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UDC is good for Boerne

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Boerne is about to adopt a single document that contains the city’s regulations and requirements related to development.

It’s called the Unified Development Code.

A UDC is a document that consolidates all development-related regulations, including zoning requirements, subdivision regulations, design and development standards and review procedures. The UDC has several advantages over maintaining separate zoning and subdivision ordinances.

Specifically, Boerne’s edition will contain zoning, platting and land subdivision regulations, design standards and development procedures.

City Planning and Community Development Director Laura Talley has said its intention is to set a clear picture of what it looks like to develop locally, providing more concrete examples of what is acceptable and eliminating some of the “gray area” that has caused contention in the past.

The code makes changes in acceptable environmental protections like tree preservation standards, drainage practices and incorporating the new low-impact development requirements outlined in the city’s subdivision ordinance.

The UDC, as written, also includes new guidelines for signage and an updated zoning map with new zoning categories. However, Talley said for most people the zoning changes won’t change anything as they mostly center on pinpointing uses in broad categories like “Industrial” to designations like “Office 1,” “Office 2” and “Office 3.” The updates will not include any changes to the building codes.

The document was made public on March 2, and the deadline to submit comments is Friday, March 20.

If everything goes according to plan, a public hearing will take place on March 31. That date was chosen to give residents time to review the UDC’s contents and submit comments to be addressed at that time.

There will be a second hearing and potential approval on April 14, or four weeks from today.

For months, city staff, council members and members of other boards have gone through the detailed document piece by piece under the guidance of a professional consultant. After its adoption, there will be periodic updates as needed.

We applaud everyone from Mayor Tim Handren to members of all the boards and staff who had a part in putting this document together. And we encourage the public to give it a thorough look and provide constructive comment.

It’s all about people working together for the good of our community.

Certainly, to have a single document as the city’s guide to development, as well as the rules and regulations in place, is a great thing. Sure, there may be some bugs to work out, but just like a budget, a document like this provides a blueprint and a map to follow to ensure the best is being done for our city and its residents.

Having a Unified Development Code is a big and needed step for Boerne, and we look forward to seeing how it will help our city continue to grow and prosper responsibly.

To view the plan, visit the city’s website at www.ci.boerne.tx.us.com and click on the master plan/UDC link.