Zoning is the division of land within a jurisdiction into separate districts within which uses are permitted, prohibited or permitted with conditions. Zoning establishes site regulations, such as building heights, bulk (density/floor-to-area ratio), setbacks, building coverage, impervious cover, etc.
When a property owner requests a zoning change, nearby neighbors are considered to have a stake in the zoning as well and have the opportunity to challenge the zoning request before City Council.
The information below is intended to provide an overview of the zoning/rezoning process and a way to submit feedback on active cases.
The Zoning/Rezoning Process
- 1. Zoning Application Submitted
The applicant seeking to rezone a property submits a completed Zoning Application (PDF).
In addition to a completed application, the applicant is required to include additional information about the zoning request—referenced on page four (Submittal Checklist) of the Zoning Application.
Once the application packet is complete and the application fee is paid by the applicant, the city then assigns a Case Manager to serve as the liaison between the applicant and the City of Austin.
- 2. Notice of Filing
Public notice is mailed to the applicant, owners of property located within 500 feet, utility customers within 500 feet, and registered environmental or neighborhood organizations within 500 feet within 14 days of the filing of an application. A zoning sign is posted on site.
- 3. Staff Recommendation
A staff recommendation is developed based on a review of staff comments, land use principles, and adopted plans. This recommendation is released as a written report which will be available to the applicant and the public several days before the item is scheduled for review by Planning Commission (PC) or Zoning and Platting Commission (ZAP).
- 4. Notice of Public Hearing (PC or ZAP)
Public notice is mailed to the applicant, owners of the property located within 500 feet, and registered environmental and neighborhood organizations within 500 feet no later than 11 days before the date of the public hearing.
- 5. Public Hearing (PC or ZAP)
Zoning requests are typically heard approximately 6 to 7 weeks following the date of application submittal and by the City Council approximately one month following the Commission’s recommendation.
The commission may make a recommendation to Council to approve, deny, approve with conditions, or approve a less intense zoning classification.
The application can be forwarded to Council without a recommendation from PC or ZAP.
- 6. Notice of Public Hearing (City Council)
Notice published in a newspaper and mailed to the applicant, owners of property located within 500 feet, utility customers within 500 feet, and registered environmental and neighborhood organizations within 500 feet no later than 16 days before the date of the public hearing before Council.
- 7. Public Hearing at City Council
Council may approve, deny, approve with conditions, or approve a less intense zoning classification.
City Council approvals or approvals with conditions result in a city ordinance which must be voted on and approved by the City Council in three readings. Multiple readings can be approved by City Council at one meeting.
You may download a printable zoning/rezoning application process reference guide using the button below.
You may then submit a public comment on current zoning/rezoning cases using the City's Zoning/Rezoning Comment Form—also linked below.