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Brownsville, Texas, Code of Ordinances >> PART II - CODE OF ORDINANCES >> Chapter 348 - ZONING >> ARTICLE III. - DISTRICTS IN GENERAL >> ARTICLE III. - DISTRICTS IN GENERAL

Sec. 348-96. - Established. Sec. 348-97. - Official zoning atlas. Sec. 348-98. - Applicability and compliance. Sec. 348-99. - More restrictive exceptions. Sec. 348-100. - Less restrictive exceptions. Sec. 348-101. - Mobile homes and mobile home parks. Secs. 348-102—348-125. - Reserved.

Sec. 348-96. - Established. (a) The city is divided into use districts, area districts, and overlay districts, as shown on the official zoning atlas. The official zoning atlas, together with all explanatory matter thereon, is adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. (b) At each given point within the city, property shall be within one and only one use district. At each given point within the city, property shall be within one and only one area district. At each given point within the city, property may be within zero, one, or more overlay districts. (c) This chapter establishes a total of 12 use districts. The exact names of such use districts (and their zoning atlas symbols) are listed respectively in descending order from the most restrictive to the least restrictive as follows: = Dwelling = Dwelling/retail = Apartment = Professional Office = Light Retail = Medium Retail = General Retail = Light Commercial = Medium Commercial = Light Industrial = Medium Industrial = Heavy Industrial

(D) (DR) (A) (1C) (2C) (3C) (4C) (5C) (6C) (7C) (8C) (9C)

(d) This chapter establishes a total of 11 area districts. The exact names of such area districts are listed respectively in descending order from the most restrictive to the least restrictive as follows: "V"


"W" "X" "Y" "Z" "A" "F" "G" "E" "H" "J" (e) This chapter establishes base zoning classifications. The name of each such classification shall consist of the name of the one applicable use district followed by the name of the one applicable area district. Any use district may be combined with any area district. At no point within the city shall one base zoning classification overlap another base zoning classification. At no point within the city shall property fail to have a base zoning classification. The restrictiveness of any given base zoning classification, compared to another base zoning classification, shall be determined primarily by subsection (c) of this section and secondarily by subsection (d) of this section. (f) This chapter establishes a total of nine overlay districts. The name of each overlay district shall constitute a suffix to be appended to the name of any base zoning classification underlying such overlay district. The exact names of such overlay districts are listed as follows: O11. O21. O31. O32. O33. O41. O51. HD. HL. (g) All territory annexed to the city on or before May 12, 1981, has been and shall continue to be considered to be zoned to a Dwelling "A" classification unless zoned to one of the other zoning classifications. (h) All territory annexed to the city after May 12, 1981, and before October 4, 1995, has been and shall continue to be considered to be zoned to a Dwelling "G" classification unless zoned to one of the other zoning classifications. (i) All territory annexed to the city on or after October 4, 1995, shall be considered to be zoned to a Dwelling "Z" classification until otherwise classified. (j)


As soon as practicable after the enactment of an annexation ordinance, the director shall submit to the zoning commission a draft of the zoning commission's preliminary report to the city commission on the recommended zoning-classification boundaries for the territory being annexed. (k) As soon as practicable after the effective date of an annexation ordinance, the director shall file zoning applications consistent with the zoning commission's adopted preliminary report. (Code 1971, app. B, § 2(a); Ord. No. 235.4, § 5, 5-12-1981; Ord. No. 235.7, §§ 1, 9, 11, 3-26-1986; Ord. No. 87-235.12, § 1, 7-7-1987; Ord. No. 87-235.14, § 6, 9-15-1987; Ord. No. 89-235.18, §§ 19, 24, 1-17-1989; Ord. No. 91-235.21, § 1, 8-20-1991; Ord. No. 95-235.22, pt. 1, 10-3-1995; Ord. No. 2001-235.49, pt. 1, 4-24-2001)

Sec. 348-97. - Official zoning atlas. (a) Regardless of the existence of purported copies of the official zoning atlas which may from time to time be made or published, the official zoning atlas which shall be located in the office of the city planning department shall be the final authority as to the current zoning status of land and water areas, buildings, and other structures in the city. (b) Each overlay district shall be shown on one or more sheets of the official zoning atlas. An overlay district shall either be superimposed on the same sheet which shows the base zoning classifications or be incorporated onto such sheet by referring to another atlas sheet which shows one or more overlay districts only. (c) If the official zoning atlas becomes damaged, destroyed, lost, or difficult to interpret because of the nature or number of changes and additions, the city commission may by resolution adopt a new official zoning atlas which shall supersede the prior official zoning atlas. The new official zoning atlas may correct drafting or other errors or omissions in the prior official zoning atlas, but no such correction shall have the effect of amending the original official zoning atlas or any subsequent amendment thereof. Each sheet of the new official zoning atlas shall be identified by the signature of the mayor attested by the city secretary and bearing the seal of the city under the following words: "This is to certify that this official zoning atlas supersedes and replaces the official zoning atlas adopted on (date of adoption of atlas being replaced) as part of Ordinance Number ____________ of the City of Brownsville, Texas." (d) Unless the prior official zoning atlas has been lost or has been totally destroyed, the prior atlas or any significant parts thereof remaining shall be preserved, together with all available records pertaining to its adoption or amendment. (Code 1971, app. B, § 2(b), (c); Ord. No. 235.4, § 5, 5-12-1981; Ord. No. 235.7, §§ 1, 9, 11, 3-26-1986; Ord. No. 87-235.12, § 1, 7-7-1987; Ord. No. 87-235.14, § 6, 9-15-1987; Ord. No. 89-235.18, §§ 19, 24, 1-17-1989)

Sec. 348-98. - Applicability and compliance. (a) No building, structure, lot, land, water, or part thereof shall be used,


arranged, altered, or occupied within the corporate city limits except in conformity with all applicable sections of this chapter. (b) No building, structure, or part thereof shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, razed, arranged, designed, or moved within the corporate city limits except in conformity with all applicable sections of this chapter. (c) All sections of this chapter shall be considered to be applicable unless clearly stated otherwise in this chapter. (d) Where any violation of any section of this chapter already exists, no person shall cause the extent of such violation to be increased. (e) No part of a yard, other open space, off-street parking area, loading space, lot area, or gross lot area required about or in connection with any structure for the purpose of complying with this chapter shall be included as part of any yard, space, or area similarly required for any other structure. (f) This chapter may include but need not be limited to regulations and restrictions with respect to the following: (1) The height, number of stories, dimensions, size, floor-area ratio, and bulk of buildings and of other structures; (2) The percentage of lot that may be occupied; (3) The width or size of the yards, courts, and other open spaces; (4) The density of population and of dwelling units; (5) The location and use of buildings, structures, and land; (6) The materials of buildings and structures; (7) The width and area of lots; and (8) The parking of vehicles. (g) All such regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of building throughout each district, but the regulations in one district may differ from those in other districts. (h) In each Dwelling/retail or Professional Office, Light Retail, Medium Retail, General Retail, Light Commercial, Medium Commercial, or Light Industrial use district, all proposed uses are prohibited and all existing uses are declared to be nonconforming, except for those uses that shall qualify as permitted uses by meeting the following requirements for each respective use district: (1)


The use shall be listed following the heading, "permitted uses," and such use shall not be listed following the heading, "prohibited uses"; or (2) The use shall be listed following the heading, "conditional uses," all conditions listed therewith shall be met, and such use shall not be listed following the heading "prohibited uses." (i) This chapter does not apply to building, other structure, or land under the control, administration, or jurisdiction of a state or federal agency. (j) This chapter applies to a privately owned building or other structure and privately owned land when leased to a state agency. (Code 1971, app. B, § 2(d); Ord. No. 235.4, § 5, 5-12-1981; Ord. No. 235.7, §§ 1, 9, 11, 3-26-1986; Ord. No. 87-235.12, § 1, 7-7-1987; Ord. No. 87-235.14, § 6, 9-15-1987; Ord. No. 89-235.18, §§ 19, 24, 1-17-1989)

Sec. 348-99. - More restrictive exceptions. Wherever the following differ from the other sections of this chapter, the provisions that govern shall be those that are more restrictive or that impose higher standards: In each corner yard located outside "downtown," no building, structure, tree, plant, or object other than a parked vehicle shall be erected, placed, planted, or allowed to grow in such a manner as materially to impede vision between a height of 2.5 feet and ten feet above the centerline grades of the intersecting streets. Wherever two area districts abut and at least one of such districts is an "X," "Y," "F," or "G" area district, the minimum depth of rear yard and the minimum width of side yard along the adjacent lot lines shall be that which is required by the more restrictive area district. Wherever an Apartment "G" or more restrictive classification abuts a use allowed only in a Medium Commercial or less restrictive use district, the following shall be applicable: A class L permit shall be one of the prerequisites for any development of any such use; and Such use shall provide a screening fence in accordance with section 344-132, except that the fence shall be at least eight feet high and shall have no gate or other opening. No new two-family dwelling shall be allowed in an area automatically zoned to a Dwelling "Z" classification as a result of annexation unless and until: Such interim zoning has been converted into permanent zoning by means of an approved city-initiated or owner-initiated zoning application; The lot is large enough and wide enough to comply with the area district; and The use is permitted by the use district. No apartment, boardinghouse, or lodging house shall be allowed as a permitted use in an area which is annexed on or after January 1, 1985, and which is ever zoned by a city-initiated zoning application, unless the proposed development complies with the area district and unless the lot: Is in an Apartment use district;


Has a specific-use ordinance allowing such use; or Is in a Professional Office or less restrictive use district combined with an O21 (pyramidal) overlay district. No two-family dwelling shall be allowed as a permitted use in an area which is annexed on or after January 1, 1985, and which is ever zoned by a city-initiated zoning application, unless the proposed development complies with the area district and unless the lot: Is in a Dwelling/retail, Apartment, Professional Office, Light Retail, Medium Retail, General Retail, Light Commercial, Medium Commercial, or Light Industrial use district; Has a specific-use ordinance allowing such use; or Is in a Medium or Heavy Industrial use district combined with an O21 (pyramidal) overlay district. In an area which is annexed on or after January 1, 1985, and which is ever zoned by a city-initiated zoning application, the minimum depth of each front yard shall be 25 feet except for front yards abutting the following streets: (0)-foot-front-setback streets. (10)-foot-front-setback streets. (30)-foot-front-setback streets. (50)-foot-front-setback streets. (75)-foot-front-setback streets: all state-maintained arterials not otherwise listed in this subsection. (100)-foot-front-setback streets: FM 511. Expressway 77/83 (north of FM 511). Paredes Line Road (north of FM 3248). Military Highway (northern side west of FM 3248). (125)-foot-front-setback streets. (150)-foot-front-setback streets. Other exceptions: Whenever any of the front setbacks in this subsection would simultaneously exceed 25 feet and exceed 20 percent of a lot's average depth, the minimum depth of such lot's front yard shall automatically be reduced just enough to avoid exceeding such 20 percent. For a corner lot, the minimum depth of such lot's front yard along the one principal abutting street shall be the same as for a noncorner lot; however, the minimum depth of such lot's front yard along all other abutting streets shall automatically be reduced, if necessary, just enough to avoid exceeding 20 percent of the lot's average depth relative to such nonprincipal street. (Code 1971, app. B, § 14; Ord. No. 235.4, § 7, 5-12-1981; Ord. No. 235.9, § 1, 7-8-1986; Ord. No. 87-235.12, §§ 3, 4, 7-7-1987; Ord. No. 87-235.15, § 1, 1-5-1988; Ord. No. 89-235.18, § 23, 1-17-1989; Ord. No. 95-235.24, pt. 1, 10-3-1995; Ord. No. 95-235.27, pt. 1, 11-28-1995; Ord. No. 95-235.28, pt. 1, 11-28-1995; Ord. No. 95-235.29, pt 1, 11-28-1995; Ord. No. 96-235.32, pt. 1, 2-27-1996; Ord. No. 2001-235.49, pt. 3(14.A.3, 14.A.5.c, 14.A.6.a, 14.A.6.c), 4-24-2001)

Sec. 348-100. - Less restrictive exceptions.


Wherever the following differ from the other sections of this chapter, the provisions that govern shall be those that are less restrictive or that impose lower standards, except as provided by section 348-99: On any lot separately owned as of October 28, 1932, or as of the time of its annexation, a one-family dwelling may be erected, even though the lot is of less width and area than required by the regulations of the area district in which it is located. The ordinary projections of windowsills, belt courses, cornices, eaves, bay windows, balconies, and other ornamental features may extend not more than 1.5 feet into the required rear yard, side yards, and front yard; provided, however, that such features and porches may extend further into the required front yard so long as they remain at least 15 feet from the principal front line of the lot and at least ten feet from all other front lines of the lot. If a person owns property abutting both sides of a lot shown in the county map records and if any building is or shall be astride such line, the existence of such line shall be ignored for the purposes of this chapter. Carports in an "X" or "Y" area district shall be treated as if they were in an "F" area district. At any and all times, the owner of a premises with a nonconformity (defined as any situation which does not comply with existing zoning regulations but which was lawful immediately before such regulations became applicable to such premises) has the right on such premises, in addition to any rights mentioned elsewhere in this chapter, to: Submit specific-use ordinance applications for the same use as the nonconformity; or Reconstruct, for whatever reason, the nonconformity without board of adjustment action if the city building official, after posting notice on such premises and waiting five days, determines that: The owner has submitted sufficient evidence documenting the nonconformity, and such evidence has been made a permanent record of the city; The new construction complies with the latest city building, electrical, plumbing, fire, gas, mechanical, housing, and swimming pool codes; Any proposed nonconforming use is the same use as the existing nonconforming use; The extent of the residential nonconformity is not increased, other than by enlarging the floor space by up to 100 percent without increasing the number of dwelling units; and The extent of the nonresidential nonconformity is not increased. (Code 1971, app. B, § 14; Ord. No. 235.4, § 7, 5-12-1981; Ord. No. 235.9, § 1, 7-8-1986; Ord. No. 87-235.12, §§ 3, 4, 7-7-1987; Ord. No. 87-235.15, § 1, 1-5-1988; Ord. No. 89-235.18, § 23, 1-17-1989; Ord. No. 95-235.24, pt. 1, 10-3-1995; Ord. No. 95-235.27, pt. 1, 11-28-1995; Ord. No. 95-235.28, pt. 1, 11-28-1995; Ord. No. 95-235.29, pt. 1, 11-28-1995; Ord. No. 96-235.32, pt. 1, 2-27-1996; Ord. No. 2001-235.49, pt. 3(14.A.3, 14.A.5.c, 14.A.6.a, 14.A.6.c), 4-24-2001)

Sec. 348-101. - Mobile homes and mobile home parks. Upon recommendation of the city planning and zoning commission and after public


notice and hearing, the city commission may grant a special permit allowing mobile homes and mobile home parks in any use district. Before granting such permit the city commission shall ascertain and determine that: (1) The establishment of such mobile home and/or mobile home park at the proposed location will be in accordance with the city's comprehensive plan established by the zoning ordinance for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morals and general welfare thereof, and necessary safeguards to effect such purposes may be made a condition for the granting of such permit and included therein; and (2) The party seeking such permit has fully complied with all sections of chapter 316 governing the establishment of mobile homes and mobile home parks. (Code 1971, app. B, § 8A; Ord. No. 235-AA, § 1, 2-26-1971)

Secs. 348-102—348-125. - Reserved.

Brownsville_Zoning Districts  

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