The Round Rock City Council will hold a public hearing and consider amendments to the City’s compatibility fencing and buffer standards on Jan. 13. Round Rock’s Zoning Ordinance currently requires compatibility fencing and landscaped buffers to be installed when non-residential development is adjacent to single-family or two-family lots. The intent of the ordinance is to provide a visual screen to protect homeowners from higher intensity commercial or industrial development.
The current minimum standard for compatibility fencing in Round Rock is a 6-foot high wood fence. Since wood deteriorates quickly and requires considerable maintenance to preserve its appearance, the proposed amendments establish a new minimum standard of pre-cast panel fencing. This new standard will improve both the appearance and durability of the fencing over time.
In recognition of the increased cost of the fencing, the City proposes to provide incentives to minimize the financial impact of the new requirement. These incentives are: (1) reducing the required landscape buffer from 15 feet to 8 feet and (2) eliminating the requirement of planting small trees within the buffer (large- and medium–sized trees are still required). Should a developer choose to install an even higher-quality fence, such as stone or brick, a building setback reduction of 20 percent will be available as an additional incentive. The proposed incentives provide both reduced buffer installation costs and a gain in usable site area for the non-residential development.
The idea of higher quality compatibility fencing in Round Rock originated from a discussion held by the City Council at their retreat in August 2009. The amendments are in alignment with the City’s adopted Strategic Plan which places an emphasis on quality development.
If you have any questions about the code amendments or would like additional information, please contact Clyde von Rosenberg at 341-3174 or Susan Brennan at 218-5425. We invite you to attend the public hearing concerning these amendments scheduled for the Jan. 13 City Council Meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers located in City Hall, 221 East Main St.