Through zoning, a community is divided into districts or zones, each of which has a set of regulations governing land use and the height, size, spacing and layout of buildings and other essential elements of developments. Zoning is a means of promoting the public health, safety, and general welfare. The authority to zone is granted to Texas cities by the state, and the process by which zoning is accomplished is spelled out in the Texas statutes.
From time to time, landowners may make application to change the zoning on his/her property, revise existing conditions relative to its use or development, or seek a special permit for a specific activity on the site. In order for such a change to take place, public hearings must be held before both the City Plan Commission and the City Council. A public hearing before the City Plan Commission is essentially a fact-finding session, leading to a recommendation. The final outcome of the request for a change in zoning is determined by the City Council.
In considering an application for rezoning, factors such as the surrounding zoning and land use, the appropriateness of the activity at the subject location, and provisions for buffering between incompatible land uses are taken into account.
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