Zoning Public Hearing March 2020

If you are viewing this post, then you are one of the 8,000 property owners in Universal City that received a recent zoning letter.  The purpose of this post is to provide a brief synopsis in laymen terms of the proposed zoning text amendments.

  1.  The proposed changes do not affect residential properties; it only affects commercial properties such as businesses, schools, apartments, clubhouses and the like.
  2. Normally, State law requires that everyone within 200 feet of a commercial property receive the notice.  However, since the proposed text amendments effects all the commercial districts in the City, the City was required to notify all property owners even if they are more than 200 feet away from a commercial property.
  3. The letter does not refer to any single piece of commercial property in your area or in the City; it refers to ALL commercial property in the City.
  4. The proposed changes are as follows:
    • Add a definition of an Event Center:  The current zoning ordinance does not have this definition.  Some people think an event center is for sports, others think it is for parties, others for community outreach.  Adding the proposed definition will result in everyone using the same language and terms for an Event Center. 
    • Remove the Conditional Use Permit from the zoning use table:  The Current zoning ordinance allows for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to be requested if a business is not a perfect fit for an area of the business districts.  If the CUP is authorized, it remains with the land.  If the business that got the CUP moves out, then another business of the same type can move right in even if the City thinks the business use is no longer good for that area.  This can go on for years or even decades because the CUP stays with the property and is transferable from business to business and property owner to property owner.  Some persons refer to this as Grandfather Rights. To make faster changes to the business districts, the City is proposing to do away with the CUP.
    • Add Specific Use Permit to the zoning use table: A Specific Use Permit (SUP) is non-transferable; it removes Grandfather Rights.   A SUP is granted to one specific business or property owner, but if they move on or go out of business, then the Specific Use Permit goes away.  If the same type of business wants to move it, then they must request their own SUP and prove that they are a good fit for that area of the business district.  In the future, if an SUP is requested for a specific commercial property within 200 ft of your property, you will receive a letter from the City telling you the address of the property, the intended use of the property, and the dates and times when public hearings will be held.

Again, the current zoning letter does not refer to any specific piece of commercial property.  It refers ALL commercial properties in Universal City even if they are more than 200 ft from you.

Below you will find the proposed zoning text amendments written in zoning terms (jargon).  

Public Hearing for proposed amendments to the Zoning Use Table. Go to Municode to view the Existing Use Table.

SUBJECT: P.C. 527 & ZC 212— A request for text amendments to portions of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Universal City, Texas regarding the establishment of Specific Uses and Events Center Use, per zoning ordinance 581.

The Planning & Zoning Commission of Universal City, Texas will conduct a PUBLIC HEARING at 6:00 p.m., Monday, 02 March 2020 in the Council Chamber of the Municipal Building, 2150 Universal City Boulevard, Universal City, Texas to consider P.C. 527 & ZC 212. As Per the Local Government Code, a public hearing will be conducted again by City Council at its meeting to be held Tuesday, 17 March 2020 at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers, 2150 Universal City Blvd, Universal City, TX 78148. 

Public Hearing: P.C. 527 & ZC 212—A request for text amendments to the following portions of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Universal City, Texas:

  • Chapter 4-5 – Zoning, Appendix B: to establish a Specific Use definition
  • Chapter 4-5 – Zoning, Section 4-5-54: to establish Specific Use Permits purpose, scope, process, approval standards, no presumption of approval, revocation, and limitations of denials
  • Chapter 1-4 – Finance, Section 1-4-40(I): to establish Specific Use application fee
  • Chapter 4-5 – Zoning, Appendix B: to establish an Events Center definition
  • Chapter 4-5 – Zoning, Section 4-5-55: to establish Events Center Uses and Application Process
  • Chapter 4-5 – Zoning, Section 4-5-51 – Zoning Use Table: to include Specific Use Permit Required
  • Chapter 4-5 – Zoning, Section 4-5-52 – Use Table: to modify the Residential Uses, Civic Uses, Commercial Uses, and Industrial Uses, including certain definitions, related to Permitted Uses, Conditional Uses, and Specific Uses (see Note 1 below).

Note 1: View the specific proposed modifications to the Zoning Use Table, or please stop by the Development Services Department at City Hall located at 2150 Universal City Blvd. to obtain a paper copy

Further information on the zoning districts and the Existing Use Table can be viewed on Municode.

Posted 03 February 2020