Building Bastrop is a City of Bastrop initiative to guide responsible development that honors our authentic past and prepares for our sustainable future.
We live in a beautiful city with an irreplaceable community. The secret is out. Bastrop is a great place to live and work, and more and more people have come to that conclusion and want to move here. We are 9,000 strong but are we are also, quite literally, bursting at the seams. Flooding has been more pronounced, our infrastructure is aging, traffic is increasing, and development – while following regulations that were in place – wasn't indicative of a fiscally responsible or sustainable city.
Bastrop isn’t unique; many vulnerable cities throughout Texas and the U.S. are confronting similar issues as a result of decades-old policies and land-use regulations. The difference, however, is that Bastrop chose to do something about it. The City of Bastrop chose to control growth rather than letting growth control us. We chose to roll up our sleeves and begin Building Bastrop in a manner that will ensure a sustainable future.
Taking a holistic approach, Building Bastrop was launched in August 2018 to create a new set of tools that will support the community in a responsible manner for generations to come by improving development, helping the City continue to invest in the infrastructure Bastrop needs, and providing the services our residents deserve.
Over the course of 15 months, City staff and the consultant team diligently worked to craft new land-use regulations to preserve and promote what the community loves about Bastrop today and what residents want to see moving forward. On November 12, 2019, City Council unanimously voted to adopt the Bastrop Building Block (B3) Code.
We’re excited to complete this journey with the adoption of policy that matches the heart and soul of this city.
Building Bastrop Timeline
On August 14, 2018, the Bastrop City Council initiated a temporary moratorium on new development that would be detrimental to our community based on current land-use regulations and kicked off the Building Bastrop initiative. The City expanded its planning team to include Simplecity Design, who completed an in-depth analysis of Downtown Bastrop’s DNA and how it functions as a complete neighborhood as well as conducting an extensive evaluation of Bastrop’s current development codes.
We held two Community Open Houses and three Community Tours over the course of September and October 2018, as well as multiple developer meetings and a Developer Open House, to provide opportunities for questions and feedback as we discussed what the future of Bastrop development could look like.
We held a Design Rodeo on November 29 and 30, 2018 where our team, along with key stakeholders and the general public, worked on designing the city to code. We then hosted a Code Rodeo on December 13 and 14, 2018 where we began to code the city we designed. Both events included multiple opportunities for the community to see examples of what Bastrop’s updated building codes could look like while having a chance to ask questions, provide feedback, and more.
On February 26, 2019, City Council adopted a policy statement to ensure clarity and consistency for all revisions and additions to the City's land-use regulations. The City also hosted a Transportation and Drainage Rodeo on April 10, 2019, providing an opportunity for the community to share input on the City's thoroughfare plan and drainage standards, and a Code Update Rodeo on May 9, 2019 to preview elements of the new draft code.
Originally set for 90 days, the temporary moratorium on new development was extended to ensure the City would be able to deliver updated land-use regulations that are informed by our geography and reflect what we already know works. Effective as of May 14, 2019, City Council repealed the temporary moratorium on new development (Emergency Ordinance 2018-1) and the emergency ordinance implementing temporary drainage standards for permit applications (Emergency Ordinance 2018-2). In their place, Council voted to adopt an Enhanced Permit Review process to be implemented on an interim basis until the City’s new building, construction and land-use regulations were completed, along with an updated Stormwater Drainage Design Manual.
The first draft of the B3 Code was released for public review and comment on May 24, 2019. The City then hosted a Pop-Up Street Project in downtown Bastrop on June 8, 2019, highlighting what future development could look like based on the proposed land-use regulations, as well as a Community Open House on June 26, 2019.
An in-depth review of the draft technical manual was held on August 22, 2019, and a B3 Code Open House was held on September 19, 2019. Additionally, a Development Community Input Meeting was held on October 10, 2019 to discuss the adoption of the 2018 International Building Codes.
The final Bastrop Building Block (B3) Code was adopted by City Council on November 12, 2019.