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Posted on: December 8, 2021

City Kicks Off Unified Development Code


The City of New Braunfels has launched an update to the city’s land development-related ordinances, a process that will consolidate and streamline the various rules and regulations property owners follow when developing or building on their property.

Branded as the Land Development Ordinance (LDO), this update was a recommendation from residents coming out of the 2018 Envision New Braunfels Comprehensive Plan and will consolidate four land development-related ordinances into a unified code. Those four ordinances are:

  • Zoning Ordinance - Originally written in the 1960’s and then updated in the 1980’s, this ordinance includes zoning districts which separate activity by districts of compatibility
  • Subdivision Platting Ordinance - Originally written in the 1990’s, this ordinance includes rules for the laying out of roads, lots, and utilities 
  • Historic Preservation Ordinance - Originally written in the 1990’s, this ordinance includes processes and guidelines for preserving our historic structures and resources
  • Sign Ordinance - Originally written in 2006, this ordinance includes rules for commercial signage

This update does not include the International Building Codes, which are scheduled for their own separate cyclical update in 2022. 

“The existing ordinances were written at different times in New Braunfels’ history in order to achieve the goals of our community at those times,” said Planning and Development Services Director Christopher Looney. “But they are not equipped to implement the future vision of our residents reflected in Envision New Braunfels. In fact, the City’s Comprehensive Plan specifically calls for the creation of a unified development code. The Land Development Ordinance will do just that and addresses issues like housing variety, creative neighborhood layouts, more sidewalks, and better transitions between land uses.”

The City has hired Clarion Associates, Inc. to assist in the creation of the Land Development Ordinance, to include public meetings, interactive online engagement, interviews with key stakeholders, surveys, and more. The entire process is expected to take approximately a year and a half to complete. The first phase of that process, which is now underway, includes a thorough analysis and assessment of the current codes.

Residents who are interested in participating in this phase, or the overall process, are invited to learn more, sign up for updates, and take the first of several online surveys by visiting the Land Development Ordinance website. The current survey will be available until January 31st, 2022.

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