Walkable Places and TOD Ordinance RequirementsNew!
City Council approved the Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) rules on August 5, 2020 to enhance the pedestrian experience throughout Houston’s neighborhoods.
This ordinances will bring changes to the requirements of sidewalks, building lines, and parking spaces. Applicants will receive incentives when redeveloping in these areas through a reduction in the number of parking spaces and more buildable area.
Effective October 1, 2020, the Planning and Development Department will provide applications for Walkable Places Plan (WPP), TOD amendments, Special Parking Area (SPAs), modification of sidewalks and pedestrian realm standards.
All sidewalk permits will be regulated by the Planning and Development Department. Sidewalks widths will be determined by the (WPP) or by the TOD street classification. Under these requirements, sidewalk widths will vary from 5’ to 10’. Applicants may also apply for a waiver of the modification of the sidewalk standards; application fee is $1,144.
All modification of existing buildings within a WPP and TOD Streets will be routed to the Planning Department for review. Developers will be guided to provide a pedestrian area that will incorporate a wider sidewalk, safety buffer, and enhanced landscaping. These new requirements will increase the buildable area of developments by reducing the building line along the street and reducing the number of parking spaces required by the code.
With or without establishing a WPP, developers will have the option to create a Special Parking Area (SPA) for any small neighborhood in Houston. The SPA process has been amended and simplified to assist developers with high parking demands.