Georgetown Planning Department

Shot Clock Waivers

– Summary
– History of the Ordinance
– How The Process Works
– 2022 Application Submittal Dates
– Shot Clock Waiver Form
– FAQ

Shot Clock Waiver Summary

We wanted to reach out and share some exciting news. In response to both internal and customer feedback, the City of Georgetown Development Services Group has been working on service improvements to our current application process. One of those improvements is a “Waiver” process to enable applications to undergo review, in compliance with State Law, without requiring P&Z action after every review.  On April 26, Council considered, and passed an ordinance that would codify this waiver.  This would allow applicants to submit applications for review to the City, but remove the requirement for them to be heard by P&Z until such time as either:

      1. The applicant withdrew the waiver, and re-entered the “Shot Clock” process; or,
      2. The application has resolved all staff comments and was forwarded for approval.

This process would resolve several conflicts between timing and the needs of applicants and reviewers.

First, new applications, when submitted with a waiver, would be eligible for submittal on any published subdivision submittal day. These would be Any date marked as a New Submittal or Resubmittal date on the existing schedule (found here).  This means that new subdivision applications can now be submitted on all but 5 of the submittal days when submitted with a waiver document. This should provide greater flexibility for applicants and more opportunities to open cases and move them through the City’s process.

Second, applications, when submitted with a waiver, would no longer need to wait for P&Z action in order to resubmit. Instead, should the applicant have the opportunity, they can resubmit on the next available submittal day after having received comments.

The City will offer this alternative process over the next several months as we study its effectiveness.  At some point in the fall/winter of this year, the data and experience we collect will be reviewed to determine the interest and effectiveness of this program.

Please watch the City’s Planning website at Planning.Georgetown.org for additional information. If you have questions, please reach out to planning@georgetown.org.

History of the Ordinance

Where we Started

Texas House Bill 3167, dubbed the “shot clock” bill, went into effect on Sept. 1, 2019. The new legislation expanded on previous legislation requiring cities and counties to act on plat and plan applications within 30 calendar days to be inclusive of all subdivision related applications. Additionally, subsequent applications became subject to a 15-day review period. Plats and Plans that have not been acted on at the end of these timeframes must be automatically approved. Specific comments need to be cited for disapproval. The bill requires the municipal authority responsible for approving plats (P&Z) to take the following action on the plan or plat:

(1) approve,

(2) approve with conditions, or

(3) disapprove with explanation.

Where we are Going

The proposed ordinance allows for the following changes:

    • Allows for an applicant to submit a waiver to the shot clock requirements.
    • Allows for minor plats, amending plats, and some replats to be approved by the Planning Director (denials of these application will require P&Z action).

What is the Impact

The proposed changes will improve the development process in the following ways:

    • Increased submittal days

      For those applicants that submit a waiver to the shot clock requirements they will be permitted to submit on alternative days that are currently reserved for land use applications or resubmittal applications. Additionally, an applicant could work through comments with staff without an action of denial by the P&Z. Rather P&Z action would be reserved for the final approval of the application.

    • Authority for Administrative Approval

      For minor plat applications should the applicant submit with a waiver to the shot clock requirements the applicant will be able to achieve approval of their application without going to P&Z action.

City Council Action

On April 12th the City Council approved this ordinance change on first reading.

On April 26th the City Council approved this ordinance change on second reading.

Associated Links

First Reading of the Ordinance (4.12.2022) 

Second Reading of the Ordinance (4.26.2022)

How The Process Works

If, during initial submittal of your application you decide that you wish to waive the review requirements under Local Government Code Chapter 212 and opt out of the City’s Shot Clock process, you will need to do the following:

  1. While filling out the initial application information in MyGovernment Online, you must answer the following question:

“As the authorized applicant for this project, I hereby submit this application with a request to waive the deadlines for action by the City of Georgetown in Local Government Code 212.009, 212.0091, 212.0095. I hereby declare my intent for this submittal to be staff review and comment only. I understand that the final approval of this application will require approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission.”

Options to choose from:

    • Yes, I wish to submit this application with a waiver as stated above.
    • No, I do not wish to submit this application with a waiver as stated above.

Answering  “No” will cause your application to progress through the standard City process. Answering “Yes” will cause your application to be submitted as a Waiver case and progress through the alternative review process (meaning no Planning & Zoning Commission Review until approval).

This step is important, as the appropriate answer will determine how your application is sorted during initial reporting of cases being taken in by the City staff, and assigned.

    1. Submit, with all of your other documents, a Waiver executed by the property owner or authorized agent which specifically outlines the desire to be routed to the alternative process. This must be submitted, fully executed by the appropriate party, with all other documents at the first submittal of the application.
    2. That’s it! Submit and your application will be routed accordingly.

Please watch the City’s Planning website at Planning.Georgetown.org for additional information.

FAQ

Am I required to utilize the alternative process?
The City is neither requiring nor requesting that you utilize this alternative process, it is being offered as an opportunity for applicants that wish to avoid iterative P&Z reviews.
What happens if I don’t submit the waiver?
If you select “Yes…” to the waiver question, but do not submit a complete Waiver document, your application will be deemed incomplete for lack of proper documentation and you will need to submit the Waiver at the next application submittal day. 
What is time frame applications with waivers will be reviewed?
Waivers will be reviewed on a similar basis as regular applications. 4 weeks for 1st Review, 2 weeks for 2nd Review, 2 weeks for 3rd However, once comments are received, then waiver applications will be deemed “awaiting revision” meaning that you will not need to wait for P&Z action to resubmit your application. 
Is there a standard application form?
Application checklists will not change. There is a standard Waiver form that will need to be submitted with your application. It can be found 
Do I need to submit the waiver with the first application or can I submit it with a resubmittal?
At this time, we will only accept waivers for new submittals. 
If I submit a waiver with my first application can I change my mind and withdraw a waiver in a later review?
You will need to submit a letter, signed by the property owner or authorized representative, stating your desire to withdraw and return to the City’s standard process. These can be submitted with an application submittal and will be taken in on the appropriate application submittal day according to the City’s schedule (found here). Revocations of waivers will not be accepted during an application review. 
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