Development Review Process

Current Planning consists of the processing and reviewing of all development related requests such as zoning, land use, site plan, plat, variance and specific use permit applications submitted to the City. The processing of these requests follows the City’s Development Review Process, as shown below, and is reviewed by Planning staff for zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance, comprehensive plan and other related guidelines and ordinances. For information on current cases, please see the "Development Activity News" blog.

Presentation Guidelines
The Planning and Development Services Department created a brochure for applicants presenting development cases to the City Council and/or the Planning and Zoning Commission. Click here to view a PDF of the brochure, and learn more about the length of presentations, important information to cover during presentations, and general preparation for the meeting.

Development Review Process
The development review process helps to ensure that development complies with the city's ordinances, standards, and regulations and is consistent with the comprehensive plan. Although the process may vary depending on the type of application, the following is an outline of the typical process a development case (such as a request for a rezoning) follows through City Council consideration. Click here to view a flow chart that illustrates the development process by summarizing key steps in the process from before an application is submitted through a project receiving entitlement.

Informational Meeting
All applicants are encouraged to have an informational meeting with staff. At the meeting, the applicant will receive information relevant to the application including deadlines, application forms, submittal requirements and recommendations, timelines, and review standards.

SPIN Town Hall Forums
The Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods (SPIN) provides a vehicle for communication between residents, staff, and developers. As such, SPIN hosts neighborhood meetings for development applicants to present their plans and receive feedback from residents. All development applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the SPIN process. The SPIN meeting for a particular development may occur before the development application is submitted to the city or after submittal. If the meeting is held after submittal, it typically occurs prior to consideration by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Pre-Submittal and Development Review Committee (DRC) Review
The applicant submits the application and initial plans for review by the Development Review Committee (DRC) and a case planner is assigned. The DRC, which is made up of representatives from several departments, reviews the application for compliance with adopted city standards and regulations. The DRC typically meets twice a month to discuss applications. After the DRC meeting, the case planner compiles the reviews from the DRC members, forwards the reviews to the applicant, and notifies the applicant on whether the case requires re-submittal or is ready for consideration by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Re-Submittal
If an application requires re-submittal, the applicant revises the plans per the DRC review comments and submits the plans for a second DRC review. Although an applicant typically does not attend the first DRC meeting for his or her case, s/he may choose to attend the second meeting. After the DRC meeting, the case planner compiles the reviews from the DRC members, forwards the reviews to the applicant, and notifies the applicant on whether the case requires re-submittal or is ready for consideration by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Some cases require multiple re-submittals.

Planning & Zoning Commission Submittal (Formal Submittal)
After an application receives a clean review from the DRC, the applicant makes any necessary changes and submits plans and support documents for consideration by the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z). Staff prepares a report on the request and forwards the report, plans, and any other supporting documents to the P&Z. The P&Z typically meets twice a month. The P&Z considers the application, holds a public hearing, and makes a recommendation to the City Council.

City Council Submittal and Final Action
If the P&Z recommends any changes, the applicant submits revised plans and support documents. Staff generates another report and forwards the report, plans, and support documents to the City Council. City Council typically meets twice a month on the first and third Tuesday. The City Council considers the application, holds a public hearing, and takes final action (approval or denial) on the case. If the case is a rezoning, the case requires two readings at City Council. The public hearing is held at the second reading.

Information on Public Hearings and Public Notices
When a City Council public hearing is required, notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing is published in the Fort Worth Star Telegram at least 15 days prior to the meeting. In addition, the city sends written notice for public hearings for development cases in accordance with city ordinances. For example, for a change in zoning, the city sends written notice of the Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing to the owners (as noted in the current tax roll) of property within 200 feet of the property for which the change is requested and to all property owners within a platted subdivision of the property in question. For rezoning, site plan, concept plan, and specific use permit requests, the applicant is also required to post a sign on the property under consideration at least 15 days prior to the City Council public hearing. Notification requirements vary by case type, so please contact city staff at (817) 748-8621 for complete details.

The Next Step
Following Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council approval, development projects move on to the Public Works Development Process.