Updated zoning code rewrite gets first reading at Sunset Hills meeting

Update reinstates planned development zoning areas


By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen heard a first reading of a newly-updated draft of the city’s Unified Development Ordinance Aug. 9. 

The UDO has been in the works for the past five years and was recently recommended for approval by the planning commission July 6. City Engineer Bryson Baker explained to the commission that the UDO is meant to create some consistency between properties and city code.

“If we had an area that was zoned R-2, but all of the properties were more R-3, we rezoned to R-3,” Baker said. “When they go to put an addition … on the property, they need that zoning. It’s easier on the resident.”

Aldermen last saw the UDO in September before sending it back for additional changes. These changes, like the addition of planned development districts, are included in the new edition. 

The reinstatement of the planned development zoning would “provide a means of achieving greater flexibility in development of land in a manner not always possible in conventional zoning districts,” according to the UDO. This would “encourage a more imaginative and innovative design of projects” within the community.

The only change Aug. 9 was to remove regulations for signs before the second reading. 

The UDO ties into other discussions at the Aug. 9 meeting, including Airbnbs and the Gates Manor subdivision. The new short-term rental definition in the UDO bans any rental of any part of a house for less than 30 days within the city, making it clear that Airbnbs are not allowed.