Bastrop City Council Repeals Development Moratorium, Implements New Permitting Process
April 24, 2019
BASTROP CITY COUNCIL REPEALS
DEVELOPMENT MORATORIUM, IMPLEMENTS
NEW PERMITTING PROCESS
City Council Votes to Repeal Temporary Moratorium on New Development, Enhanced Permit Review Process Adopted in its Place
BASTROP, TEXAS – April 24, 2019 – Last night, the Bastrop City Council unanimously voted on first reading to repeal the temporary moratorium on new development in Bastrop, originally enacted in August 2018 (Emergency Ordinance 2018-1). In its place, Council adopted an Enhanced Permit Review process, which will be implemented on an interim basis until the City’s new building, construction and land-use regulations are completed this fall.
The emergency moratorium was enacted because of significant flooding and drainage issues in Bastrop, halting development that would be detrimental to the community while the City updated its drainage standards to properly address infrastructure needs. A new drainage ordinance was adopted by City Council on first reading last night, achieving the immediate goals of the moratorium. With the implementation of the new City of Bastrop Stormwater Drainage Design Manual, last night City Council also repealed the emergency ordinance implementing temporary drainage standards for permit applications (Emergency Ordinance 2018-2). These repeals will be effective as of May 14, 2019.
“Bastrop has always welcomed development. The moratorium was simply a resource to avoid having to approve new development that would have been detrimental to our community by exacerbating flooding in the community,” said Bastrop Mayor Connie Schroeder. “We promised to work as quickly as possible to update our land-use regulations while ensuring future development is done in the most geographically sensitive and fiscally sustainable manner. City Council is proud to deliver on that promise and repeal the moratorium and emergency drainage ordinance in favor of the Stormwater Drainage Design Manual and an Enhanced Permit Review process.”
The Enhanced Permit Review reflects the process in place, which was created using what the City learned through mapping Bastrop’s DNA, conducting drainage studies and updating its flood data to the latest numbers available. This methodology has allowed the City to work with applicants to make improvements to development plans, resulting in better projects that will not harm the community.
Traditionally, a moratorium indicates no development is allowed to take place. However, the number of permits the City of Bastrop has issued since August 2018 is consistent with approvals granted in the same period the previous year. In total, 617 total permits have been issued since August.
“We’ve provided ample opportunities for projects to move forward while ensuring they will not negatively impact drainage in our city. The Enhanced Permit Review accurately reflects the process staff has created to address this goal,” said Bastrop Mayor Pro Tem Lyle Nelson. “This heightened level of scrutiny aligns with our need for appropriate systems to prevent small area flooding in the future.”
City staff and the consultant team are diligently continuing their work to craft new regulations regarding planning, zoning, platting and construction. The City anticipates the new codes will be adopted in the fall, including updated national and international codes. Updates currently being evaluated include revisions to the Master Transportation Plan and new parking and lighting standards. The City is also exploring the creation of a municipal drainage utility to fund construction, maintenance and operation of drainage infrastructure.
As part of the City’s continued commitment to provide opportunities for every resident to share feedback on Bastrop’s updated land-use regulations, a Code Update Rodeo has been scheduled for May 9 from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Bastrop Opera House. This come and go event will feature stations by topic, with several opportunities for public input. Additional details can be found on the Building Bastrop website.