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New development ordinance, regulations and standards revisions

Population growth brings new development and that means construction of public infrastructure. City council approved revisions to the regulations and standards for Community Facility Agreements (CFA), Utility Construction Policy, and the Installation Policy and Design Criteria for Water, Wastewater and Reclaimed Water Infrastructure at their meeting May 7, to ensure new development adequately meets city standards.

The recent changes are a result of staff engagement and collaboration efforts with the Development Advisory Committee and respective development stakeholders in the community. Ongoing and meaningful opportunities for stakeholder participation in proposed changes to guidelines have ensured that the City produces communal agreements with the development community. On May 7, the City Council approved the following policy updates: Installation Policy and Design Criteria for Water, Wastewater and Reclaimed Water Infrastructure, Utility Construction Policy, the Transportation Engineering Manual, Community Facilities Agreements Ordinance, Unit Price Ordinance and City Code Chapter 30 Streets and Sidewalks. Updates to the Subdivision Ordinance will be presented to City Council on June 4. The following is a summary of each item.


Installation Policy and Design Criteria for Water, Wastewater and Reclaimed Water

The Installation Policy for Water and Wastewater was last updated in 1999. The purpose of this manual is to bring together the updated policies and procedures governing facilities, as well as the design criteria for water, wastewater, and reclaimed water systems to assist engineers in preparing designs for the construction of these facilities. Major areas of revisions to the 2019 policy and design criteria include the following; consolidation of the installation policy and the design criteria into one document, additional annexation requirements prior to obtaining water and wastewater service, incorporation of new criteria of shared utility easements for high density infill development, location of residential water main change to be in the street, inclusion of reclaimed water design criteria, as well as, a formalized variance process for design and policy decisions.

For more information or questions, contact Soon Wong or 817-392-8369

View the policy here.


Utility Construction Policy

The Utility Construction Policy was last updated in 2001. The purpose of this policy is to provide regulatory guidelines for all pavement cuts or excavations and their repairs, within the City of Fort Worth rights of way and easements. The goal of the update is to increase pavement life, decrease maintenance costs and increase the ride-ability of the city’s streets. Major changes include the requirement of lane width pavement repair based on street condition and age, thus eliminating spot pavement repair in favor of a more complete replacement to accomplish the goals. The updates also ensure that street closures are effectively managed and disruptions to traffic flow are minimized. The policy will be implemented in two phases, June 1, 2019 for concrete pavement, and October 1, 2019 for asphalt pavement, to allow time for the affected utilities to adjust to the new requirements.

Information about the utility construction policy is available by contacting Lauren Prieur or 817-392-6035.

View the policy here.


Community Facility Agreements Ordinance

The Community Facilities Agreements Ordinance, previously known as the “Policy for the Installation of Community Facilities”, which was last majorly revised in 2001, with minor revisions thereafter, regulates the process by which public infrastructure to support development is constructed and subsequently accepted by and incorporated into the City’s infrastructure network. The proposed ordinance updates the regulations developers will follow applicable to the design, construction of or payment for public infrastructure, the dedication of property or right-of-way/easements within the City and its extraterritorial jurisdiction, as well as guaranteeing that all new development is adequately served by public infrastructure constructed to City standards.

Major changes include removing design and specification requirements and instead referencing the corresponding specification or policy manuals, and elimination of the border streets policy. Staff have worked with the development advisory committee to eliminate the double bonding requirement for community facilities agreements under certain circumstances, adopt a new process for material testing the public infrastructure constructed pursuant to a community facilities agreement, revise the inspection fee structure to match the actual number of inspection days instead of relying on estimates based on percentages of construction valuation, adopt requirements for water testing lab and fee collection, create an express CFA review process to expedite the engineering review of small infrastructure projects, provide for reductions in financial guarantees during construction, as well as, adopt policies to allow for interdependent development projects to be constructed concurrently.

Questions about the CFA process and requirements should be directed to Evelyn Roberts or 817-392-2025.

View the CFA ordinance here.

View the CFW administrative guidelines here.


Unit Price Ordinance

The City’s Unit Price Ordinance, last updated April 22, 2014, is an amalgamation of construction costs based on both CIP and developer-awarded projects. The Unit Price Ordinance was established, as required by state law, to calculate the City’s financial participation when participating in certain Community Facilities Agreements. It is also used for cost estimates for Future Improvements Agreements. In order for the City to participate in the cost of public improvements that are not publicly bid, the City bases its participation on the Unit Price Ordinance in order to protect the taxpayer funds. The proposed changes to the ordinance establish updated unit prices, reiterate the alternative unit price methods for determining City participation in Community Facilities Agreements, and determine cost estimates for Future Improvements Agreements. The updated ordinance will continue to allow the City of Fort Worth to participate in the cost of public improvements constructed by developers within the City of Fort Worth and its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

For more information, contact David V. Magaña, P.E., or 817-392-6558

View the unit price ordinance here.


Transportation Engineering Manual

The Transportation Engineering Manual is a 12 chapter guide that establishes design requirements for transportation infrastructure in the City of Fort Worth. The current versions, the “Brown Book” was established by memorandum in 1987. The key intention of the manual is to guarantee consistency of traffic and transportation design practices for existing and future site development in the City as a professional design resource for staff, the professional development community, and any individuals or groups involved in the planning and design of the City’s street network. The manual applies to all projects that impact public rights-of-way along the City streets, including improvements to existing streets, alleys and sidewalks, construction of new streets and redevelopment areas. The requirements outlined in this manual provide standards and criteria for design of city streets and is applicable to all types of street construction, including appurtenances to streets such as sidewalks, streetlights, street signs, and electronic signals. The key intention of the manual is to guarantee consistency of traffic and transportation design practices for existing and future site development in the City. In addition, the Transportation Engineering Manual provides design criteria for streets and other infrastructure required by the Community Facilities Ordinance and the Subdivision Ordinance.

The revised publication provides updates to these design standards based on changes in infrastructure and site development requirements. In addition, the manual will incorporate changes based on national best practices and recent City planning efforts, including the Master Thoroughfare Plan (MTP), Complete Streets Policy and Active Transportation Plan (ATP). Updated design requirements in this manual are intended to shift the street network into a more sustainable system that promotes a healthy community, in keeping with the goals of the MTP, Complete Streets Policy and ATP.

For more information, contact Chandra Muruganandham or 817-392-2572.

View the transportation design requirements here.


Streets and Sidewalks Ordinance

Chapter 30 of the City of Fort Worth Code of Ordinances is titled Streets and Sidewalks. The purpose of the amendment is to reiterate and codify the City’s goal of sidewalk installation as a necessary part of development, including single lot improvements. The requirement for individual lot owners to install sidewalks, or seek relief therefrom, had been contained in the CFA Policy. With its codification, staff determined that an amendment to Chapter 30 was the more appropriate location for the requirement. Developers are still subject to the Subdivision Ordinance which specifies when and where sidewalks are required on any land which is subdivided or replatted. This update does not represent a policy change, but rather, provides a central location for the public to obtain information related to this infrastructure.

View the sidewalk ordinance here.


All new ordinances, regulations and standards for new development go into effect June 1.

To learn more about these changes, visit FortWorthTexas.gov.

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