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Innovation Corridor

There is not a question of if Bryan is going to grow; the question we should consider is: How is Bryan going to grow? Often property owners and city leadership, including the Bryan Planning and Zoning Commission and Bryan City Council, must deal with perplexing issues where new development standards must be applied in a community that has grown for years with little or no planning or regulation.

With regard to development along Riverside Parkway / Highway 47, making old fit with new is not going to be a problem. Long ago, Bryan leaders had the foresight to “get ahead of development” with planning for the area that would benefit the whole community.

View Interactive Map

Riverside Innovation Corridor Interactive Map promo image

What is the Innovation Corridor?

Riverside Innovation Corridor Overview map

The area of the proposed Innovation Corridor (IC) rezoning consists of roughly 4,700 acres of land within the current city limits of Bryan. The IC lies along both sides of Riverside Parkway generally north from Raymond Stotzer Parkway and west along State Highway 21 toward the Brazos River. The proposed corridor rezoning and the accompanying overlay and development standards will serve to implement the recommendations of the 2009 Southwest Bryan Highest and Best Use Study and relevant goals of Blueprint 2040, the comprehensive plan adopted by Bryan City Council in 2016. The IC is anchored by the Biocorridor to the south, and TAMU’s RELLIS campus to the north.

The City of Bryan has identified The IC as an area that, subsequent to very substantial public investment in infrastructure, will be ready for growth. As envisioned within three comprehensive plans within the past 23 years, it is reasonable to plan for and encourage high‐quality development featuring first‐class urban amenities and a connected transportation network along the IC.

The purpose of the proposed IC rezoning and the accompanying overlay and development standards is to ensure future development of urban amenities are on par with existing development on the anchor ends and the vision the city has described in previous plans.The proposed rezoning and the accompanying overlay and development standards establishes high quality standards, allows for connectivity between parcels, and prioritizes the preservation of the natural landscape.

The proposed Innovation Corridor ordinance amendments contain the following features detailed below:

  • Three new zoning districts to regulate land use
  • Revised and expanded overlay district standards to mandate high quality development within this valuable corridor

Riverside / Hwy. 47: History of the Corridor

Started in 1987 and completed in August of 1996, State Highway 47 was a joint venture between the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas A&M University, to allow for a shortened route to the A&M campus for travelers coming from the west via State Highway 21. In the summer of 1999, the City of Bryan annexed State Highway 47, from the College Station city limits, northwest to Old Goodson Bend Road.

In 2002, to ensure the quality of development and the preservation of the rural environment surrounding the State Highway 47 corridor, the P&Z and City Council put in place the “Highway 47 Corridor Overlay District”. The overlay district encompasses property along the highway within the city limits of Bryan. Higher development standards are mandated in six areas:

  • Setbacks
  • Screening
  • Building construction
  • Landscaping
  • Signs
  • Access / Off‐street Parking

During the corridor overlay project, the P&Z hosted a number of public meetings. Many owners of property along SH 47 attended, voiced concerns and asked questions directly of P&Z members as well as staff. Buy‐in among property owners was high. Owners commented on how the development overlay would preserve the area while at the same time support higher property values when development did occur. When adopted by the City Council in November 2002, the corridor overlay ordinance received only support from property owners; no one spoke against the implementation of the tighter regulations. Clearly the enhancement and protection of this entryway corridor was of primary importance to all concerned.

Fast‐forward 23 years from the annexation of the Riverside Parkway/SH 47 corridor. This six‐mile long major thoroughfare now serves as the western‐most boundary for the City of Bryan and as soon as a number of long-term, very substantial public investments in infrastructure are complete, will be a premier market for development. In 2009, a business analysis of the area surrounding the SH 47 corridor was completed. The Southwest Bryan Highest and Best Use Study indicated that while the current corridor development standards were a good start, more detail and an expanded set of design guidelines were needed to supplement those that already exist.

Previous Planning and Zoning Commissions and City Councils established the SH 47 Corridor Overlay District to protect the community’s investment in the area and ensure quality development. Now that the planning horizon for such development is becoming ever closer, the current elected and appointed officials have the opportunity to implement and expand upon the work of their predecessors.

Proposed IC Zoning Districts


Research and Development District (IC‐RD)

The IC-RD, Innovation Corridor – Research and Development district is intended to be composed of offices and research buildings that support the RELLIS and Health and Sciences campus environments. Within the Innovation Corridor, these two innovative, collaborative, mixed-use campuses have been established and will continue to attract new commercial activity and enhance the City’s image as a desirable place to live work and shop within the State Highway 21 and 47 corridors.

RELLIS Campus builds upon, complements and supports the strengths of the A&M System and is on its way to becoming one of the nation’s leading “smart” collaborative innovation and research clusters. Buildings and structures in this district should strive for architectural compatibility with this existing private development while providing urban amenities and a connected transportation network.

Permitted uses

  • Accessory or incidental uses to the main use;
  • College or university support and auxiliary uses;
  • Offices for business, professional, and technical uses such as accountants, architects, lawyers, doctors, etc;
  • Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate establishments including banks, credit unions, real estate, and property management services;
  • Laboratories (scientific, medical, optical) and research facilities;
  • Eating and Drinking places (less than 5,000 sq. ft. gfa);
  • Food stores;
  • Museums and art galleries;
  • Schools, libraries, and community halls;
  • Government (federal or state) owned structures, facilities, and uses;
  • Medical facilities or clinics;
  • Printing and publishing, book binding;
  • Conference center;
  • Hotel (accessory to conference center);
  • Place of worship;
  • Parking, structured; and
  • Temporary structures for uses incidental to construction work on the premises, which said buildings shall be removed upon the completion or abandonment of construction work.

Conditional uses

  • Multifamily dwelling;
  • Attached residential dwelling (townhome);
  • Childcare – Class C;
  • Hotel (not accessory to conference center);
  • Heliport or helistop; and
  • Detached dwelling

Retail Services District (IC‐RS)

The IC-RS, Innovation Corridor – Retail and Services district is established to provide locations for various types of general retail trade, business and service uses, but is not intended to be equated with the regional retail policies outlined by the Future Land Use Plan. The district allows shopping areas or uses which are generally compatible near or adjacent to, but not usually directly in, campus environments. Per the Southwest Bryan Highest and Best Use Study, the Innovation Corridor could become the new connecting link among RELLIS, HSC and the main A&M Campus. In response, the corridor’s overall design concept should be elevated to the importance it holds in providing and enhancing the potential physical, social and aesthetic connections to TAMU campus sites and the City of Bryan. Industrial uses, for example, storage of raw materials, lumberyard or asphalt batching plant shall be prohibited.

Permitted uses

  • Accessory or incidental uses to the main use;
  • Retail or service, incidental;
  • Apparel and accessory stores;
  • Home furniture and furnishings and equipment stores;
  • Miscellaneous shopping goods stores;
  • Food stores (less than 100,000 gfa);
  • Packaged liquor stores;
  • Child care – Class B;
  • Child care – Class C;
  • College or university support and auxiliary uses;
  • Museums and art galleries;
  • Offices for business, professional, and technical uses such as accountants, architects, lawyers, doctors, etc;
  • Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate establishments including banks, credit unions, real estate, and property management services;
  • Hotel;
  • Fitness Center;
  • Commercial amusement (indoor);
  • Restaurant;
  • Personal service shop or custom personal services;
  • Schools, libraries, and community halls;
  • Government (federal or state) owned structures, facilities, and uses;
  • Medical facilities or clinics;
  • Printing and publishing, book binding;
  • Conference center;
  • Place of worship;
  • Parking, structured;
  • Temporary structures for uses incidental to construction work on the premises, which said buildings shall be removed upon the completion or abandonment of construction work;
  • Veterinary services (no outdoor runs or pens)

IC-RS map

View Interactive Map

Innovation Corridor Interactive Map promo image

Conditional uses

  • Food stores (greater than 100,000 gfa);
  • Multifamily dwelling;
  • Automobile rental;
  • Motor fuel retail (not accessory to a main use);
  • Attached residential dwelling (townhome);
  • Detached residential dwelling;
  • Heliport or helistop

High‐Density Residential District (IC‐HDR)

The IC-HDR, Innovation Corridor – High-Density Residential district encourages high-density residential development and retail uses to support a residential community and preserve the established characteristic of the corridor. The district is intended to be composed of multi-story multifamily dwellings, condominiums, and townhouses. Per the Southwest Bryan Highest and Best Use Study, high-density residential developments shall contain at least 15 dwelling units per acre and shall provide flexibility for mixed-use development to occur seamlessly with surrounding retail and office development. Recreational, religious, health and educational uses normally located to service residential areas are also permitted in this district. A diverse range of housing products and density is necessary to support future mixed-use development along the corridor, consequently single detached dwelling units are discouraged on the corridor frontage.

Permitted uses

  • Live/work units;
  • First‐floor neighborhood services, subject to other regulations detailed in subsection (f) below;
  • Multi‐family dwelling unit and/or condominiums;
  • Attached residential dwelling unit (townhome);
  • Schools, libraries, and community halls;
  • Government owned structures, facilities, and uses;
  • Place of worship;
  • Parking, structured (accessory to primary residential use only);
  • Temporary structures for uses incidental to construction work on the premises, which said buildings shall be removed upon the completion or abandonment of construction work.

Conditional uses

  • Pied‐à‐terre;
  • Detached dwelling

Innovation Corridor Overlay District

An overlay district is a way for communities to apply area-specific standards or conditions on development. It creates a special zoning district, which is laid over the top of a base zoning district. The benefit of overlay districts is that they provide additional protection for defined areas and allow existing zoning regulations to be complemented in order to solve or prevent a threat to the success of the corridor.

An overlay district has been in effect for the State Highway 47/Riverside Parkway Corridor since 2002. The proposed Innovation Corridor Overlay District expands on the existing boundary and regulations. See below for a summary of the proposed changes.

current overlay
proposed overlay

This district is limited to specified areas encompassing land that has already been assigned conventional zoning district classifications. It supplements the standards of the underlying conventional districts with new or different standards, which may be more restrictive. These high-quality standards prioritize the preservation of the natural landscape while encouraging the development of high-quality urban amenities and a connected transportation network in order to ensure high-functioning growth and development along two major growth corridors (Riverside Parkway/SH 47and State Highway 21) in Bryan.

How Might This Affect Me?

  • The proposed change in zoning and overlay district standards will not affect any existing tax exemptions or property values.
  • Any uses and structures currently on your property can continue to exist as-is so long as they are not abandoned for over a year. The regulations on non-conforming uses and structures can be read in their entirety in Zoning Ordinance Section 130‐40.
  • Detached residential dwellings that are existing when the Innovation Corridor regulations are passed are considered to be a permitted use and will remain as such.
  • Property owners who are interested in constructing a new detached residential dwelling on a lot at least one acre in size and not located directly on the Corridor have an opportunity to do so with prior approval of a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • Still Have Questions?

    For more information on the proposed Innovation Corridor, please contact the Bryan Planning and Development Services Department at (979) 209-5030, or by email at planning@bryantx.gov.