The City of Boerne’s Unified Development Code (UDC) was approved by City Council at the July 27, 2021, meeting, marking the culmination of the first major project undertaken after the Boerne Master Plan was updated in 2018.
“This process took more than two years to complete, and we now have a document that addresses the desires of the community,” Planning and Community Development Director Laura Haning said. “Though this became much more encompassing than the city initially planned, I truly believe we have a code that represents what our residents want and will be a guide for other cities undertaking a similar process.”
The UDC combines into a single document various city ordinances related to development within the city limits. This includes zoning and subdivision regulations, as well as procedures and standards related to construction, development services and utilities. It is designed to reduce confusion and contradiction between different ordinances, align building regulations with the Master Plan and provide a comprehensive and efficient development process.
The purpose of the Unified Development Code is to:
- Implement the Master Plan as it relates to land use and development;
- Consolidate the regulations pertaining to land use and development in a logical and orderly manner;
- Make the city’s regulations and requirements more convenient to access, use, distribute and read;
- Preserve the urban form, historic architecture and culture of the city;
- Ensure continued stewardship of the natural resources of the city; and
- Coordinate infrastructure planning and design with site planning and design so that public infrastructure services are adequate and aligned with private development.
“The Unified Development Code is the best tool we have to ensure development within the city limits is undertaken in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner,” City Manager Ben Thatcher said. “The streamlined processes established by the UDC empower the city to more effectively monitor land use while protecting our natural resources and the characteristics that make Boerne unique.”
The UDC also calls for the creation of overlay districts, allowing for customized design oversight to better manage development in some parts of town while preserving the historic charm of others. Other key features of the UDC include a stronger ordinance to protect the watershed, as well as a stronger tree ordinance to maintain the beautiful canopies found in the Hill Country.
The City of Boerne hosted open house meetings and developer forums throughout the UDC creation process. Progress updates on the UDC have been given at monthly Planning and Zoning Commission meetings and twice monthly City Council meetings.
The new Unified Development Code went into full effect on July 28.
Learn more about the UDC.