The Mesquite City Council passed a text amendment creating a new zoning classification Tuesday. The new classification, known as the Kaufman-Interstate 20 District (K20), creates a floating zone that can be attached to individual properties upon approval of a regulating plan.

“This is the first step of the very important process of implementing proper zoning in the new area,” said Richard Gertson, “The new development will help put Mesquite on the map.”

The zoning addition was aimed at defining exactly what the council had in mind for the annexed land in Kaufman County. The land is defined as all parts of the Mesquite city limits situated east of the East Fork of the Trinity River. The new zoning also can be used for stand-alone “New Urbanist” developments in other parts of the city or as a “plug”-in code for development agreements in the annexed areas.

The annexed land previously was zoned as agricultural, according to city documents. Under the new designation, the land still could be used and developed under the old zoning district. The new amendment does include a provision to prevent developers from using this exception to circumvent the intent of the extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) plan passed early last month by the city council and the new K20 code.

The new zoning does not take effect until new development is proposed inside the ETJ area.

The amendment will allow the district to use the Smartcode system to funnel development into varying intensity in growth sectors located inside the annexed land. Within each sector the district prescribes certain community types in an effort to create walkable, complete neighborhoods. The idea behind the communities is that you should be able to shop and find some type of recreation where you live without having to leave your neighborhood to do so.

To comment on this story visit www.scntx.com or email Kenny Green at kgreen@acnpapers.com.

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