The city of Brownsville’s building codes and zoning regulations have long had a reputation as being difficult to navigate and even at times contradictory.
Last year city management with the blessing of city commissioners set out to tame that beast, signing a $450,000 contract with planning consultants Freese and Nichols Inc. in September. Chance Sparks, president of the American Planning Association Texas Chapter and planner with Freese and Nichols, led the overhaul.
Now just over a year later the city has a completely new Unified Development Code and zoning map, which is being rolled out over the next few months. The consultants will assist with that effort as well, Deputy City Manager Helen Ramirez said.
“We’re going to do a 90-day roll-out and implementation education for our developers and people that have permits in the system so it could be more of a smooth transition,” she said. “Normally when cities do a complete overhaul or rewrite of their UDC they do give some sort of time frame for the developer to get accustomed to the changes and to educate and to make it easier to implement, so that’s what we’re doing right now.”