Lubbock’s new Unified Development Code, zoning map adopted with final 5-2 vote

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 8:29 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After it received unanimous support two weeks prior, the Lubbock City Council voted 5-2 to adopt the Unified Development Code and new zoning map for the City of Lubbock.

Mayor Pro Tem Shelia Patterson Harris and Councilwoman Latrelle Joy voted against adoption on May 9. Patterson Harris said she expected to see lingering issues with the UDC addressed before the second reading of the ordinance.

The Council unanimously voted to adopt the UDC and new zoning map on Apr. 25, with an effective date of Oct. 1, giving time for additional amendments to be made prior to implementation.

“I’m not saying that I didn’t understand what we voted on at that time and decided,” Patterson Harris told the Council. “It’s kind of come to my attention and being questioned of me by some citizens as to how that truly works, to say that we approve something, but we have the opportunity to change it over the next six months. So, the question becomes, then why do you approve it? Because what that says is, as we look at it, is that we’re saying that what we have is not done.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend the council adopt the UDC and zoning map on Apr. 13. The City of Lubbock has spent approximately four years updating and consolidating rules and regulations regarding development projects.

“I think my comment last time was you will never ever approve a perfected document,” Councilman Steve Massengale said. “This is always going to be a work-in-progress. I think for the sake of modernization and streamlining of the Code we’ve been zoning by exception to, is I think it was important for the Council to approve what P&Z recommended. I think it’s important for us to go ahead and approve it on second reading today. Yes, I believe that we’ll have an opportunity as council people to look at this probably one more time before October. Then we’re going to continually look at it, continually look at it to make sure we’re zoning in a way that is best for our community.”

Assistant City Manager Erik Rejino told the Council that staff was already working through identified “cleanup items” and other amendments to the Code. He expects the City Council will take those up in August. The Planning & Zoning Commission will also have to approve any changes.

“Moving forward, this can be changed before Oct. 1, it can be changed after after Oct. 1,” Mayor Tray Payne said. “There’s no limit that says future councils can’t come forward and modify or change a code as they see fit. Staff felt like this was important for us to move forward on so we’re not stagnating and sitting here in standing water on something that our councils had been working on for four years, and it’s still not been passed.”

Councilwoman Joy did not comment at the during discussion of the adoption of the UDC on Tuesday. However, Joy told KCBD in early April she had concerns with the draft of the UDC and also expressed apprehension at the Apr. 25 to adopting a document she indicated was not enforceable in some areas because of its vagueness.

To view the Unified Development Code, click here.

To view the revised Zoning Map, click here.