City of New Braunfels officials announced Dec. 8 the city will begin a process to update development-related ordinances with the goal of streamlining rules and regulations followed by property owners.

The update, titled the Land Development Ordinance, was recommended by residents during the creation of the 2018 Envision New Braunfels Comprehensive Plan, according to a release from the city.

Four ordinances will be consolidated into the LDO, and the city has hired Clarion Associates to analyze current codes and assist in the creation of the LDO.

Zoning, subdivision platting, historic preservation and sign ordinances will be included in the update but international building codes are scheduled for a separate update in 2022.

“The existing ordinances were written at different times in New Braunfels’ history in order to achieve the goals of our community at those times,” said Christopher Looney, planning and development services director for the city, in a press release. “But they are not equipped to implement the future vision of our residents reflected in Envision New Braunfels.”

Originally written in the 1960s and updated in the 1980s, the zoning ordinance includes zoning districts that separate activity and development by districts of compatibility.

The subdivision platting ordinance includes rules for laying out roads, lots and utilities while the historic preservation ordinance includes processes and guidelines for preserving historic structures and resources. Both ordinances were originally written in the 1990s, according to the city.

The sign ordinance was written in 2006 and includes rules for commercial signage.

“The City’s Comprehensive Plan specifically calls for the creation of a unified development code,” Looney wrote in the release. “The Land Development Ordinance will do just that and address issues like housing variety, creative neighborhood layouts, more sidewalks, and better transitions between land uses.”

Public meetings, interactive online engagement, interviews with key stakeholders, surveys and more are expected to be included in the creation of the LDO, according to the city.

The process is expected to take a year and a half, and the first phase of the project to analyze and assess the current codes is underway.

Residents who wish to participate in the process are encouraged to visit the Land Development Ordinance website to sign up for updates and take the first online survey, which will be available until Jan. 31, 2022.