City of Lubbock reformatting draft of Unified Development Code with year extension of consultant contract

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 8:57 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It’s been three years since the Lubbock City Council first entered into a contract with a consultant to aid in putting together the Unified Development Code (UDC), a rewritten collection of various regulations. The City of Lubbock is now embarking on its third council-approved extension of that contract as it reformats and continues to review the draft code.

“You might think this doesn’t apply to me, that I don’t own a business or anything like that but it does apply to you because everything in the city has a zoning district and has regulations,” Director of Planning Kristen Sager said. “Even if a homeowner wants to build a carport or an accessory building, there are regulations that they’ll need to follow. So, I want to encourage every citizen to get involved, to read it, to find out what’s going to apply to them.”

The third extension with consultant Kendig Keast Collaborative was approved on May 10 but the current council was briefed on May 24 about the status of the UDC and the decision to reformat it.

“All of the information and regulations that are in it currently that have been on our website for over a year, that is all the same,” Sager said. “We’re reformatting how you use it, how you read it. Right now it is a true unified development code where all the regulations are broken up by section. Depending on what you want to do, you have to go to multiple sections to find all the different regulations. The reformat will make it much more similar to our current code, where you know what your property is zoned, you go to that district, here’s all the regulations you need to know. It makes it much simpler.”

It’s expected that the reformatting will take about a month with the consultant and will return to the City, which will require further review.

“The Council established a UDC subcommittee to look at some of these bigger picture items,” Sager said. “We’ve met with them for over a year now. We’re doing a page-by-page review, because we want to make sure this document is, I don’t wanna say perfect, but that it’s the best it can be for our community. We don’t want to miss anything.”

Sager said extensions have also been necessary due to the pandemic, which initially prevented public meetings. Each extension has cost the City of Lubbock around $70,000. According to the latest project cost, the City has appropriated $735,000.

“It’s been almost 50 years since these regulations were updated,” Sager said. “The amount of money we’ve spent on this is absolutely worth it. It’s something our community needs, and it’s going to benefit our community. The [latest] extension extended our contract for 12 months. It goes through April 2023 with the ability to spend up to $70,000. That $70,000, we may or may not have to spend. It’s there for public meetings if we need the consultant to come here so it’s definitely worth it.”

Sager said there would be additional public meetings scheduled in the future.

“I would encourage everyone to give their input,” Sager said. “Go online, read the document. Call us if you have questions. Email us. We’re happy to talk to anyone and get any of their comments and feedback.”

Click here for information about the UDC.

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