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Unified Development Code Re-Write
Background

In August 2014, the City of Buda entered into a contract with Freese & Nichols to rewrite the City's Unified Development Code (UDC), its governing document for land development. The UDC has not undergone a major revision since its adoption in 2002. Since that time, the City has adopted several new planning documents to guide development, including the Buda 2030 Comprehensive Plan. These plans, available here, were developed through countless hours of citizen input on what the future vision for Buda should be. The UDC represents perhaps the most important piece to making that community vision for the future a reality.

The process involves three steps:
  • Diagnostic Evaluation. Includes review of the City’s existing UDC and approval processes, resulting in the definition of problems and issues arising out of current code & practices as they relate to adopted long-range plans.
  • UDC Preparation. Includes preparation of the actual customized UDC in a document that is consistent with adopted plans, legally-defensible and streamlined. Steps in this process include developing procedures & definitions, zoning districts & zoning standards, regulating plan & form-based regulations, zoning procedures & supplemental regulations, and subdivision standards and subdivision procedures.
  • Review Code & Adoption. Includes completion of the UDC and adoption process.

Following adoption, it is likely that several rezonings of property will be necessary.

A total of 10 meetings are proposed with this UDC process. Public meetings and stakeholder focus groups will be a key component of the process, particularly as new aspects of Code are drafted.

Getting Involved

The City of Buda is in the process of developing a public outreach plan for the Unified Development Code. Focus groups took place on October 8, 2014 to create a technical diagnostic report, which included a variety of stakeholders:

  • Members of various city boards & commissions
  • Architects and engineers
  • Large property owners
  • Downtown commercial property owners
  • The real estate community
  • Economic development
  • Environmental interests

The City is also preparing to launch a Virtual Town Hall program known as MindMixer, which will provide the public an opportunity to provide feedback in a manner that works with their own schedule. This will be fully-integrated with the City's website and various social media platforms. There will also be public information & feedback meetings.

The Diagnostic Report

Freese & Nichols, along with Design Workshop, have completed a UDC Diagnostic Report. This report was generated based on their review of our adopted plans, a meeting with Planning & Engineering staff along with LAN, and a series of stakeholder meetings that took place on October 8th. It also incorporates feedback received from the Planning & Zoning Commission on December 9th in its role as the advisory committee for the re-write, along with City Council from its December 16th meeting and follow-up February 12th meeting.

The goal of the diagnostic report is to capture some of the bigger picture issues present in the current Code—there will still be ongoing opportunities for input as we proceed into drafting new elements of the UDC. It is not an all-inclusive document.

City of Buda Unified Development Code Diagnostic Report