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Zoning FAQs

1. What is my property zoned?  

2. I want to build a storage building/carport on my lot. What are the restrictions?

3. I have lived in my house (or run my business) since before my property was annexed by the City. What is the zoning status of my property?

4. I just moved here and I live in the county (or in a MUD). What is my zoning?

5. I am planning to open a new business in town. What are the parking requirements?

6. What is the City's review fee for a rezoning application?

7. How do I find out what uses are allowed in my zoning district?

8. What are the building setbacks on my lot?

9. How do I change the zoning on my property?
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Zoning

1. What is my property zoned?
Frequently updated zoning maps can be found at this web site and are displayed in the entry foyer of City Hall at 600 N. Bell Blvd. The maps show the zoning use district assigned to each parcel in the City, with the street address for easy reference. Zoning Maps can be purchased at City Hall (call to confirm availability) for $35.00 each (36"X 50") or for individual inquiry, call with the street address.

2. I want to build a storage building/carport on my lot. What are the restrictions?
Refer to the section of the zoning ordinance (Chapter 11) for your use district and read the sections on accessory buildings and setback restrictions. (They do require a building permit, see Building Inspection)

3. I have lived in my house (or run my business) since before my property was annexed into the City. What is the zoning status of my property?
Some properties were annexed into the City with the original incorporation of the City and were permanently zoned. Tracts annexed into the City since that time were annexed in as "Interim R-1" which serves as a "temporary" zoning assignment. If your property is zoned R-1, unless your property meets the requirements of the R-1 Single-family Use District, your home or business falls under the restrictions of a "non-conforming use" until or unless the property is rezoned by the owner to a use district that "fits" the use of the property. For an explanation of the conditions that apply, refer to the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 11).

4. I just moved here and I live in the county (or in a MUD). What is my zoning?
Zoning regulations for the City of Cedar Park do NOT extend beyond the City limits. Subdivision regulations and Building regulations DO apply and building permits are required for improvements on property outside the City but in the ETJ of the City of Cedar Park. Refer to Addressing FAQ for an explanation of the ETJ.

5. I am planning to open a new business in town. What are the parking requirements?
Refer to the Transportation Ordinances (Chapter 16).

6. What is the city's review fee for a rezoning application?
Refer to the Development Guide Rezoning Information section.

7. How do I find out what uses are allowed in my zoning district?
Refer to Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 11) in the City Code of Ordinances.

8. What are the building setbacks on my lot?
When inside the City, building setbacks are controlled by the zoning ordinance. When outside the City, building setbacks are controlled by the subdivision plat that includes your lot. In all cases, private deed restrictions can affect building setbacks. If there is a conflict between any of the above, the most restrictive setback applies. Refer to the Development Guide's Zoning District Charts section – Single-Family – Multi-Family – Commercial - Industrial.

9. How do I change the zoning on my property?
Refer to the Development Guide Rezoning Information section. Contact the Planning Department or print the application directly from the web.

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Subdivision FAQs

1. What is the City's review fee for a new subdivision?

2. What is the subdivision process?

3. How long does it take to get through the review process for a new subdivision?

4. Who approves my subdivision application?

5. Who prepares a subdivision plat?

6. How do I re-plat an existing lot?

7. What areas are included within the subdivision jurisdiction of the City?

8. Does the City enforce deed restrictions?

9. Is my street in the City or ETJ? What subdivision is "this" street in?

10. Answers to generic question, Who?, When?, Where?, Why?, & How?

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Subdivision

1. What is the city's review fee for a new subdivision?
Refer to the Development Guide Subdivision Information.

2. What is the subdivision process?
Refer to the Development Guide Subdivision Information.

3. How long does it take to get through the review process for a new subdivision?
Normally, it takes approximately two months. However, it depends on how complete the application is and how quickly the surveyor can respond to staff comments made on the subdivision application.

4. Who approves my subdivision application?
When the subdivision is within the city limits of Cedar Park, the Cedar Park Planning and Zoning Commission approves the subdivision. If the subdivision is within the ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction) of the City of Cedar Park, both the Cedar Park Planning and Zoning Commission and the county Commissioner's Court approves the subdivision plat. Most of the Cedar Park ETJ is within Williamson County. The far western part of the ETJ is within Travis County.

5. Who prepares a subdivision plat?
The owner of the property to be subdivided is required to hire a surveyor to prepare the plat.

6. How do I re-plat an existing lot?
Texas law provides for two methods to re-plat an existing lot; (1) vacate the existing lot or (2) re-plat with a public hearing. The first way is the best since it clears restrictions pertaining to the lot and it creates a cleaner title history. However, the vacation instrument is required to be signed by all of the owners of lots in the original subdivision. If it is not possible to get all of the owners of lots in the original subdivision to sign the vacation instrument, the second method may be utilized. However, if the owners of more than 20% of the land within 200 feet of the re-subdivision and within the original subdivision protest the re-plat by public hearing, and a variance is required for the re-plat, it takes at least a three fourths majority vote of the Planning and Zoning Commission to override the protest. An additional method called an “amending plat” may be utilized if the re-plat is for the purpose of correcting a surveying error or description, correcting a clerical error, re-drawing lot lines between two lots because of an inadvertent encroachment of a structure on a lot line or building line, or for other limited purposes. An amending plat does not need a vacation instrument or a public hearing.

7. What areas are included within the subdivision jurisdiction of the City of Cedar Park?
Areas within the Cedar Park city limits and ETJ are within the subdivision jurisdiction of the City of Cedar Park. Maps of this area are available at Cedar Park City Hall.

8. Does the City of Cedar Park enforce deed restrictions?
Deed restrictions are generally private and the City of Cedar Park does not enforce private deed restrictions.

9. Is my street in the City or ETJ? What subdivision is "this" street in?
Refer to Street Name Index .

10. Who? When? Where? Why? How?
Who? - Who is required to prepare a subdivision plat?
If you are creating more than one lot from a single parcel, then you are required to file a subdivision plat. Normally the seller prepares the plat. However, if you have already purchased a tract by metes and bounds rather than by lot and block, you may be required to plat the property before receiving a permit to build or expand. (Note: There are certain limited exceptions to the platting requirements contained in the Texas Local Government Code.)

When? - Property should be platted before it is purchased or sold. Property is required to be platted only once unless lot lines are changed. A buyer purchasing an unplatted lot may not understand all of the requirements for legal use of the property. Platting and using the property may result in the need to extend utilities, dedicate ROW or easements, pay fees or other requirements that may not have been anticipated in the sales contract. If the sale is closed before these issues are known (creating an illegal subdivision), there could be misunderstandings between the buyer and the seller creating potential liabilities for those involved in the transaction.

Where? - If the property is inside the City limits or ETJ (Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction), the plat should be submitted to the City. If outside the City limits or ETJ, the plat should be submitted to the County.

Why? - Platting a subdivision is required by both state statutes and local ordinances. Most permits for building and development are withheld until this is accomplished. The purpose of these regulations is to assure compliance with the subdivision ordinance; to provide for necessary infrastructure for orderly growth such as streets, utilities and drainage improvements and to assure safe access to all lots.

How? - A subdivision is more than a survey of the property. It contains notes for recording, approval, street and easement dedication and it fulfills all subdivision requirements of the reviewing agencies. If a subdivision does not involve new streets, utilities or drainage improvements, a surveyor can prepare your plat. If such improvements are needed, you may also need an engineer. The City of Cedar Park has checklists to help in preparing the plat.

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Addressing FAQs

1. How Do I get an address?

2. What is a legal lot and tract?

3. Why can't I get an address before the plat is recorded?

4. What is the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) ?

5. How can I get the dimensions of a lot?

6. What is the current and projected population of Cedar Park?

7. Where do I find rules for design of new streets?
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Addressing

1. How do I get an address?
Addresses are assigned by the Planning Division. The property must be a legal lot or legal tract before any address can be assigned.

2. What is a legal lot and legal tract?
A legal lot is a parcel of land which has been subdivided with a subdivision plat approved by the governmental agency within whose jurisdiction the subdivision falls. A legal tract is a parcel of land created by a metes and bounds survey and recorded in the county deed records prior to the date when a subdivision ordinance became effective for that parcel. For instance, if a parcel was deeded by metes and bounds on Jan. 4, 1972, and the first subdivision ordinance for that area was not adopted until Dec. 9, 1974, the parcel is a legal tract by virtue of the fact that it was created prior to the first applicable subdivision ordinance for that area. A term that is frequently used is that the parcel is "grandfathered" from the subdivision ordinance. Some common grandfather dates for local governmental jurisdictions are as follows:
City of Cedar Park - Dec. 9, 1974

Williamson County - Feb. 21, 1985

Travis County - Sept. 1, 1983

Austin ETJ released to Cedar Park - May 12, 1977 or Nov. 15, 1984 (depending on location)
Grandfather dates can be affected by the date a parcel of land was annexed into the ETJ of the City. It is necessary to consult the City or County in whose jurisdiction the parcel falls to determine the appropriate grandfather date. If the parcel is a legal lot or legal tract, the owner may apply for construction permits. If the parcel is not a legal lot or legal tract, the owner may not apply for construction permits until a subdivision plat is approved and recorded for the parcel.

3. Why can't I get an address before the plat is recorded?
It is not a legal lot/tract.

4. What is the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ)?
The extra-territorial jurisdiction is the area surrounding the city where the city has authority to review subdivisions for compliance with the subdivision ordinance of the city and authority to issue building permits to assure compliance with the building code. This authority helps to ensure that growth surrounding the city will be consistent with the standards of the city which helps to ensure orderly and compatible growth. There is no zoning in the ETJ. Land included in the Cedar Park ETJ can only be annexed by the City of Cedar Park.

5. How can I get the dimensions of a lot?
(1) Subdivision plats with lot dimensions are on file with the County Clerk's office at the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown or the Travis County Courthouse in Austin.
(2) You may fill out our Request for Information form and send it to the Planning Department. Please allow 48 hours for our response.

6. What is the current and projected population of Cedar Park?
Refer to the Population Forecast & Estimates chart.

7. Where do I find the rules for design of new streets?
Within the jurisdiction of the City of Cedar Park, street design is regulated by the Transportation Ordinance. Part of the Transportation Ordinance is the Transportation Criteria Manual which includes all of the transportation design criteria. The City of Cedar Park adopted a Transportation Criteria Manual that is consistent with the City of Austin to ensure regional compatibility.

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Miscellaneous FAQs

1. When does the Planning and Zoning Commission meet?

2. When does the City Council meet?

3. When will my property be annexed?

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Miscellaneous

1. When does the Planning and Zoning Commission meet?
The P & Z meetings are held at the Cedar Park City Complex - Council Chambers (450 Cypress Creek Road, Building Four) on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 P.M. During the months of November and December, the meeting schedule may vary depending on the holidays. Check out the current P&Z Meeting Agenda and the Planning & Zoning Calendar.

2. When does the City Council meet?
The City Council meetings are held at the Cedar Park City Complex - Council Chambers (450 Cypress Creek Road, Building Four) on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 P.M. During the months of November and December, the meeting schedule may vary depending on the holidays. Check out the current Council Agenda and the City Council calendar.

3. When will my property be annexed?
Resolution 99-025 was approved by City Council on December 16, 1999 and applies to involuntary annexations. Each year the City reviews land located in its ETJ and prepares an annexation plan. If the land is located in a MUD (Municipal Utility District), the City evaluates whether or not it will be feasible for its taxpayers to assume the MUD's debt.

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Building Inspections

1. How long does it take to get a building permit?

2. How long is my building permit good for?

3. Do I need to post my permit?

4. Can you as a homeowner act as your own general contactor?

5. What do I do if my building permit expires?

6. What do I need to bring to get a building permit?

7. How do I get a building permit?

8. Where is the Building Inspection Department located?

9. How do I arrange a building inspection?

10. How do I know if my building inspection has passed?

11. Where can I find the City building code?
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1. How long does it take to get a building permit?
The time it takes to get a building permit depends on the type of permit. Generally residential permits are issued in 5-7 business days. Commercial projects take a little more time. The typical time frame is 21 days for the initial review and 7 days for a re-review.

2. How long is my building permit good for?
Issued permits will expire if work has not been started within 180 days after its issuance, or if the work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the time the work is started. The Building Official reserves the right to extend a permit for periods not more than 180 days for each request. An extension request must be made in writing and justifiable cause must be demonstrated.

3. Do I need to post my permit?
No, keep it for your records.

4. Can you as a homeowner act as your own general contactor?
In many cases yes, you must show proof of the Homestead Exemption on file with the County http://www.wcad.org/appraisal/publicaccess and complete a Homestead Affidavit.

5. What do I do if my building permit expires?
Another application and permitting fee will need to be submitted to the Building Inspection Division. If there are changes to the original scope of work, then a new set of drawings will also need to be submitted.

6. What do I need to bring to get a building permit?
All permits require a completed Permit Application and the applicable permit application fees. Please see the Permit Guides for more details on other required documents.

7. How do I get a building permit?
Contact the Building Inspection Division. (Main Office: 512-401-5100)

8. Where is the Building Inspection Department located?
Our office is located at the Cedar Park City Complex (450 Cypress Creek Road, Building Two) . Once you enter the building, the Building Inspection Division is on the right.

9. How do I arrange a building inspection?
Once your building permit is issued you will be given paperwork explaining how to call into the automated inspection request system and request an inspection. If the permit was issued for a gas leak repair or emergency electrical service repair, the Building Inspection Division will dispatch an inspector once we are notified that the work has been completed.

10. How do I know if my building inspection has passed?
The inspector performing the inspection will leave a copy of the inspection tag on the job site. You can also call the automated inspection system to hear the inspection results.

11. Where can I find the City building code?
The City Code of Ordinances is available on-line. However, the online version in provided as a convenience and is updated only twice a year. For the most up-to-date version, the Library and the Building Inspection Division have printed copies for the public to review.

Local Electrical Code Ordinance amendments can be viewed in the Code of Ordinances. (Ordinance #89-004).

Building, Electrical, Plumbing, Gas, & Fire Code references can be viewed at the Cedar Park Public Library, or may be purchased from International Code Council on their website at http://www.iccsafe.org/e/category.html

For Williamson County http://www.wilco.org, call the County Engineer at 930-3330.
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Code Compliance FAQ

1. How can I find out about city codes?

2. What are the common complaints that the code enforcement officers investigate?

3. How can I make a complaint?

4. How will I find out what happens to my complaint?

5. How long should it take for the code enforcement officers to investigate my complaint?

6. What if I want to stay anonymous?

7. How can I get my restrictive covenants (deed restrictions) enforced by the City?

8. What can I do if I disagree with a city code?

9. How do the code enforcement officers attempt to enforce the codes?

10. If the city abates a problem on my property, do I have to pay anything?

11. Can the city come onto my property and abate a hazard without my permission?

12. How much can I be fined for failing to abate a nuisance or hazard or violating some city code?

13. Can the code enforcement officers file the same complaint on me more than once?

14. Can the code enforcement officers enter my property without my permission?

15. Do the code enforcement officers perform any other functions?

16. Do the code enforcement officers have the authority to act outside of the city limits?
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1. How can I find out about city codes?
The codes are available online on the City’s web site front page and at the Cedar Park Public Library.

2. What are the common complaints that the code enforcement officers investigate?
Overgrown lots, junk vehicles and other hazardous conditions.

3. How can I make a complaint?
You can come to Fire Administration Offices and speak to a code enforcement officer or file a written complaint; call 512-401-5200; file a complaint via e-mail to the fire department; via fax at 512-260-2464 or via mail to 450 Cypress Creek Road, Building Two, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Attn: Code/Environmental Enforcement.

4. How will I find out what happens to my complaint?
The code enforcement officers will contact a complaintant after investigating the complaint. Usually the code enforcement officers will call you, so try to give a daytime phone number.

5. How long should it take for the code enforcement officers to investigate my complaint?
The code enforcement officers will try to perform an initial investigation within 48 hours, excluding weekends, of receiving your complaint. Complaints are prioritized with issues dealing with the health and safety of our community getting first priority.

6. What if I want to stay anonymous?
You may choose to stay anonymous, however, the code enforcement officers will not be able to inform you of any actions taken or planned. Often citizens complain about a situation, which is not a city code violation, but have failed to give the code enforcement officers a way to advise them of such. The code enforcement officers do not discuss the name of a complainant with a violator when a complaint is observed.

7. How can I get my restrictive covenants (deed restrictions) enforced by the City?
The city cannot enforce deed restrictions unless they mirror city codes. Restrictive covenants are a contract between the homeowners in a specific area and the developer. The city is not a party to that contract. If you want your restrictive covenants enforced, first try your homeowners association. If one does not exist or they will not enforce the restrictions, any party to the contract has the right to go to the Justice of the Peace’s office and file a “Suit for Specific Performance.” The complainant must pay a filing fee and a fee for the Constable to serve the defendant. The complainant may request that these fees be part of any judgment against the defendant.

8. What can I do if I disagree with a city code?
If you feel that a code needs to be changed, contact members of the City Council or City Staff. If they feel that a code needs to be changed or to be removed, they can have the Planning and Zoning board review the specific code for possible modifications.

9. How do the code enforcement officers attempt to enforce the codes?
When the code enforcement officers go to investigate a complaint and find that the complaint is valid, they first attempt to make personal contact with the property owner. If no one is home, they will leave a door hanger notifying the owner/occupant of the violation, giving a time frame in which to remediate the problem and making themselves available for questions. In the case of vacant property, a phone call is attempted before a letter notifying the owner of the violation is sent. After the initial period indicated on the door hanger, the code enforcement officers will inspect the property again. If the problem has not been rectified but some effort has been made to improve the situation, the officers will extend the time. If no efforts have been made, they will then send formal notices of violation to the property owners. If no efforts to fix the problem are then made, the officers can file charges in municipal court and in some instances can use city funds to abate the problem.

10. If the city abates a problem on my property, do I have to pay anything?
Usually when the city is forced to abate a nuisance or problem on private property, a bill will be sent to the property owner. If payment has not been received, or a payment plan has not been authorized, a lien can be filed on the property.

11. Can the city come onto my property and abate a hazard without my permission?
Yes, under certain circumstances they can. If the hazard creates an immediate fire or safety problem, the problem can be abated and a bill sent with no other notice. If you have been notified to abate the hazard or other violation and you chose not to do so, the notice includes notice that the city can enter and abate the problem after a certain time has elapsed.

12. How much can I be fined for failing to abate a nuisance or hazard or violating some city code?
That depends upon the violation. The minimum fine a judge can assess is $1.00 per violation. The maximum can be up to $500.00 for most violations but can go up to $2,000.00 for a health and safety violation.

13. Can the code enforcement officers file the same complaint on me more than once?
In most instances, each new day that the violation exists is a new violation, therefore, you can be filed upon every day that a violation is not abated or fixed.

14. Can the code enforcement officers enter my property without my permission?
That depends upon the purpose of the visit and the location of the violation. The curb area of a yard is open to all unless posted. In some instances, the city codes give the code enforcement officers authority to enter your property to examine for certain violations. In some instances a search warrant is required.

15. Do the code enforcement officers perform any other functions?
Yes. The senior code enforcement officer is charged with the investigation of environmental crimes. The usual investigation involves illegal dumping of solid waste but can include hazardous wastes and materials. They also perform courtesy safety inspections when power is turned on at a house or business. At that time they look for safety problems such as improperly secured pools, hazardous conditions or chemicals.

16. Do the code enforcement officers have the authority to act outside of the city limits?
Yes, but their authority is limited to the enforcement of building and signage issues.

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Last updated: 7/25/2014 9:00:10 AM