What is the Zoning Ordinance?
The Zoning Ordinance is an ordinance of the City of Hitchcock that provides for the division of land into different zoning districts and regulates the type, scale and intensity of development which may occur in those districts. Land uses in each district are regulated according to type, density, height, lot size, placement, building bulk, and other development standards.
How do I check the zoning of my property?
The Community Development Department is your point of contact for information regarding the zoning process. You can check the zoning of a property by calling us at (409) 316-7234 or visit our office at 7423 Highway 6, by appointment.
What if the zoning of a property does not allow my proposed use?
You have two choices: (1.) request that the zoning be changed to a classification that allows your proposed use, or (2.) find another property with a zoning classification that allows the proposed use. Only Hitchcock’s City Commission can approve a change to the zoning classification on a property. Please be advised that there is no guarantee that the City Commission will approve your rezoning request. Rezoning requests are reviewed for compatibility with existing and anticipated land uses in a property’s vicinity in accordance with the City of Hitchcock Comprehensive Plan, a long- range master plan intended to guide policy decisions relating to the physical development of our community. Contact Community Development staff at (409) 316-7234 to discuss zoning as it relates to your development project.
What are my options regarding rezoning?
Probably the most common type of rezoning request is a change from one standard zoning classification to another, for example, a residential zoning district to a commercial zoning district. In certain circumstances, depending on the characteristics and demands of a specific site, a rezoning to a Planned Development District may be appropriate.
How do I know what zoning designation is right for me?
Contact the Community Development Department at (409) 316-7234 to discuss zoning as it relates to your development project. Staff will help you explore the feasibility of your request and identify possible alternatives.
How is a property rezoned?
Rezoning requests are amendments to the official zoning map and require approval of an ordinance by City Commission. Rezoning requests are first considered by the Planning and Zoning Board during a public hearing at which interested citizens may come forward to speak for or against a request. The Board makes a recommendation to the City Commission. City Commission then holds its own public hearing before it approves, approves with modifications, or denies a rezoning request.
How long will the rezoning process take? How much does it cost?
On average, rezoning requests take approximately one to two months to process from the date a complete application is made until the City Commission makes a final decision on the matter. Meeting dates, application deadlines and application fee amounts will be posted on this website soon. Until then, call the Community Development Department at (409) 316-7234. Please note that application fees are generally non- refundable.
How do I initiate a rezoning request ?
Rezoning application forms are available in the Community Development Department office or online on the City website. To initiate a rezoning request, complete the application form and return it to the Community Development Department with the required application fee and supplemental information. Please be advised that there is no guarantee that the City Commission will approve your rezoning request. The City does require a pre-development meeting to discuss a rezoning request with staff before making a formal application. Staff will help you explore the feasibility of your request and identify possible alternatives.
When and where do the Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission meet?
The Planning and Zoning Board usually meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:30p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall at 7423 Highway 6. The City Commission generally meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 6:00p.m. also in the Commission Chambers.
How do the Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission obtain public input?
The public has opportunities to provide input during public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission. Ten days prior to a public hearing with the Planning and Zoning Board, you will notify property owners within 200 feet of the property for which a rezoning/Special Use Permit is requested with a certified letter, with receipt informing them of the date and time of the public hearing. Prior to a hearing before the City Council, a public hearing notice is published in the newspaper. Board and Commission meeting agendas are posted publicly in front of the City Hall and online at www.cityofhitchcock.org. The public may also mail or fax written comments in favor or against a request to the Community Development Department offices. Any comments received before a scheduled hearing will be shared with Board and Commission members.
What happens at the public hearings?
At the public hearings, property owners and concerned citizens have an opportunity to voice their opinion on a rezoning/Special Use Permit request, usually following the presentation of a staff report. It is recommended that applicants or their representative attend the public hearings and are prepared to answer questions relating to their request from Board or Commission members.
What if the Planning and Zoning Board recommends denying my request?
Should the Planning and Zoning Board recommend denying your rezoning request, you may ask that the item be forwarded to the City Commission with that negative recommendation. Such a request must be made, in writing, to the Community Development Department within 10 days of the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation to deny your request. An ad must be posted in the local newspaper 15 days prior to the City Commission meeting. The matter will then be scheduled for a public hearing on the next available City Commission meeting.
How should I prepare for the public hearings?
You should plan to attend all public hearings concerning your request, to present your case and answer any questions from the Board or Commission members. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you may send an authorized representative to speak on your behalf. Presentations to the Planning and Zoning Board or the City Commission should be brief and concise. While presentations are not generally required, they may help your case. Please note that there may be time restrictions regarding the length of presentations.
If City Commission approves my rezoning request, what do I do next?
Before a building permit can be issued, the flowing processes must be completed, if applicable:
- installation of public infrastructure
- building plan review
Where can I find more information?
For more information on the zoning process, please contact the Community Development Department at (409) 316-7234 if you have any questions regarding the zoning process and your development project.
Zoning Process – Checklist
If a property’s zoning designation allows the use you propose, you should proceed to platting. If the zoning designation of a property does not allow the use you propose, the following steps may be taken:
Meet with City staff in the Community Development Department to discuss your development project;
Submit the following items to the Community Development Department. The review process will not start until staff receives a complete application.
- Rezoning application form bearing the property owner’s signature;
- Legal (metes-and-bounds) description of the property;
- Boundary survey of the property; and
- Nonrefundable application fee;
Attend public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Board (the Board generally meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, at 7423 Highway 6; and
Attend public hearing and ordinance readings before the City Commission (City Commission generally meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, at 7423 Highway 6