Zoning Ordinance Update

The City of Cleburne is undergoing the process to revise its Zoning Ordinance to modernize and simplify the ordinance and update regulations through a strategic and community-based process.

What is a Zoning Ordinance? 

The Zoning Ordinance is a section of the City’s Code of Ordinances that regulates the development of buildings, activities, and land use. Zoning is use based; it determines what use you can have on a property such as a house or business. Zoning is regulatory; it determines how high a building can be, or how far away from the street it should be. The purpose of the update to the Zoning Ordinance is to comprehensively revise the city-wide zoning regulations to shape future growth with clear community vision.

Why is the update needed? 

The City last updated its Zoning Ordinance almost twenty-five years ago in 1996. A lot has changed in that time. Cleburne has experienced significant growth and has evolved into the city it is today. However, the existing Zoning Ordinance is outdated and inconsistent with the vision and goals set forth in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan. The revised Zoning Ordinance will reflect both current and projected market and neighborhood conditions, as well as incorporate best practices for development regulation. These regulations will serve as a tool to maintain and enhance the character of our community; promote and protect the public health, safety, and welfare of Cleburne; conserve property values; promote orderly growth; and encourage appropriate investment of land and structures throughout the city.

The primary goal of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update is to revise, clarify and simplify the ordinance.

The new Zoning Ordinance will:

  • Be user-friendly and easier to understand
  • Allow for streamlined development review
  • Provide clearer procedures
  • Evaluate Zoning Ordinance needs of the City
  • Align changes with the Comprehensive Plan
  • Update Zoning Districts

About Freese and Nichols Inc.

The City is working with Freese and Nichols Inc. (FNI) to conduct a comprehensive review, analysis, and update of the Zoning Ordinance and development-related regulations. The Fort Worth-based company has been in business for 126 years. Its staff has completed numerous zoning ordinances for cities of all sizes, including Waxahachie, Cedar Hill, and Midland. 

Project Time Line

Kick-Off - July 23, 2020
The City held a project kick-off meeting on Thursday, July 23, 2020. The goal of this meeting is for FNI to provide a project overview, including the scope and project schedule, and preliminary findings from their initial review of the City’s existing Zoning Ordinance to City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and the Zoning Ordinance Update Advisory Committee.

Following the July 2020 kick-off meeting, the consultants will prepare a comprehensive assessment of the City’s current Zoning Ordinance to be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. This should take place around October 2020.

The amendment process will begin immediately thereafter, taking place in four modules: Zoning Districts and Land Use Regulations, Development Standards, and Administrative Procedures, and the Zoning Map Update.

August 2020Stakeholder Interviews
September 2020Staff Review Meeting
September 2020Community Open House
October 2020Joint Workshop with Planning & Zoning and City Council
November 2020 - April 2021 Develop Zoning Ordinance with staff feedback
June 2021Joint Workshop with Planning & Zoning and City Council and ordinance adoption

City staff will provide dates when available. This projected timeline is subject to change.

Opportunities for Public Input 

The community will have opportunities to provide input throughout the project. The public outreach plan includes opportunities for community members, business owners, property owners, elected and appointed officials, and other stakeholders to remain engaged and to provide input throughout the process. These include stakeholder interviews, a community open house, and public meetings with the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. The City will have a website to provide up-to-date project information and serve as a portal for the public to provide comments, feedback, and ask questions.

Have a question about this project? Send an email to ZoningUpdate@cleburne.net.