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City of Bryan, Texas

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    August 25, 2020

    The truth about pattern zoning

    On Aug. 6, 2020 the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the Midtown Pattern Overlay Districts, specifying that pattern zoning be applied to properties in Areas 1-4 of Midtown, as identified in the recently approved Midtown Area Plan. The next step is for the Bryan City Council to hold a public hearing and then consider this recommendation at their regular meeting on Sept. 8, 2020.

    What is Pattern Zoning?

    Pattern Zoning is an overlay district that includes specific, pre-designed uses that are allowed in addition to what is currently permitted on a property. What does that mean for property owners? Options.

    It does not take away any uses that a property owner currently allowed to have based on their property’s current zoning. It does allow additional options to construct architect-designed building types that are pre-approved by the City of Bryan’s Development Services office:

    • Midtown Cottage: a small cottage for use as a house or an accessory dwelling unit (600 sq. ft.)
    • Midtown Flex House: a 2-story home that can be internally converted back and forth from one unit into two (1,800 sq. ft.)
    • 3-unit Midtown Bungalow: includes two 2-bedroom units and one 1-bedroom unit but it simply looks like one large home (2,300 – 2,500 sq. ft.), and
    • Midtown Walkup: a 2- to 3-story apartment building (8-12 units) with an option for retail on the first floor (2,400 sq. ft. per floor).

    City of Bryan staff and consultants carefully analyzed Midtown to determine which buildings were appropriate for each area – ensuring that they fit within the size and character of the already existing neighborhoods.

    Why are we considering Pattern Zoning?

    The Midtown Pattern Overlay Districts were envisioned as part of the Midtown Area Plan as a solution to community concerns about the perceived negative impacts of certain development styles in Midtown. After a year and a half of study and public input in regards to the Midtown area, the City of Bryan learned that property owners wanted some flexibility to redevelop their properties while ensuring their neighborhood’s integrity remained intact.

    The Midtown Pattern Overlay Districts only allow these higher-intensity uses when they meet the specific design and site development criteria, so that any negative impacts of higher density can be minimized.

    Why was the North of Northgate Experience District removed from consideration for Pattern Zoning?

    The Midtown Area Plan originally called for all five Experience Districts to adopt the Pattern Zoning Overlay Districts. However, the area described as “North of Northgate” (located between Wellborn Road, South College Avenue, the southern city limits of Bryan and the southern rear property lines of properties facing West Brookside Drive) warrants additional study before zoning decisions can be made. Therefore, this area was removed from the Midtown Overlay Zoning District consideration, and it will be revisited at a later date after additional research and input has been gathered.

    Where can I find more info?

    More information can be found here:

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    Posted in: Articles, midtown, Planning