Sugar Land to host public hearing on capping apartments at 200

A public hearing will be held at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting scheduled on Dec. 8 to consider the elimination of recent updates to the City’s Development Code and the addition of a provision limiting multi-family in planned development districts to no more than 200 units.

Should the commission make a recommendation on Dec. 8 to update Sugar Land’s Development Code:

• City Council could hold a public hearing and consider the update on first reading at a future meeting; and

• approval of the update could follow on second and final reading at a subsequent City Council meeting.

Sugar Land City Council approved a resolution on Nov. 3 directing the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider the changes.

After receiving a petition of more than 1,400 citizens concerned about apartments, Mayor James Thompson scheduled a meeting on Oct. 27 at City Hall with representative petitioners. The group represented seven neighborhoods near the location where Newland Communities recently applied for a planned development zoning district that included 900 optional apartments among other components such as office and retail.

The Land Use Plan Task Force, a City Council steering committee working on an update to the future Land Use Plan, met on Oct. 30 for further discussion of land use issues. The Land Use Plan is one of many master plans that comprise the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Two members of the taskforce – Councilmembers Joe Zimmerman and Harish Jajoo – asked for a resolution addressing residents’ concerns to be considered by City Council.

“We listened to the community, and we heard their concerns,” said Mayor James Thompson. “Public input has been important to us, and has helped guide our past and current decisions. Balancing the interests of citizens to expand tourism initiatives, attract new businesses, maintain our very low tax rate and protect our neighborhoods will continue to be our focus. It is important that we incorporate recent community dialogue and new issues such as school overcrowding into our ongoing process to update our Land Use Plan.”

Another petition requesting the repeal of Ordinance 2014 by referendum was not received by the legal deadline of Nov. 6. Ordinance 2014, adopted by City Council in July 2015, repealed and replaced the prior development code.

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