Development Requirements

Subdivisions, Site Plans, Private Streets, and Public Rights of Way

The following discussion addresses specifically the areas within Travis County that are outside of the corporate limits of any municipality and outside of the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of a municipality. Please keep in mind that within the ETJ of a municipality, the municipality will also need to provide concurrence with specific improvements. Travis County does not issue development permits within corporate limits, and the municipality should be consulted solely.

Low Impact Development water quality systems may be a useful tool to provide for enhanced water quality of stormwater runoff from development while providing water quality systems that are both lower in cost to construct and lower in cost to maintain. These LID features might be appropriate in residential and non-residential subdivisions, commercial site plans, private streets, and, in specific cases when found appropriate and with the approval of Commissioners Court, public right of way.

Permitting considerations for LID systems for each of these situations are addressed below:

1. LID Systems within Residential and Commercial Subdivisions

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Subdivision-related drainage and water quality features are traditionally located within drainage and water quality easements or lots. These easements and lots are required to be maintained by a Homeowners Association, Property-owners Association, or a District, such as a MUD District. Low impact BMP's can easily be accommodated within this scenario, as they are shown in and permitted within the subdivision construction plan, and are reviewed against Travis County's water quality requirements, which allow for non-standard approaches that achieve the water quality levels of standard systems. As long as these systems are found to achieve the required water quality standards, and found to be sufficiently efficient to be maintained by the HOA, POA or MUD, they may be utilized within these easements and lots. The maintenance of drainage easements and lots needs to be spelled out in detail on the final plat and within easement documents.

2. LID Systems within Commercial Site Plans

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Within a commercial site plan, the maintenance of drainage and water quality improvements are the responsibility of the lot owner, allowing for a considerable amount of flexibility in the design of water quality systems. As long as systems are found to provide the required level of water quality, they will likely be approved for use within these areas.

3. LID systems within Private Street Subdivisions

With the approval of Commissioners Court, private streets may be constructed within residential or non-residential subdivisions. Private streets are located within Private Street Lots, and are traditionally maintained (as identified on the plat) by a Homeowners Association, Property-owners Association, or a District, such as a MUD District. Similarly to the discussion under Commercial Site Plans above, a considerable amount of flexibility is available regarding the placement of appropriate LID BMPs within these Private Street lots. As long as roadway integrity, public safety, and water quality requirements are met, LID features within these lots are likely to be approved.

4. LID systems within Travis County Right of Way

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In order to insure the safety and well-being of the general public, any privately owned and maintained improvement, either existing or proposed, which encroaches into County right-of-way requires the issuance of a License Agreement.

With the approval of Travis County Commissioners Court, a license agreement with Travis County may be entered which will allow for certain non-standard improvements to be constructed and maintained by a responsible party within Travis County right of way.

License agreements are addressed in Chapter 82, Section 82.701. Templates are available in Chapter 82, 82.1025 and 82.1026.

License Agreements provide for liability insurance, fiscal for the removal of improvements if that should become necessary, and indemnification of Travis County for any problems related to the construction and maintenance of the licensed improvements.

Traditionally, license agreements have been utilized to allow for the construction and installation of such non-standard improvements such as entry monumentation, landscaping features and plantings, and irrigation improvements. Low Impact BMPs may also be found to be appropriate within the context of a license agreement, as long as the roadway functioning, integrity, and safety of the public is adequately addressed. Any improvements covered by a license agreement will require permitting by Travis County, and will need to be included in a sealed engineered plan. Clear zone and sight distance issues will be required to be documented and addressed during the permit review process.

For additional information contact TNR Development Services at (512) 854-9383.

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Austin, Texas 78701 (Map)

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