Site Plan

 

A Site Plan is a detailed site layout containing sufficient information to evaluate the land and architectural aspects of the proposed development. The purpose of a Site Plan is to ensure compliance with the Unified Development Code (UDC) and the compatibility of a development with neighboring development as well as access, landscaping, driveways, parking spaces, loading spaces, sidewalks etc. A Site Plan must be approved prior to any land disturbance and building permit applications.

When is a Site Plan Required?

A Site Plan is required within the city limits for all multi-family and non-residential development projects. Detached single-family and two-family developments on individual platted lots are exempt from this requirement but must obtain all other required building permits prior to construction. Revisions/amendments to an approved Site Plan are allowed, per the terms of Section 3.09 of the UDC.

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

  • Fee: https://udc.georgetown.org/development-manual
  • Master Application Form*
  • Minimum Submittal Requirements*

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist – online at udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 60 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: Director of Planning and Development

When does a Site Plan Expire?

A Site Plan will expire 24 months from the date of Director approval unless:

  • A building permit application has been submitted
  • A Certificate of Occupancy has been issued (if no building permit is required)
  • If the project is phased, building permits may be submitted in a series

Variance

A Variance allows for a departure from the required zoning standards of the Unified Development Code (UDC). Variances are intended to resolve practical difficulties created when the literal enforcement of the zoning requirements would result in unnecessary, physical hardships resulting from the following:

  • Size, shape, or dimensions of a site
  • Location of existing structures on the site
  • Geographic, topographic, or other physical conditions on the site

Note: Financial and/or economic hardships are not sufficient grounds for a variance.

What are the Criteria for Approval?

A Variance may be granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) only if meeting all of the following general requirements, per Section 3.15.030 of the UDC:

  • There are extraordinary or special conditions affecting the land
  • It will not be detrimental to the public heath, safety or welfare
  • The conditions that create the need for the Variance do not apply to neighboring property
  • The conditions that create the need for the Variance are not the result of the applicant’s own actions
  • The Variance does not conflict with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and the UDC
  • The application of a UDC provision would prohibit or restrict utilization of the property

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

  • Fee: https://udc.georgetown.org/development-manual
  • Justification for the Variance*
  • And any other information required by the Variance Checklist*

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist – udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 45 days (approximate) from Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA)

Stormwater Permit

A Stormwater Permit is an administrative permit intended to protect water quality and manage stormwater runoff generated by land development. The permit requires a drainage study by a licensed professional engineer showing drainage calculations before and after the proposed development or land disturbance. A required drainage plan indicates any necessary mitigation and/or construction requirements.

When is the Permit Required?

A Stormwater Permit is required for the following applications:

  • clearing vegetation/trees
  • grading
  • filling
  • excavating
  • stockpiling
  • grubbing

Note: within the city limits, approval of a Site Plan constitutes approval of a Stormwater Permit

 

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

*See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist – udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 45 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: The City’s Drainage Engineer

A Stormwater Permit will be issued after the Drainage Engineer has determined that the development meets the defined Criteria for Approval, provided in Section 3.17 of the UDC.

When does a Temporary Use Permit expire?

A Stormwater Permit expires 12 months after the date that the permit was issued.

Special Use Permit

A Special Use Permit (SUP) is a permit issued by the City Council that allows the establishment of certain uses, in certain districts, that are considered worthy of additional scrutiny in their proposed location. Such uses typically require special review for design, location, and impact on surrounding properties. These uses may be subject to additional City Council conditions.

What is considered a “Special Use”?

A Special Use Permit is required for those uses specifically identified with an “S” in the Use Tables in Chapter 5 of the Unified Development Code. Examples of these uses include, but are not limited to, Bed and Breakfasts, Cemeteries, and Emergency Services (in Residential Districts) or Major Event Entertainment, Firing Ranges, and Wrecking Yards (in Commercial Districts). Some uses requiring the permit may be permissible in other districts without restriction, but require the SUP in districts where their impact calls for special consideration.

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

  • Fee:  udc.georgetown.org/dev-manual
  • Master Application
  • And any other information required by the Special Use Permit Checklist*

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist – udc.georgetown.org/dev-manual

 

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 90 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: City Council
  • Public Hearings: There are two public hearings required, one at Planning and Zoning and one at City Council.

When does a Special Use Permit Expire?

An SUP continues with the property, regardless of ownership, unless the use is discontinued for 12 months. A Special Use Permit expires 12 months following City Council approval unless:

  • A building permit application has been submitted; or
  • A Certificate of Occupancy has been issued (if no building permit is required)

Special Exception

A Special Exception from the requirements of very limited provisions of the Unified Development Code (UDC) may be considered by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).  A Special Exception is most widely used for residential setback modifications, but also applies to the expansion or extension of nonconforming structures, sites and uses.

An applicant may request a modification of the current UDC setbacks only if the property is located in the Old Town Overlay District or was established before May 10, 1977. The modification must meet strict standards and criteria, to be considered by the ZBA as part of a public process.

What are the Criteria for Approval?

The ZBA will consider a setback modification based on the review criteria established in Section 4.09.040 of the UDC. The ZBA will consider factors such as size, compatibility with surrounding structures, and other site-related factors. A setback modification may not be granted as a matter solely of convenience or economic gain. The ZBA shall base a decision to allow a Special Exception for a nonconforming situation on the criteria in Chapter 14.

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist – online at udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 45 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA)

When does a Special Exception Expire?

A Special Exception expires twelve (12) months from the date of ZBA approval, unless:

  • A complete Building Permit application has been issued and construction commenced or, if no Building Permit is required, a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.
  • The ZBA elects to extend the 12 month expiration date and provide for an alternative expiration with the approval, not to exceed 24 months.

Rezonings

Zoning is the establishment of districts, or zones, within the city limits. The purpose of zoning is to regulate the use of property to protect neighbors from incompatible land uses, ensure efficient distribution of uses throughout the city, and institute development standards for safety and aesthetic reasons. Zoning districts, such as Industrial or Office or Residential Single-Family, are identified on the Official Zoning Map.

On occasion, changing conditions in a specific area or an individual property may necessitate an amendment to the Zoning Map, called a Rezoning. A Rezoning can be a boundary extension of an existing zoning district or a change from one district to another. All Rezonings must be compatible with the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

When is a Rezoning Required?

A Rezoning is required for the following reasons:

  • To allow land uses and/or development standards for a proposed development
  • To allow for a unique idea that does not fit the base standards of the zoning code

What types of Rezonings are there?

There are four types rezoning applications that can be made, as listed below:

  • Zoning Map Amendment – amending the zoning district classification of a property
  • Planned Unit Development (PUD) – creating a special overlay district for a property in order to create a master-planned development
  • Mixed-Use District – creating a special district with a unique land plan per the City’s mixed use development code
  • Historic District Designation – designating an area a historic district

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

*See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist and development fee schedule – online at udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

 

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 90 – 120 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: City Council
  • There are two public hearings, one at Planning and Zoning and one at City Council. However, Historic District Designations require one additional public hearing, at HARC. The City Council requires two readings of an Ordinance adopting any rezoning.

Plats (Subdivision)

Subdivision platting is the process of creating or combining lots out of an existing tract of land. A plat is an official, surveyed document that creates lots for residential and commercial developments and makes a lot considered “legal.” No permits may be issued on land that is not a legal lot. The purpose of the subdivision process is for the City to determine that the document meets proper legal recordation requirements, compliance with the Unified Development Code (UDC) lot and block standards, traffic and environmental impacts studies, dedication of street right-of-way and public improvements, and other City requirements. Only after final plat and recordation can a lot move forward to the Site Plan, Building Permit, and Certificate of Occupancy processes.

When is a Plat Required?

A plat is required for the division or development of land either in the City Limits or in the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Parcels that are being subdivided but remain over 5 acres do not need to process a plat with the City of Georgetown, that being one of the exemptions detailed in Chapter 3.08.020 of the UDC. However, a plat may be required even if you are not dividing land. Depending on the lot configuration and whether or not your lot is considered “legal” will determine if you need a plat and what type of plat may be required.

What types of Plats are there?

There are four types of plats processed by the City of Georgetown, as listed below:

  • Amending Plat – amends an existing plat for minor changes
  • Minor Plat – 4 or fewer lots with no utilities required
  • Preliminary Plat – most common, creation of new lots with utilities, streets. Requires subdivision Construction Plans and a Final Plat following approval.
  • Final Plat – final subdivision document for recording purposes. Follows a Preliminary Plat and subdivision Construction Plans.

The City also has a process for a combined Preliminary/Final Plat, which is for special circumstances that meet the provisions of Section 3.08.050 in the UDC, and also for a Re-plat, or Resubdivision, which is a reconfiguration of all or a portion of the lots in a previously-approved plat. The UDC also allows for Plat Waivers, which may be requested of the Planning Zoning Commission in order to waive certain code provisions due to justified hardships.

What do I need for a Plat Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

  • Fee: Varies, as shown below. See the Development Fee Schedule for exact fees*.udc.georgetown.org/development-manual
    • Other fees may apply depending on the plat. Additional studies and fees may apply*
  • Master Application Form
  • And any other information required by the particular Plat Checklist*

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist and development fee schedule – online at udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

What is the Approval Process?

A Plat shall be approved if it meets the approval criteria provided for in Section 3.08 of the UDC. Only Re-plats for residential subdivisions are required to have a public hearing, per State law. A Plat Waiver must be justified to the Planning and Zoning Commission, per Section 3.22.

  • Timeline and Approval Authority, by application:
    • Amending Plat 30 days            Administrative
    • Minor Plat 30 days            Administrative
    • Preliminary Plat 45 days            Planning and Zoning Commission
    • Final Plat 30 days            Administrative
    • Combined Plat 45 days             Planning and Zoning Commission
    • Plat Waiver 45 days             Planning and Zoning Commission

Letter of Regulatory Compliance

There are two Letters of Regulatory Compliance available from the Planning office.

A Zoning Verification Letter is a letter provided by the Planning Department that indicates to a property owner that a specified use, clearly identified in the application, is permitted within the Zoning District. A Zoning Verification Letter does not authorize the property owner to proceed with a development nor does it include a determination that a tract of land may be developed.  This document is provided by the City to confirm the zoning designation of a property, when that zoning was assigned, and list any special zoning overlays applicable to that property. If requested, the letter can indicate whether one particular use is allowed by the assigned zoning district. Please note a Zoning Verification Letter does not verify conformance or nonconformance of existing structures or uses on site, compliance with parking regulations, issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, or existence of code enforcement violations.

Plat Certification Letter  is a document provided by the City acknowledging whether a plat is required for the tract of land or proposed division of land, or whether an exemption to platting under the UDC applies. A legal or lawful division of land is one that was done in compliance with, or prior to, applicable subdivision regulations. A parcel boundary used for property taxation or conveyed by deed to transfer ownership or title is not necessarily indicative of a lawfully created division of land. The Plat Certification process does not make claims as to ownership, title or boundary locations.

When is a Letter of Regulatory Compliance Required?

A Zoning Verification Letter may be obtained for any lot or tract of land within the city limits and is not required for any City process. It is offered for informational purposes only.

A Plat Certification Letter may be obtained for any lot or tract of land within the city limits and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). This letter may be required prior to the City’s acceptance of other development applications.

What do I need for an Application?

An application for a Zoning Verification Letter requires:

An application for a Plat Certification Letter requires:

  • Fee: Please see Planning’s Application Fee Schedule
  • Plat Certification Request Form
  • A map clearly identifying the property
  • Copies of Deeds establishing the configuration of the lot as of May 10, 1977

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 20 working days from receipt of a complete application
  • Issuing Authority: Planning and Development Department

Comprehensive Plan Amendment

The 2030 Comprehensive Plan guides the long-range development of the community. The plan amendment process is established to provide flexibility in response to changing circumstances and to accommodate changes meeting the plan’s intent and principles. Amendments are made once a year at the Annual Update, except for rare circumstances (with a super-majority vote).

When is a Comprehensive Plan Amendment Required?

A Comprehensive Plan Amendment is required when an application for another permit or action required by the Unified Development Code is inconsistent with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Such a conflict often occurs in a proposed rezoning of a property where the proposed zoning district is not appropriate in the land use category planned for the site or area.

There are two types of Comprehensive Plan Amendments:

  • Land Use Plan Amendment
    • A change in the land use designation for a single site or a larger area
  • Transportation Plan Amendment
    • A change to the alignment or classification of a thoroughfare designated on the Overall Transportation Map

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Please see the front desk or call 930-3575 to set up an appointment. Other requirements for an application include:

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist – online at udc.georgetown.org/development-manual

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 120 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: City Council

There are two public hearings, one at Planning and Zoning and one at City Council. There are two readings of an Ordinance adopting an amendment. Applications can be made anytime of the year; the Annual Update application cycle typically occurs from November to January.

Certificate of Appropriateness(COA)

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is a permit issued by the Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) or by the Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC). The purpose of the certificate is to protect the historic character and structures of Georgetown.  The HPO, or HARC, determines whether to grant a COA based on the design standards established in the Downtown and Old Town Design Guidelines and Unified Development Code (UDC).

Where does a COA apply?

A COA applies to all properties listed on the 2016 Historic Resources Survey that are within a Historic Overlay District.  See here for more information about the Survey, click here.   To identify a property on a map, click here.

A COA for demolition also applies to any High-Priority structure designated on the Historic Resources Survey that is located outside a Historic Overlay District in and is in the city limits.

For complete details and the Code regarding Certificates of Appropriateness, see the UDC Section 3.13.

When is a COA Required?

A COA is required for the following actions:

  • Addition of, or changes to, awnings or canopies
  • Alteration of existing condition of land
  • Alteration to structures, including new windows or dormers
  • Alteration or addition of signs, lighting, landscaping, and mechanical units
  • Application of a different material, including siding and roofing
  • Construction of a deck, fence, or garage
  • Creation of a new driveway or parking facility
  • Demolition of all or part of a structure
  • Enclosure of a porch

A COA is NOT required for these actions:

  • Ordinary maintenance and repair, as defined in Chapter 16 of the Unified Development Code
  • Interior construction or alterations provided the alterations do not alter the exterior wall of the building
  • New single-family or two-family residential development in the Old Town Overlay district
  • New additions to existing single-family or two-family structures provided the addition does not create or add to a street-facing facade
  • New fence, railing or wall that is consistent with the overlay district’s characteristics and applicable guidelines’

See Section 3.13 of the Unified Development Code for more complete information and details.

What do I need for an Application?

Prior to making an application, a Pre-Application Conference is required. Complete this request form and submit it to the Planning Department at planning.georgetown.org.

Other requirements for an application include:

  • Fee: COA fees vary, as determined by the type of COA (consult staff for breakdown)*
  • Master Application Form
  • And any other information required by the Certificate of Appropriateness Checklist*

* See the Development Manual for detailed information required by the checklist and fee schedule – online at udc.georgetown.org/development-manual.

* Visit historic.georgetown.org for more details on HARC, the Design Guidelines and District locations.

What is the Approval Process?

  • Timeline: 45 days (approximate) from the Application Deadline
  • Approval Authority: Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) or Historical Architecture Review Committee (HARC)
  • There is one required public hearing at HARC for HARC reviewed COA’s.