City of Longview News

Posted on: October 12, 2017

City seeking input on development code changes


In an effort to streamline and improve the regulations and codes for development, the City of Longview is preparing a major overhaul of existing zoning, subdivision, and development ordinances into what is known as a Unified Development Code. A public meeting will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Monday, October 16, at Maude Cobb Convention Center, 100 Grand Blvd. to garner public input for the the Unified Development Code (UDC). Citizens who have questions or suggestions for development-related ordinance improvements are encouraged to attend.

A Unified Development Code (UDC) is a document that consolidates all development-related regulations into a single resource rather than in various separate ordinances. Creation of a UDC was one of the recommended actions within the Longview Comprehensive Plan. In addition to streamlining the existing codes, the City will modernize the land development regulations and development ordinances through the process. 

According to Development Services Director Michael Shirley, “Our goal is for the Unified Development Code to work in partnership with the Comprehensive Plan to strengthen and streamline the City’s overall development regulations.  Many of the processes and regulations outlined within the current ordinances are not clearly defined, are cumbersome, or have become obsolete and will need to be analyzed and rewritten. Members of City boards and commissions, City Council, staff, citizens and the development community have expressed concerns with the current ordinances and subsequent amendments and the inability to interpret and enforce them fairly and consistently.”

It is anticipated that the new Unified Development Code will be developed to be:

•“User Friendly” and easy to read, understand, and interpret for all users, including citizens, staff, developers, and elected and appointed officials.

•Simple and easily administered by staff.

•Heavily illustrated, with considerable graphics depicting the requirements, recommendations, and concepts detailed in the code.

•Flexible to allow for streamlining of the development review process.

•Encouraging of development and redevelopment, particularly within targeted areas that are consistent with the community’s planning and development goals and Comprehensive Plan.

•Capable of innovative and creative approaches to land use regulations, including the exploration of form-based or hybrid codes.

•Applicable to the creation of distinct gateways, major thoroughfares and designated target areas throughout the City. 

The UDC will include the following components of the City’s existing code of ordinances:

Chapter 19. Buildings and Structures

Chapter 37. Electrical Code

Chapter 40, Fire Prevention (Article VII),

Chapter 73. Plumbing and Gas (integration only; content revisions not anticipated)

Chapter 43, Flood Damage Prevention and Tree Preservation

Chapter 85, Signs

Chapter 91, Streets and Sidewalks

Chapter 92, Subdivisions of Land

Chapter 100, Trailers, Mobile Homes and Trailer Parks

Chapter 106, Water and Sewers

Appendix: Zoning Ordinance

In addition, general utility policy standards for improvements will be addressed to include Interim Design Guidelines, Drainage Design Criteria/Detention Requirements, and standard utility design guidelines and minimums as related to the implementation of various codes.

For more information, please contact the Development Services Department at 903-237-1060. 

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