The City Council of the City of Falfurrias voted to adopt the Zoning Ordinance on Wednesday, November __, 2014. The Ordinance as adopted can be found by clicking here and the Zoning Map can be found here.
Additionally, the City has opted to adopt Masonry Requirements for Commercial Development in certain zones. That Ordinance can be found here.
What is zoning?
Zoning is defined as the division of a jurisdiction into districts to enable the regulation of land according to the nature and use of the land in order to promote the orderly development of the area, and the protection of public health, safety and general welfare.
Zoning is land use planning used by local governments in order to designate permitted uses of land based on mapped zones that separate one set of land use from another. The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are considered incompatible. Zoning is used to prevent new development from interfering with residents and business and to preserve the established “character” of the city.
Zoning is the most common technique that local governments use to influence the location and density of development. A zoning ordinance has two parts: a text and a map. The text describes the different land use zones, density standards, allowable and non-allowable uses, development standards, and the administration of the process. The map shows the locations of the various zoning districts. A community’s planning commission usually drafts the ordinance. Once the draft is ready, a public hearing is held.
Zoning can include regulation of what kinds of activities will be acceptable on particular lots (based on their “zoned” identity). Such regulations include the densities at which these activities can be performed, the height of buildings, the amount of space structures may occupy, and the location of the building on the lot.
Most zoning systems, including the one designed for the City of Falfurrias, have a procedure for granting exceptions to the zoning rules.
Zoning excludes incompatible uses from residential areas. Many argue that because of this, property values are protected (i.e. can keep factories out of residential areas)
Zoning puts land to use for which it is best suited
Zoning can promote the public health and safety by requiring that lots be large enough to allow for the safe disposal of septic tank effluent, and by requiring that homes be spaced far enough apart that fires will not spread easily
Zoning enhances more orderly development by creating regulations pertaining to lot size, set back lines, building heights, and population density. Because of this, local residents can ensure that poor developments will not occur
Zoning can reduce congestion on public roads
Zoning can be important in attracting business and industry to an area because sufficient good land will be zoned for business and industry that is uniquely suited for business and industry
Zoning can protect against fire, explosion, noxious fumes and odors, heat, dust, smoke, glare, noise, vibration, radioactivity, and other nuisances
Some argue that zoning is a violation of property rights in which the government is establishing what a person may do with their land
It is also argued that zoning works against economic efficiency by restricting land usage, and can therefore hinder development in a free market economy