What is the Environmental Overlay District?
The City of Dallas has the power to create specific zoning overlay districts that address specific needs. An example is the Historic District overlay that many neighborhoods have that seek to protect the historic character of their community. To comprehensively address the issue of industrial adjacency caused by racist zoning, we propose the creation of an EJ overlay district to proactively separate people from polluters permanently.
Batch Plant Zoning Code Amendments
The Coalition drafted a model ordinance for the zoning code update on both temporary and permanent concrete and asphalt batch plants. This ordinance was shared with Planning and Urban Design, the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, the Environmental Commission, the Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee, and the Zoning Advisory Ordinance Committee. The ordinance is available below. It calls for:
- A 1,500 foot buffer between batch plants and ‘sensitive land uses’ like homes, schools, parks, churches etc.
- The addition of a ‘Specific Use Permit’ (SUP) for batch plants in all zoning districts
- A phasing out of existing facilities by proactively requiring them to seek SUPs two years after the ordinance comes into effect, with a priority on Environmental Justice neighborhoods coming into compliance first
Planning and Urban Design incorporated the SUP requirement as part of ‘Phase l’ of the zoning code update, approved in May 2022 by the City Council. Phase II recommendations include almost all the suggestions proposed by the Coalition in the model ordinance. Phase II was presented at ZOAC in December 2022 and will be back at ZOAC in January 2023.