Frequently Asked Questions

What is zoning and how do I know what my property is zoned?

Zoning is utilized to preserve the health, safety, quality of life and economic sustainability of a community. Each parcel in the city has a zoning designation that describes how it is to be used and developed. 

Property zoning can be found on our Zoning Map (PDF). The uses and regulations of each zoning district can be found in the Zoning Code under Article IV. Use charts and Regulations (PDF).

What is a plat?

Prior to development, a property is required to be platted to establish adequate water, sewer, drainage, access and parcel size. While the city has some plats in its archives, the Dallas County Clerk’s Office and the Ellis County Clerk’s Office are the official repositories for all plats. The city strongly encourages property buyers to ascertain the platting status of a property prior to purchasing it. You may contact one of our staff members for assistance.  

What is a site plan?

A site plan shows the existing and/or proposed layout of property including structures, pavement, patios, lawns and landscaping.

What is a CUP?

CUP is an acronym for Conditional Use Permit. A CUP is required for certain uses in zoning districts to determine if a location is appropriate for a specific use given the general land use intensities and categories in the vicinity with consideration given to the city as a whole. Additional buffers and other site design components to mitigate potential impacts may be required.

How do I submit an application to rezone property, for a site plan, for a plat, or for a conditional use permit?

Applications and deadlines are available at Development Applications & Review. As a result of House Bill 3167, we are adjusting all our development processes to better serve you. In the future, this site will contain comprehensive instructions from rezoning property to obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

How do I find out more information about an upcoming public hearing?

Notices of public hearings for applications that have been scheduled are listed on Public Hearings. A staff report describing the request will be available when the agenda is posted. If you need additional information prior to that time, please contact one of our staff members for assistance and we will share with you the information that we have available.

How can I stop a property from being developed?

In Texas, property owners have a right to develop their property consistent with how it is zoned. Texas municipalities adopt development regulations to mitigate potentially undesirable impacts. However, state laws have lessened our sovereignty in areas such as building materials and tree preservation.

How do I know if a property is "grandfathered"?

Nonconforming is often referred to as "grandfathered". Nonconforming means that when existing conditions on a property were created, they were in legal compliance with the codes existing at the time. There are various conditions that can be nonconforming on a property including, but not limited to lot size, setbacks, building configuration, and land use.

What information is available to the public?

We are happy to provide you with any information that we knowingly have in our possession except for certain economic development details and personnel-related issues protected by law. However, please be aware that some information may require an official open records request due to potential legal implications, time involved to locate the information, or multiple parties being in possession of the information. Additionally, some documents may only be viewed on site due to copyright laws or fragility.