Land Development Regulations (LDRs)
A major undertaking of the Progress Galveston initiative is an overhaul of the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs), including the zoning, subdivision, and related regulations that affect development in historic districts, wetlands, coastal areas, tree preservation, signage, etc. The project will also include a reworking of the City’s development review and approval processes.
Updated and enhanced LDRs will enable Galveston to pursue its economic development and revitalization objectives more effectively, while also improving the community's preparedness to withstand and ability to recover more rapidly from future natural disasters. Galveston has periodically amended and added to its zoning regulations since they were first adopted in 1968. The City's subdivision regulations date back to the 1950s and have not been revisited since 1988.
The LDR process is an opportunity to complete an across-the-board evaluation and take a holistic approach to upgrading the zoning and subdivision regulations and other development-related ordinances. This will help to ensure that they are better coordinated, reflect contemporary best practices for dealing with community planning issues, incorporate customized strategies for a barrier island setting, and help balance growth accomodation and protection of natural and historic resources.
City regulations and standards need to address the different contexts on the Island, from infill and redevelopment in the City's Urban Core and older established neighborhoods behind the Seawall, to commercial corridors like Seawall Boulevard and Broadway, to the newer residential developments on the West End. In all cases, the City's unique and eclectic character must be preserved and promoted.
The LDR update began in early 2011 and is scheduled for completion in December 2012 following public hearings and final City Council consideration. The LDR process runs concurrently with the completion of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and other Specialized Plans, which is important as these plans recommend potential regulatory adjustments or strategies for various community issues. Key steps in the LDR process include:
- Evaluation of Existing City Regulations: February 2011 to April 2011
- Amended Administrative Procedures and Subdivision Regulations: April 2011 to September 2011
- Remaining Elements and Overall LDR Draft: October 2011 to October 2012
- Public Review, Hearings and Potential Adoption: November 2012 to December 2012
To assist in the development of revised development reguations and standards, a Land Development Regulations (LDR) Work Group was established by the City. The work group includes the following representatives from the Planning Commission, Landmark Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee: