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Amendment changes zoning process

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The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE – City council voted unanimously Monday, Nov. 16 to approve changes to the city’s zoning ordinance which will help streamline the application process for developers and homeowners.

Amendment to the ordinance now makes it possible for certain types of businesses to open without requiring a special use permit, as long as the development in within the zoning requirements.

"It takes a step out of the process which will likely save from 45 to 60 days in the process," said City Manager Paul Stevens.

Previously, development including restaurants and cafeterias, convenience stores, grocery stores and retail stores and shops were required to obtain a special use permit before opening.

The changes also allow home owners to build an accessory building up to 700 square feet without a public hearing from the old set rule of 500 square feet.

"Essentially, what this amendment accomplishes is to eliminate a step in the zoning process, which will in turn save time for developers and home builders," said Clyde Melick, director of planning.

With the new amendment in place, these developments are allowed in specified districts in the city’s zoning usage charts "by right."

Without the requirement to have a public hearing, the development process is expedited by up to 45 days.

"This change will make the process easier and more streamlined for the applicant," said Melick.

Developers are still required to submit a site plan, and meet other requirements including zoning and building specifications.

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