Zoning Ordinance Re-Write Update

Welcome to the City of Balch Springs Zoning Ordinance Re-write Update

We’re looking to engage our residents, property and business owners, and all who have a stake in the future of Balch Springs. The Zoning Ordinance Re-write Update Project, initiated in August 2014 and made official as a project goal of the City of Balch Springs 2036 Comprehensive Plan adoption on February 22, 2016, is a complete update of the City of Balch Springs Zoning Ordinance. The City’s zoning regulations are critical to maintaining the character and growth of our community. The Zoning Ordinance will build upon the foundation of the 2036 Balch Springs Comprehensive Plan.


The City of Balch Springs with the assistance of planning consultant firm (Freese & Nichols) began work on a comprehensive update to its Zoning Ordinance in 2016

What is Zoning?

The Zoning Ordinance is a section of the City’s Code of Ordinances that regulates the development of buildings, activities and land use. Zoning is use based; it determines what use you can have on a property such as a house or business. It determines how high a building can be or how far away from the street it should be. It is regulatory; it says how many signs a business can have and how big they can be. The purpose of the update to the Zoning Ordinance is to comprehensively revise the city wide zoning regulations to shape future growth with clear community vision.

Why is it important?

The Zoning Ordinance affects how your city looks and works, now and in the future. The update to the Zoning Ordinance will implement the city’s new Comprehensive Plan, helping turn general goals and policies into a reality.

Why are we updating the Zoning Ordinance?

The City’s existing Zoning Ordinance was originally written in the 1960s. Many small amendments have been made to the Ordinance over the years, but the Zoning Ordinance is antiquated and inadequately to efficiently handle many new activities, building designs and opportunities important to the City of Balch Springs.

What are the goals of the Zoning Ordinance Update?

The primary goal of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Update is to clarify, update and simplify the Code. The new Zoning Ordinance will:

  • Be user-friendly and easy to understand
  • Allow for a streamlined development review process
  • Provide Clear Procedures
  • Evaluate Zoning Ordinance Needs of the City
  • Align Changes with the Comprehensive Plan
  • Update Zoning Districts
  • Formulate Detailed Standards

Zoning Ordinance Update

The Zoning Ordinance is organized as follows:

  • Section 1: General Provisions: establishes the purpose of the ordinance, the authority for its establishment and rules for construction of language, interpretation and for measurements such as height, lot width and floor area that is applicable throughout the ordinance. It also provides zoning district map regulation and zoning district boundaries.
  • Section 2: Zoning Districts: The purpose of this section is to create zoning districts, to specify the nature and components of the permitted development and uses within them and to establish regulations regarding the physical character and intensity of development in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
  • Section 3: Zoning Land Use Regulations: Land and building in each of the zoning districts may be used for any of the specified uses in Section 3.03 Use Chart. No land shall be used and no building or structure shall be erected, altered or converted for any use other than those specified as a permitted use in the district in which the property is located.
  • Section 4 Site Development Requirements:  provides guidelines concerning landscape, trees, vegetation and other materials to ensure aesthetic appeal and minimize adverse impacts of light, noise, movement or activities throughout the City. This section also provides guidelines on screening, parking, lighting, supplementary (carports, fencing and trash enclosures) and design standards.
  • Section 5 Development Review Bodies: establishes the decision-making different types of bodies including Planning Director, Building Official, Planning & Zoning Commission, City Council and Board of Adjustments.
  • Section 6: Zoning Application Submittal and Processing Procedures: provides a summary on general application processing, pre-application meetings and required materials for a complete application.
  • Section 7: Development Review Procedures: provides a summary on Certificate of Occupancy and Compliance, site plan requirements, Planned Development (PD ) application review, Specific Use Permit and Amortization of nonconforming uses. It also provides guidelines for alternative compliance, public hearings and notification requirements, zoning text and map amendments, platting property not zoned and creation of building site.
  • Section 8: Zoning Relief Procedures provides a summary on the zoning review process including zoning regulation appeal, zoning variance, zoning special exception and zoning vested rights.
  • Section 9 Definitions provides a summary of definitions for each land use.


The next meeting to provide input will be a workshop to be held on Thursday, March 2, 2017 and Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7pm at City Hall located at 13503 Alexander Road, Balch Springs, Texas 75181. For more information contact the planning department at 972-286-4477 x123/237/212 or by email at cdyser@cityofbalchsprings.com, rhall@cityofbalchsprings.com or mhorak@cityofbalchsprings.com.

Zoning Ordinance