6 months before the new revisions would go into effect to allow neighborhoods time to apply. Let us hear from you if your neighborhood is in this position, so we can reach out to you with information on the petition process as it becomes available.
If you read anything in this package, please read the 3 page Summary of ProposedChapter 42 Amendments dated November 29, 2012. It gives a good overview of the new proposed revisions.