The City’s long-range planning activities help to shape the city’s development and land use policies as the city grows and evolves. These policies are implemented by amending the Code of Ordinances, adjusting development standards, and refining development processes.
(Adopted 2010) The General Plan is the City’s official policy document guiding its growth and development. With extensive citizen participation and in coordination with all city departments, it articulates a vision for the future of the community regarding current and future land use, development and redevelopment, historic preservation, and neighborhood quality. It concludes by establishing a coordinated set of policy recommendations for future projects and updates to the Code of Ordinances.
(In progress) In 2013 the City began consolidating its land development-related regulations into a comprehensive development code. The Round Rock Development Code (RDC) will be a separate section of the Code of Ordinances that will address all aspect of land development, including subdivision platting, zoning, site plan review, landscaping and tree protection, signs, and technical building codes. This will improve clarity, consistency of regulations and interpretation, and creates an opportunity to update regulations and reshape certain policies.
- Check progress on the Development Code
(Adopted March 2013) In 2010 City Council adopted the Downtown Master Plan as a vision to guide the redevelopment of downtown Round Rock. The Master Plan recommended a series of public infrastructure improvements and new zoning regulations in order to enhance its traditional character and produce a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented place to live, work, and play. To develop new zoning and development regulations the Planning & Development Services Dept. enlisted the assistance of a working group composed of downtown stakeholders to codify the Downtown Master Plan’s recommendations into three mixed-use zoning districts (links go to the ordinance sections on Municode):
- MU-1 (Mixed-Use Historic Commercial Core): One-to-three story buildings designed to complement, but not imitate, the Downtown Historic District. Primary uses are retail, restaurant, and entertainment, with limited residential and office on upper floors.
- MU-2 (Mixed-Use Downtown Medium Density): A wider variety of building types and combinations of commercial, office and residential uses, including many housing types, including apartments, houses, live-work spaces, and accessory units.
- MU-L (Mixed-Use Limited): A variety of residential uses and limited commercial and office uses, with buildings designed to complement the existing neighborhood of single-family houses, many of them historic.
One of the goals of the current General Plan (adopted 2010) is to encourage a wider variety of housing types available in Round Rock, with sensitivity to the character of surrounding development. Under the 2002 zoning ordinance there was one multifamily zoning district (MF), which did not distinguish between low- and medium-density multifamily development, and did not allow higher-density multifamily at all. The original multifamily zoning district (MF) was replaced with three new districts of different densities. The standards for the MF-2 district are very similar to the earlier MF district, and MF properties were rezoned to the MF-2 district. (links go to the ordinance sections on Municode)
- MF-1: Low-density Multifamily (such as townhomes and 4-plexes)
- MF-2: Medium density Multifamily (such as 2- or 3-story walkup complexes)
- MF-3: High density Multifamily (tall apartment buildings)
(adopted March 2013) Round Rock recently overhauled its sign ordinance to better balance business needs for advertising and wayfinding with community goals for traffic safety and an attractive streetscape. The new ordinance includes sets of development standards appropriate for different road types in order to create a more consistent streetscape, while remaining be flexible enough to avoid a monotonous appearance and to accommodate changes in sign manufacturing technologies. The ordinance was developed with input from homeowners and neighborhood associations, sign companies, local businesses, the Texas Sign Association, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the City Council.
The City has made it a priority to maintain the quality of life for its residents. Like a general plan, area plans establish a vision and guide decision making for specific areas of the city that are undergoing significant change, such as a change in allowable land uses. Neighborhood plans are undertaken to establish a vision and strategy for improving the quality of life in existing residential neighborhoods. Many of the issues that were addressed through neighborhood plans are now the function of the Neighborhood Services Office in the Administration Department.
- Southwest Downtown Plan (2005), replaced by the Downtown Master Plan (2010) and Downtown Mixed-Use Zoning Districts
- Chisholm Valley Neighborhood Improvement Plan (2001)
- Greater Lake Creek Neighborhood Improvement Plan (2001)
- Palm Valley Area Planning & Design Study (2000)
- Northeast Neighborhood Plan (1998)
- Greater Round Rock West Plan (1996)
- Downtown Neighborhood Plan (1994, reviewed in 2002)