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A variance is a request to appeal regulations set forth in the City’s Zoning Ordinance. Variance requests typically involve issues such as setback requirements. Variances to requirements may be considered if the applicant proves that a hardship (other than financial) exists. Variance requests are submitted to the Planning and Zoning Department and decided upon by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).
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Replats are required when a property is already platted and you want to alter or create new lot lines, remove platted building lines, remove fire lanes or remove easements from a recorded plat. A replat must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Zoning is the practice of dividing an area into districts within which regulations and requirements uniformly govern the use, placement, spacing and size of land and buildings. Zoning is most of often utilized to protect properties from incompatible adjacent land uses and to preserve the “character” of a community.
Call the Planning and Zoning Division at 409-983-8135 to check the zoning or use the online interactive zoning map by clicking here.
In order to determine what uses are allowed in each district you will need to access the City of Port Arthur’s online Code of Ordinances. On the left hand side of the page, select Appendix A: Zoning. Then click on Section 7 Use of Land and Buildings to view table. This table will show you what is allowed in each zoning district. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning and Zoning Division at 409-983-8135.
Deed restrictions are generally private and the City of Port Arthur does not enforce private deed restrictions.
You may consider rezoning the property to a district appropriate for your proposed use, or find property that already has the appropriate zoning. Contact the Planning Division to see if the request is appropriate for the immediate area.
An application for a rezoning request will need to be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Division. Complete the application and return it to staff with the required information as listed. A complete and executed application, with supporting documents, must be submitted to the Planning Department, where the information will be reviewed and included on the agenda for the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration. It will then be forwarded to City Council for consideration and action. The City Council is the final approving authority for rezoning requests.
A Zoning Verification Letter is a letter drafted by the Planning and Zoning Division confirming the zoning district for a tract of land within the City limits. Currently there is no charge for Zoning Verification Letters and may be requested by contacting the Planning and Zoning Division at 409-983-8135.
To determine setbacks, first find out what the zoning of the property is so that you can determine the setbacks for that property. Then you may refer to the City of Port Arthur's Code of Ordinances to look up the setbacks for that zoning designation.
Setbacks are measured from a property line to the nearest point of a building or structure using a perpendicular line to the property line. Remember to always measure from a lot line and not the back of the curb or sidewalk.
Addresses are assigned by the City of Port Arthur’s Engineering Department, 409-983-8103 for additional information.
Manufactured and/or mobile homes are required to be set within a licensed mobile/manufactured home park or any zoned district that allows such use. State inspected modular homes that meet the requirements of the International Building Code may be placed in any zoned district that allows for the use of a single family residential structure.
Prior to the initiation of a new project, the City requires all potential applicants, developers, designers and/or contractors to schedule a pre-development meeting. These informal meetings with relevant city staff will help you plan your project and be aware of city codes or local conditions that may affect your project. The purpose of pre-development meetings is to provide a “one-stop-shop,” a means of meeting with all departments involved in the development process. These meetings are scheduled to introduce the developers to local development regulations and the officials responsible for all aspects of development. These meetings provide an opportunity for the developer to discuss their proposal with City Officials and get their input. These are required for each new development as each official responsible directly for the review of the project is in attendance.
City officials, referred to as the Development Review Committee (DRC), will attend the meeting to help determine what parts of the development process apply to the applicant and in what order they need to take place. The meeting is attended by representatives of the following City departments: Planning and Zoning, Fire, Building Inspections, Utility Operations, Engineering and Environmental Health. The group meets weekly to review and discuss on-going projects.
To schedule a meeting, please contact the Planning Division by calling 409-983-8135 or completing an application online and emailing it to the Planning Division. Please allow at least three business days in advance to schedule a meeting. These meetings are held every Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 pm, in the Development Services Conference Room, located at 300 4th Street, Port Arthur, TX 77640.