City struggles to gather Lubbock citizen input on updated regulations

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock is nearing the final months of a long process to review, rewrite and consolidate the regulations surrounding many aspects of living, developing and constructing in the Hub City into what it calls the Unified Development Code.

“It’s been very difficult to get public engagement just from the average homeowner or average citizen or business owner,” Director of Planning Bryan Isham told the council Tuesday. “We’ve started trying to cater some of our message to these folks and identify the things that we think would be important to the individual homeowner.”

The Unified Development Code project has been underway since May of 2019. The effort is aimed to, “comprehensively review and update the City’s individual development-related ordinances into a unified, well-coordinated set of regulations.”

“The title of this, our Unified Development Codes, may be misleading because it really is Unified City Codes,” Councilman Randy Christian said. “It’s city-wide from every corner of our community. The revisions and changes could impact every corner. I think it’s very important for people to understand the depth and breadth of this project.”

City staff and councilmembers have worked with a consultant, Kendig Keast Collaborative, to review and draft different modules or sections of the unified code. Along with some public meetings and other engagement, including with Lubbock developers, the modules have been online for public comment. As the project moves into its final stages and final drafts, the city aims to gather more input.

“It really is hitting everything in our development regulations,” Isham said. “Anything from carports and building design standards for mixed use, bicycle parking, parking in general, subdivision design and types, park land dedication and environmental area flood damage prevention and playa lake development.”

Fencing, signage, home additions, shops, and home occupation are some of the other many regulations in the UDC.

The final draft is expected to be published for public review in October and final approval by the city council is planned for the end of the year. However, Councilwoman Latrelle Joy said that’s a tentative schedule.

“If you’ve gone online and looked at these modules, you’ll begin to understand the complexity of our current code and how the changes are going to affect it,” Joy said. “There have been no final decisions made about anything at this point.”

Isham told the council that in the coming months he hopes to gather public input through the city’s social media and community meetings.

A joint Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meeting is scheduled for August 26 with Kendig Keast. Another Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing is set for November 4 after the final draft is published. In the meantime, you can click here to make comments online.

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