Zoning & Lighting

Zoning helps ensure that our community remains a safe and desirable place to live and work. By specifying which uses are allowed in each section of the city and setting out development standards, zoning ensures that neighboring land uses are compatible. Zoning assists to uphold the public safety and protect property values.

Zoning Ordinance
The Zoning Ordinance is made up of 2 parts: the text and an official map. The text contains information on the specific development regulations, such as what uses are allowed in which districts and what types of landscaping are required. The map is a visual representation of where the different zoning districts are located throughout the city.

From time to time, the city or a property owner may feel it appropriate to change the district that a parcel is assigned to, usually referred to as a zoning change. These zoning changes follow a carefully regulated step-by-step process.

  1. Meet with city staff to discuss the feasibility of the zoning change. This usually involves a discussion of what public facilities are available in the area and their capacities, nature of the surrounding land uses and consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.
  2. Submit an application for zoning change. This should include the proper fee, a copy of the recorded deed and a survey of the property. The applicant can include additional information that he/she feels will assist officials in reaching a decision.
  3. Staff reviews the application for completeness and sends out proper notices to the newspaper and nearby property owners.
  4. Staff forwards a recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration at the public hearing. The public will have an opportunity to speak for or against the proposal. The Commission will then make a recommendation to City Council.
  5. City Council holds another public hearing and considers the recommendation of the Commission. City Council renders the final decision.
Dark Sky Ordinance
The City of Bulverde also regulates lighting under a unique set of regulations referred to as the Dark Sky Ordinance. This ordinance seeks to preserve the night sky that many people value in the hill country setting. It requires all lighting to be down-lit and prohibits light trespass onto neighboring properties. Some of the requirements include full cut-off fixtures and maximum heights for light poles.