Zoning

The zoning section reviews development projects for conformance with the zoning regulations, and we work with applicants when they would like to rezone their property, request approval of a detailed site development plan when required, or seek relief from certain zoning requirements (e.g., their setbacks or permitted uses). We also handle general inquiries about zoning requirements.

Zoning Regulates:

What you can do on your land (regulates what land uses are permitted in what zoning districts)

Where you can do it (setback requirements)

• How you can do it (parking regulations, additional requirements for certain uses).

To find zoning information for your property, go to GIS Map 

To find our zoning regulations online, visit City of El Paso Ordinance Title 20


New Housing Ordinance Adopted

The El Paso City Council recently adopted a new ordinance that redefines and clarifies where homeless shelters, halfway houses and group residential facilities may be located. Under the new ordinance, existing facilities will not be affected but will be required to register with the City by December 9th. If you operate a facility affected by the new ordinance, visit us at the One-Stop-Shop to learn more about the registration process. 


Contact

For more information about Zoning, contact the “One Stop Shop” at (915) 212-0104 or contact 311. 


Rezoning


What is Zoning?

Zoning establishes the types of land uses permitted on a specific tract of land. Zoning also sets development standards such as lot area; density; parking
and loading requirements; setbacks; landscape and screening requirements; and building height. The City of El Paso currently has 34 zoning districts.

Why do we need zoning and what effect does zoning have on my property?

The purpose of zoning is to protect the public’s health, safety, morals and general welfare and is an important tool for implementing the City’s long range plans. Property must be zoned for a given use before a building permit is issued, and development plans for the property must comply with the applicable standards for that zoning district.

How do I determine the types of uses permitted on my property?

Contact the Planning Division at (915) 212-0088 to verify the zoning district classification for the property and types of uses that are permitted. If your intended use is not permitted on the property, based on its existing zoning, staff will advise you on the rezoning process and other options (if any) available to you.

How do I apply to change the zoning of my property?

A completed rezoning application, with all required documentation, must be submitted to the Planning Division. The application must contain an original signature of the owner of the property proposed for rezoning.

What is the rezoning process?

After acceptance of a completed application, the Development Services Department reviews the request; obtains the review and comments from other City departments; schedules the case for public hearing by the City Plan Commission (CPC); obtains a recommendation from the Development Coordinating Committee (DCC); prepares a staff report; and notifies property owners within 300 feet of the proposed rezoning and any appropriate recognized neighborhood associations. In addition, if the property proposed for rezoning is one or more acres in size, a sign must be placed on the property proposed for rezoning by the applicant

at least 15 days before the CPC hearing. CPC holds a public hearing approximately six weeks following the submittal of the application, and votes to approve, approve with modifications, deny, or postpone the rezoning application. A report by the staff is presented, public input is received, and CPC
deliberates its findings. When a recommendation to approve the application is made by CPC, an ordinance will be prepared and forwarded to City Council (CC) for finalization. The final hearing by CC will take place approximately four to five weeks after the CPC hearing. A report is presented by staff with the recommendations of DCC and CPC, public input is received, and CC deliberates its findings, and either approves, approves with modification, denies or postpones the application. Upon finalization, the Development Services Department makes the necessary changes to the Official Zoning Map Series of the City. If an application is denied by CPC, the applicant may file an appeal of the denial action to CC within fifteen days of the CPC hearing. Once an appeal is filed, an ordinance will be prepared and forwarded to CC for finalization in the same manner described above.

What documentation is required to be submitted with an application for rezoning?

• Applicable zoning sheet identifying the property to be rezoned
• For vacant properties, 8 copies of a generalized plot plan
• For developed properties, 8 copies of a detailed site development plan
• A title certificate or proof of ownership
• City Tax Certificate indicating that no tax delinquencies are due
• A sealed metes and bounds survey, if applicable

How can the public participate in the rezoning process?

During the public hearings before CPC and CC, the applicant and the public will be afforded an opportunity to present their views on the application. In addition, letters and faxes may be sent to the Planning Division regarding any application. Letters should be addressed to the City Plan Commission (c/o Planning and Inspections Department - Planning Division, 1st Floor, City 3, 801 Texas Avenue, El Paso TX 79901 and faxes should be sent to (915) 212-0088. The letter of fax must state the case number, your name and address, and your position.

How long does the rezoning process take?

A rezoning application, form submission to finalization, takes approximately ten to twelve weeks. Incomplete applications and unique circumstances or factors may
increase the processing time.

Site Development Plan

Why is site design necessary?

The importance of site plan design is the relation of proposed site improvements to the contextual setting of the property-topography, access, natural drainage patterns, traffic circulation, orientation, spacing, etc. The site design process is an opportunity for the City and the developer to work together to ensure that a development meets both the design goals of the community and the requirements of the developer. Site design includes the arrangement of uses, buildings and structures, landscaping, lighting, signage, screening, architectural style and color, and other site criteria, all working together to promote a desirable visual environment.

What is a detailed site development plan?

A detailed site development plan is an engineered, detailed drawing of the site improvements and building proposed on a property. This plan ensures proper site design and is approved though legislative action of City Council (CC) following a public hearing process. The purpose of the plan review is to ensure that the proposed development conforms to the regulations and to various site design requirements. Where required on a property, detailed site development plan review is required prior to the issuance of a building permit.

When is a detailed site development plan review required?

A detailed site development plan is required under the following circumstances:
• When construction is on land that has a zoning district classification requiring detailed site development plan review.
• When construction is intended for a use that is permitted by special permit in the zoning district classification.
• When construction is intended for a particular use, and the development standards for that use require detailed site development plan review.
• When the construction proposes a use requiring a change of zoning on land that is occupied by a building(s) or use(s).
• When construction is on land that has a zoning condition requiring detailed site development plan review.

How do I obtain approval of a detailed site development plan?

Approval of a detailed site development plan may only be granted upon application to the City by the owner of a property, and through a public hearing process. The applicant is encouraged to discuss the application with the staff of the Development Services Department - Planning Division. A pre-application conference will include a discussion of the surrounding zoning, land uses, recent zoning trends, adopted development-related zoning policies, and any other relevant factor.

How do I apply for detailed site development plan review?

Submit a completed detailed site development plan review application, with accompanying documentation to the Planning Division. The application must contain an original signature of the owner of the property to be accepted for processing.

What documentation is required to be submitted with a completed and singed application?

• Applicable zoning map sheet identifying the property.
• 8 copies of a detailed site development plan.
• A title certificate of other proof of ownership document.
• City Tax Certificate indicating that no tax delinquencies are due.
• A sealed metes and bounds survey, if applicable.

What is the detailed site development review process?

After acceptance of a completed application, the Planning Division reviews the request; obtains the review and comments from other City departments; schedules the case for public hearing before the City Plan Commission (CPC); obtains a recommendation from the Development Coordinating Committee (DCC); prepares a staff report; and notifies property owners within 300 feet of the proposed development.

CPC holds a public hearing approximately six weeks following the submittal of the application. The staff report is presented, and public input is received. CPC then deliberates its findings and votes to approve, approve with modifications, deny, or table the application. Where a recommendation to approve the application is made
by CPC, a resolution will be prepared and forwarded for CC finalization. The final hearing before CC will take place approximately four to five weeks from the CPC meeting. The staff report of the DCC and CPC is presented, public input is received and CC deliberates its findings and either approves,
approves with modifications, denies, or tables the application. Upon finalization, the Development Services Department- Planning Division records the approved plan.
If an application is denied by CPC, the applicant may file an appeal of the denial action to CC within fifteen days of the CPC hearing. Once an appeal is filed, a resolution will be prepared and forwarded to CC for finalization in the same manner described above.

How can I participate in the public hearing process?

During the public hearings before CPC and CC, the applicant and the public will be afforded an opportunity to present their views on the application. In addition to speaking at the hearings, letters to CPC and CC may be sent directly or through the Planning Division. Petitions in support or opposition to an application may be formally submitted at either hearing. The applicant must be present at the hearings before CPC and CC to answer questions regarding the application.

How long does this process take?

An application, from submission to effective date, takes approximately ten weeks. Any unusual action by CPC, CC or the applicant may postpone an application and increase the processing time.

What is the detailed site development plan review application fee?

Detailed site development plan review application fees are on a graduate scale based on the total acreage shown on an application, and are non-refundable upon payment.

What is the detailed site developmentplan review application fee?

Detailed site development plan review application fees are on a graduate scale based on the total acreage shown on an application, and are non-refundable upon payment.


Special Permit


What is a special permit?

Zoning establishes the types of land uses permitted on a specific tract of land. Each zoning classification then sets development standards which regulate setbacks, lot width, lot depth, minimum square footage, maximum lot coverage, height requirements, which apply to a particular use. In this zoning scheme, land use activity is permitted in a zoning classification either as use by right or by special use permit. A use by right is a land use activity which has been deemed appropriate and correct for the zone where it is to be located. A special use permit allows a land use activity in a zone under certain specified rules (performance standards).

Similar to the rezoning process, a special permit is re-viewed for satisfactory compliance with all required stand-ards listed in the City Zoning Ordinance through a public hearing process. If a special permit has been approved, a notation of “SP” will be reflected on the Zoning Map Series of the City.

Why would I need a special permit?

All property within the City is zoned based on a land use classification system which has considered all factors neces-sary to determine its best land use pattern. If the zoning classification on the property does not permit an intended use by right, the City Development Department—Planning Division will advise whether the intended use, infill develop-ment, planned residential development overlay, or parking reduction is permitted in the applicable zone by special permit. If so, an application for special permit may then be submitted.

What effect does a special permit have on my property?

Property must be zoned for a given use, whether by right or as a use permitted by special permit, before a building permit is issued. If the zoning of the property has a nota-tion “SP”, the conditions of the special permit will be reviewed and checked for compliance prior to a building permit being issued. Property may be used for any permit-ted use or for any use permitted by an approved special permit. Development plans must comply with the applicable standards for that zoning district and any requirements of an approved special permit. A special permit may not be removed or changed except through legislative action of City Council (CC) following the same public hearing process.

How do I obtain a special permit?

A special permit may only be granted upon application to the City by the owner of a property, and through a public hearing process. You are encouraged to discuss an application with staff in the Development Services Department—Planning Division. A pre-application conference will include a discussion of the surrounding zoning, land uses, recent area zoning trends, adopted development-related zoning policies, and any other relevant factors related to your application. A special permit application packet will be provided.

How do I apply for a special permit on my property?

Submit a completed special permit application with accompanying documentation, to the Development Services Department - Planning Division. The application must contain an original signature of the owner of the property to be accepted for processing.

What documentation is required to be submitted with a completed and signed special permit application?

• Applicable zoning map sheet identifying the property to be rezoned.
• 8 copies of a detailed site development plan.
• A title or certificate or other proof of ownership.
• City Tax Certificate indicating that no tax delinquencies are due.
• A sealed metes and bounds survey, if applicable.

What is the special permit process?

After acceptance of a completed application, Development Services Department - Planning Division reviews the request, obtains the review and comments from other City departments; schedules the case for public hearing by the City Plan Commission (CPC); prepares a staff report; and notifies property owners within 300 feet of the proposed special permit of the hearing. CPC holds a public hearing approximately six weeks following the submittal of the application and votes to approve, approve with modifications, deny, or table the special permit application. The staff report is presented, public input is received, and CPC deliberates its findings. 

When a recommendation to approve the application is made by CPC, an ordinance will be prepared and forwarded for CC finalization. The final hearing by CC will take place approximately four to five weeks from the CPC hearing. The staff report of CPC is presented, public input is received, and CC deliberates its findings, and either approves, approves with modifications, denies or tables the application. Upon finalization, the Planning Division makes the necessary changes to the Official Zoning Map Series of the City.

If an application is denied by CPC, the applicant may file an appeal of the denial action to CC within fifteen days of the CPC hearing. Once an appeal is filed, an ordinance will be prepared and forwarded to CC for finalization in the same manner described above.

How can I participate in the public hearing process?

During the public hearings before CPC and CC, the applicant and the public will be afforded an opportunity to present their views on the application. In addition to speaking at the hearings, letters to CPC and CC may be sent directly or through the Development Services Department - Planning Division. Petitions in support or opposition to an application may be formally submitted at either hearing. The applicant, or a representative, must be present at hearings before CPC and CC to answer question regarding the application.

How long does the special permit process take?

A special permit application, from submission to effected date, takes approximately ten weeks. Any unusual action by CPC, CC or the applicant to postpone an application increases the processing time.

What is the special permit application fee?

Special permit application fees are on a graduated scale based on the total acreage shown on an application, and are non-refundable upon payment. The schedule of special permit fees may be found on the application.

Zoning Condition Amdt.


What are zoning conditions?

As part of an application to amend the City’s Zoning Map (rezoning process), certain conditions, requirements and covenants may be imposed by the City to remove any objections to the proposed rezoning. Under the current procedure, these conditions are contained within the rezoning ordinance approved by City Council, although some former conditions had been imposed by contract as part of the earlier rezoning process. In either case, zoning conditions may only be amended or removed following the same hearing process as when imposed. Zoning conditions, on a case-by-case basis, will supplement Code requirements to lessen potential negative impacts of a proposed rezoning and ensure compatibility or proposed uses with surrounding properties. When the City’s Official Zoning Map Series is changed to reflect an approved rezoning, a notation is also made with the designation “C” or “SC” where zoning conditions have been imposed.

What effect to zoning conditions have on my property?

Property must be zoned for a given use before a building permit is issued. As part of the building permit review process, the zoning of the property is verified to ascertain whether the use proposed is permitted. The Development Services Department - Planning Division will verify the zoning using the City’s zoning maps. If the zoning of the property has a notation “C” or “SC”, the zoning condi-tions will be reviewed and checked for compliance prior to a building permit being issued. If any zoning condition has not been satisfied, no building permit may be issued on the property.

Zoning conditions restrict the development and use of property, and may not be amended or removed except through legislative action of City Council (CC) following a public hearing process. These conditions restrict title to a property similar to a deed restriction covenant.Can zoning conditions be amended or removed?
Zoning conditions may be amended or removed upon applica-tion to the City by the owner of a property, and through a public hearing process. To request a release, the applicant will be required to demonstrate that the zoning conditions have either been satisfied or are no longer necessary or desirable. An owner may also request that zoning conditions be amended due to changes since their imposition at the time of rezoning of the property. An applicant is encouraged to discuss an application with staff in the Development Services Department - Planning Division. A pre-application conference will include a discussion of the surrounding zoning, the zoning conditions, land uses, recent area zoning trends, adopted development-related zoning policies, and any other relevant factors related to the applications. An application for zoning condition amendment/release packet will be provided.

How do I apply for amendment or removal of zoning conditions on my property?

Submit a completed zoning conditions amendment/release appli-cation, with accompanying documentations to the Planning Division. The application must contain an original signature of the owner of the property.

What documentation is required to be submitted with a completed application?

• Applicable zoning map sheet identifying property on which zoning conditions are to be amended or removed.
• For vacant property, 8 copies of a generalized plot plan.
• For developed property, 8 copies of a detailed site development plan.
• A title certificate of other proof of ownership document.
• City Tax Certificate indicating that no tax delinquencies are due.
• A sealed metes and bounds survey, if applicable.
• A copy of the ordinance or contract imposing the zoning conditions.

What is the zoning condition amendment/release process?

After acceptance of a completed application, the Planning Division reviews the request; obtains the review and comments from other City departments; schedules the application for public hearing by the City Plan Commission (CPC); prepares a staff report; and notifies property owners within 300 feet of the property on which an application for amendment or release of zoning conditions is proposed. CPC holds a public hearing approximately six weeks following the submittal of the application, and votes to approve, deny, or table the application. The staff report is presented, public input is received, and CPC deliberates its findings.
Where a recommendation to approve the application is made by CPC, an ordinance will be prepared and forwarded to CC for finalization. The final hearing before CC will take place approximately four to five weeks following the CPC hearing. The staff report of CPC is presented, public input is received, and CC deliberates its findings, and either approves, denies or tables the application. Upon finalization, the Planning Division makes any necessary changes to the Official Zoning Map Series of the City. If an application is denied by CPC, the applicant may file an appeal of the denial action to CC within fifteen days of the CPC hearing. Once an appeal is filed, an ordinance will be prepared and forwarded to CC for finalization in the same manner described above.

How can I participate in the public hearing process?

During the public hearings before CPC and City Council, the applicant and the public will be afforded an opportunity to present their views on the application. In addition to speaking at the hearings, letters to CPC and City Council may be sent directly or through the Development Services Department - Planning Division 801 Texas Avenue, City 3, El Paso, Texas 79901, 915-212-0083, fax 915-212-0086. The applicant must be present to answer any question.

How long does this process take?

This process from beginning to end takes approximately ten weeks. Any unusual action by CPC, CC or the applicant might increase the processing time.

What is the application fee?

The application fee is set by resolution of CC. It appears on the application and is non-refundable following payment.