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Georgetown Planning and Development Department Staff Report

City Council Public Hearing and First Reading

Meeting Date: January 25, 2011

Report Date: January 14, 2011

Item Description
Public hearing and first reading of the Ordinance to adopt the proposed Fifth Round of
the 2008-2009 Annual Unified Development Code (UDC) Amendments.

In 2008, the City Council approved a revised process for the annual review and
amendment of the UDC. The process involves citizen participation in the form of a
UDC Task Force, which is comprised of self appointed members, the general public, the
Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and final decision by the City Council. At the
same time the Council also adopted the 2008-2009 UDC Amendment List, which was
recommended by the P&Z as well as the UDC Task Force.
Since that time, staff has worked with the UDC Task Force to prepare language for the
proposed UDC Amendments. This agenda item represents the fifth round of 08-09
UDC amendments and the proposed text in Exhibits 2-6 is being presented to the City
Council for review and discussion. The remaining 2008-2009 List, as amended, is
included here as Exhibit 1 with items reviewed within this round highlighted.
Public workshops to allow additional public review and comment were held on
December 1st and 2nd. Three (3) persons attended the meetings who were interested in
the home-based business revisions, and they all preferred Option 1.

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) public hearing was held on December 7.
After hearing several speakers and discussion, the P&Z recommended approval of the
balance of the amendments as presented and Section 5.03.020.E. with the options
recommended by staff. See the end of the report for more detail regarding the

On December 14, 2010 and January 11, 2011, the City Council held workshops on the
proposed amendments and asked that staff include the P&Z recommendation in the
proposed ordinance and include a home business registration option as well for further
consideration. For informational purposes, staff has included all of the UDC Task Force

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Home-Based Business options in the discussion in the Overview section of this report.

The following summarizes the revisions proposed in the fifth round of UDC
amendments, organized by subject.
Residential Additions and Infill within the Old Town Overlay District (Exhibit 2)
This proposed text amendment addresses the UDC List item intended to keep new
residential construction in the Old Town Overlay in scale with the existing historic
character of the area. The concern expressed by some of the members of the Task Force
was that there were no requirements to ensure construction related to a new home or
additions to an existing home remained in context with surrounding homes. The
proposed UDC amendment would set limitations beyond those of the underlying
zoning district (generally RS) for all single and two family residential additions or new
home construction in the Old Town Overlay District. These limitations could not be
exceeded without approval of a Certification of Design Compliance (CDC) by the
Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC). Variance approval by the
Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) would still be required, in addition to the HARC
approval, for any proposed construction that would also exceed the underlying zoning
district requirements. The proposed limitations are summarized below.
1. Additions will not be made to the street facing façade of an existing single or two
family dwelling. (RS district establishes a minimum front setback of 20 feet.)
2. Single and two family structures will be limited to 30 feet in height. (RS district
establishes a maximum building height of 35 feet.)
3. Upper stories are subject to a ten (10) foot side setback and a 15-foot rear setback.
(RS district setbacks are six (6) and ten (10) feet respectively.)
4. The square footage of additions to existing homes may not exceed 30% of the
square footage of the existing structure. (Building setbacks and maximum
impervious coverage are the only requirements currently limiting size.)
5. The total floor-to-area ratio (FAR) of a residential parcel shall not exceed 0.65
where new construction or an addition is proposed. (FAR is currently not
addressed in UDC.) This would mean that the total square footage of the structure
could not exceed 65% of the square footage of the property.
Companion changes are proposed to Section 3.13 to address the requirements for CDC
approval identified with this amendment.
Certificate of Design Compliance for Demolition of Historic Structures (Exhibit 3)

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The changes to Section 3.13 amend HARC’s current CDC review process for requests to
demolish or relocate historic properties or properties located within the historic overlay
districts. This proposed amendment is in response to the UDC List item to have more
stringent protection of historic homes. The amendment is intended to further protect
historic resources by giving the HARC the ability to extend delay periods to allow more
time to seek alternatives to demolition and increasing the justification information
provided by the applicant.
As proposed, there would be additional submission requirements for demolition or
relocation CDC applications depending on the basis for the requested removal. If
HARC were not to approve a demolition request at the initial public hearing, a delay
period would automatically commence. During the delay period, which varies
depending on specified criteria, an applicant may need to provide additional
information, work toward finding potential buyers, complete additional research and/or
similar activities to justify the proposed removal. In addition, if an applicant makes an
argument for demolition or relocation based on no economically viable use of the
property the request would be reviewed by an economic review panel. This review
panel would analyze the financial documentation presented by the applicant that
justifies the economic necessity of the proposed removal, and then make a
recommendation to HARC.
Sidewalks (Exhibit 4)
As proposed, the changes to Chapter 12 and 13 would allow an alternative sidewalk
plan for sites with unique and extraordinary conditions. If a site qualifies for this
alternative option, the replacement could be provided in the form of an alternate route,
payments-in-lieu or a delay in the installation of the sidewalk due to road construction.
In addition, the changes clarify that residential sidewalks are to be installed at the time
of subdivision site improvements. However, a provision is included that allows the
installation to be deferred for each residential lot until the construction of each
individual residential unit. If that option is selected, there would be a required payment
of 20% of the cost to construct these sidewalks into a fund that would be used by the
City to construct any missing pieces of sidewalk after a five (5) year period.
The ordinance reflects a renumber of the proposed amendments that more clearly
reflects the proposed changes. While the language has remained the same as
recommended by the Task Force, staff and P&Z, the placement and numbering in the
ordinance is different than the language in Exhibit 4.
Home-Based Business Limitations (Exhibit 5)

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New UDC language was proposed for Home Occupations during the last round of
amendments with the Chapter 5 revisions. Staff initiated these changes due to several
calls regarding the current language, which does not allow any on-site retail sales or
services and therefore disallowed services such as tutoring and music lessons. At the
City Council meeting regarding the Round 4 amendments, there was concern expressed
that the Task Force had not had enough input into the proposal. So, staff reconvened
with the group to develop new language.
The new proposal not only changes the name from Home Occupation to Home-Based
Business, but also provides several options for consideration, based on input from the
Task Force. Overall, the proposals are grouped into two major options. The first
overall option, which includes some internal options, is based on the existing language.
If this option is selected by the City Council as the one to be adopted, Council will need
to also decide on items 5.03.020.E.2.e, h, and i. Item “e” addresses signage and whether
a small sign would be allowed or not. Item “h” addresses parking for the home-based
business. Finally, item “i” clarifies whether on-site services would be allowed. In the
first option “i”, services are not allowed, which is the existing language. In second
option “i”, services are still not allowed, although a series of limited, small scale service-
type uses would not be considered “services” and therefore would be permitted as a
home-based business. During our review of the existing home occupation language,
UDC Task Force members have advised staff that several of these small scale services
are in fact just the types of businesses that are in operation today. Also under this
option, retail sales would be allowed with no store-front and would be limited to
incidential sales of merchandise related to the service provided; direct sales product
distribution (Avon, etc.); sales by phone, internet or mail; and sales of custom products
created by the business.
The second overall option for the Council’s consideration would create a separate set of
criteria for home-based businesses located in the Old Town Overlay District and have
the first option apply to the balance of the City. This option creates two (2) classes of
home businesses, those with on-site clients or customers (Class II) and those without
(Class I). There are a several standards similar to the first option, but with more
specificity and there is a list of prohibited uses. Within the second option there are two
(2) choices related to approval of the Class II home businesses: one would require a
Special Use Permit, approved by City Council after a recommendation from P&Z and
the second would require approval of a Home-Based Business Permit approved by
P&Z. The Home-Based Business Permit would be a new process and there is
companion language to create that process. As envisioned by the proposal, this new
permit would be a single public hearing at P&Z with a $100 permit fee. As noted for the

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first option, if Council wishes to approve the second option, there are still details that
will need to be recommended within each option.
Finally, there was a group of Task Force members who believed that there should not
be separate criteria for different sections of the City, and recommended that whichever
option was chosen apply to all of Georgetown.
The complaints related to code enforcement of the current regulations have been
directed at those types of businesses that not only are currently not allowed as a home
business, but would also not be allowed as a home business under any of the options
proposed. Therefore, staff and the P&Z are in support of the first overall option
(5.03.020.E) applying to the entire City with sub-item “e” option 1 to allow a small sign;
sub-item “h” option 3 to allow utilization of on-street parking and existing on-site
parking; and sub-item “i” option 2 to allow limited on-site services and non-store front
During the Council workshop the request was made to include the P&Z
recommendation in the ordinance, which has been done. Also, there was a request to
include an option for home-based business registration for the Council’s further
consideration, which is located in Ordinance Exhibit D, Section 5.03.020.E.3, and reads
as follows:
“A Home-based business shall be required to register with the Planning and
Development Department to demonstrate compliance with this ordinance. If it
does not meet the qualifications to be a home-based business the business
operation at the residential premise shall cease.”
Miscellaneous Text Amendments (Exhibit 6)
There are several minor amendments contained in Exhibit 6, which include the
• Chapter 3 changes relate to articulating the subdivision replat process that follows
the procedures and requirements identified in the Texas Local Government Code.
Today, the UDC is silent on the replat process.
• Chapter 4 changes include:
o Clarifying that the City (versus a specific department) will maintain the Official
Zoning Map and that digital mapping may represent the most accurate and up-
to-date information between Zoning Map printings. These are just
clarifications of existing practice.
o The Williams Drive Special Area is being modified to allow Public Emergency
Services Stations as a permitted use.

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• Chapter 5 is being revised:

o To remove the limitation that does not allow columbaria associated with
religious assembly facilities to be located within the front yard.
o To allow an Integrated Office Center use by right in the Industrial District
rather than requiring a Special Use Permit. There is a companion definition
change in Chapter 16 to have multiple buildings or a site to be an Integrated
Office Center
• Chapters 6 and 7 are being revised to clarify that no buildings are allowed in the
required setback or yard; to include the word “street” next to the words “front
setback” in the Lot and Dimensional Chart in Chapter 7; and to clarify setback and
street setback limitations in Chapter 7.
• Chapter 11 stormwater management system design requirements are being
updated to reflect Gateway Overlay changes made in prior amendments. These
items refer to the appearance of stormwater facilities in the Gateways.
• The exemptions section of Chapter 14 is being amended to allow site plans that
have been approved, but not constructed, to be completed even if a UDC change
has been made that would make the site nonconforming if constructed as
• There are some revisions to the recently adopted Chapter 16, either to modify an
existing definition, to include definitions needed as companions to other
amendments or to address missing definitions.

Special Considerations
As a reminder, the Council will need to make a decision on whether there will be
required registration of Home-Based Businesses.

Public Comments
Public workshops to allow additional public review were held on December 1st and 2nd.
Three (3) persons in attendance expressed their support for the Home-Based Business
Option 1. During the Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing there were
several speakers.

Planning and Zoning Commission Recommendation

On December 7, 2010, the Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing and
made the following recommendation:

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1. Residential Additions and Infill, Old Town Overlay District: Approval 5 to 1

2. Section 3.13 Demolition Revisions: Approval 5 to 1
3. Sidewalk Alternatives: Approval 6 to 0
4. Home-Based Business:
a. Regulations should apply to all of Georgetown: Approval 6 to 0
b. Option 1 – 5.03.020.E: Approval 6 to 0
c. Signage (5.03.020.E.2.e) – Option 1, Parking (5.03.020.E.2.h) – Option 3; and
On-site Retail/Service (5.03.020.E.2.i) – Option 2: Approval 5 to 1
5. Miscellaneous Amendments: Approval 6 to 0

Staff Recommended Motion

Approval of the first reading of the ordinance as presented without the Home-Based
Business registration option.

Exhibit 1 – 2008-2009 UDC Amendment List (amended)
Exhibit 2 – Residential Additions & Infill in Old Town Proposed Text
Exhibit 3 – CDC for Demolition of Historic Structures Proposed Text
Exhibit 4 – Sidewalks Proposed Text
Exhibit 5 – Home-Based Business Limitations Proposed Text
Exhibit 6 – Miscellaneous Amendments Proposed Text

Submitted By
Elizabeth A. Cook, Community Development Director and Valerie Kreger, Principal

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