Lubbock City Council votes to adopt new Unified Development Code, zoning map

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After nearly four years of reviewing, revising, updating and consolidating development-related regulations, the Lubbock City Council has taken its first vote to adopt the Unified Development Code and a new zoning map, but pushed its effective date to the Fall and stresses the code can still be changed.

“It’s important that moving forward this is a living, breathing and ever-changing document, ever-evolving document,” Assistant City Manager Erik Rejino told the Council. “The further the City moves into the implementation of the UDC, it’s important to understand that there may be some amendments, necessary changes, upgrades as times change.”

Rejino said it was the first “overhaul” of the City of Lubbock’s development regulations in about 40 years, which have been referred to as “outdated” and “inconsistent.” The City of Lubbock has spent the last four years revising and unifying them, including crafting new zoning districts across the city.

“It’s important that we also keep in mind that we may even need some proposed changes, amendments, before it takes effect,” Rejino said.

The City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the UDC and zoning map, which was recommended by the Planning & Zoning Commission on April 13, but pushed the effective date of the UDC from July 1 to Oct. 1, giving more time to consider those possible changes.

Some citizens asked for a closer review of the new zoning, including residents of Tech Terrace who expressed concern about the possibility their neighborhood and others could be subject to High Density Residential development under the new map.

“We’ve made a lot of progress,” Councilwoman Latrelle Joy said. “I think we have a document, I think it is very vague in places. I know it’s vague in places and if it’s vague, it’s not enforceable.”

Joy, who was one of the councilmembers appointed by then Mayor Dan Pope to a committee to oversee the UDC’s drafting, asked city staff if it would be possible for them to consider those zoning concerns and other issues raised and have amendments back to the City Council by Oct. 1. Director of Development Services Robert Wallace said he was confident they could and they were in “a good place.”

“I think it’s time to adopt it,” Councilman Steve Massengale said. “I don’t think our work ends after our second read. I think we have a responsibility as a Council, as a staff, as a community, to continually look at this.”

The Lubbock City Council must vote again to adopt the UDC and new zoning map, which is expected May 9.

To see the UDC and zoning map, click here.