Zoning Changes and Application Process

Every proposal to change the regulations of the zoning ordinance or the boundaries of a zoning district must be presented to the Zoning Commission and approved by City Council, with a total of two public hearings. To initiate this process, an application is filed with the Planning and Development Department and payment is made of the appropriate filing fee. The application is made by the owner of the property or an authorized agent, or may be initiated by the City of Fort Worth.

Before land in the city of Fort Worth can be developed, it must be properly zoned and platted. Land outside the city limits but within the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is subject to platting, but not to zoning.

The public hearings for Zoning cases are typically scheduled for the Council meeting held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Some cases may request an for alternate Council hearing date. These dates are provided on the notification and the Zoning Commission agenda.

The scheduled dates for continued cases are announced at the Zoning Commission or City Council at the time of continuance. A fee is charged for cases continued by the applicant.

Who can apply?

Who Can Apply for the Zoning Change?

A change of Zoning District may be proposed only by: 1) the owner of the property involved, or 2) a person having written authorization to represent and act on behalf of the owner. Where large areas or extensive ownership entities are involved, an application also may be filed by the city’s Department of Development upon recommendation of the Zoning Commission, Plan Commission, or Board of Adjustments or the City Council.

Step 1.1. Owner Initiated Zoning Changes

Property owners may initiate a rezoning request at any time by filing an application with the Planning and Development Department. If you have questions concerning the future land use designation of your property or on the appropriate zoning district for which to apply, please contact the Planning and Development Department Zoning Staff by calling 817-392-8028. The process and timeline for zoning changes may be found below.

Step 2.2. City Initiated Zoning Changes

Petition-Based Zoning Changes
The City Council adopted a policy whereby the City – at the request of affected property owners – could initiate changes in zoning that are consistent with the future land uses in the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Under these procedures, the City will initiate a zoning change after receiving a valid petition signed by property owners representing 50 percent or more of the parcels to be rezoned and 50 percent or more of the land area to be rezoned.

Planning and Development staff meets with the interested neighborhood in an informational meeting to: 1) review the existing zoning in the proposed petition area, 2) verify that the requested zoning is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and 3) review the requirements for the petition to be valid. After receipt of the petition, staff verifies that the petition signatures represent 50 percent of the parcels and 50 percent of the land area within the petition boundaries according to the most recent Tarrant Appraisal District records. Staff notifies the neighborhood representatives that the petition is valid. A second neighborhood meeting to announce the results of the petition is held. Staff then prepares the zoning application for zoning change and the case is reviewed and processed for the next available Zoning Commission Hearing.

Council Initiated Zoning Changes
From time to time, Council members Any interested Council member may request that the City Manager prepare a Mayor and Council communication (M&C) authorizing the City Manager to initiate one or more specific zoning changes. Planning staff verifies that the proposed changes are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, accompanies the City Council member at an informational meeting held in or near the area to be considered for rezoning, and briefs the full City Council on the proposed zoning changes at an appropriate City Council Work Session. If the City Council indicates that it wishes to initiate the proposed zoning changes, then the City Manager places an appropriate M&C on the next regular City Council agenda. After the City Council approves the M&C, City staff prepares an appropriate rezoning application and schedules the case for the next available Zoning Commission public hearing.


Step 1.Meet

  • Meet/confer with staff as needed to evaluate proposed rezoning.
  • A Pre-Development conference is available to discuss all aspects of a project including, but not limited to, zoning.

Step 2.Submit

  • Submit a complete application with all required information and attachments by the deadline.
  • Please find the application and the Commission calendar on the right side of this page under Helpful Links.

Step 3.Notices

  • Zoning staff sends courtesy notices to all neighborhood organizations registered with the City that are located within ½ mile of the subject area. 
  • If you are in a neighborhood that does not have an organization or your organization is not registered, contact the Community Engagement Office.
  • Zoning staff sends notices to landowners within 300 feet of property to be rezoned. If you are affected by a zoning case and choose to comment, please return notification forms at least one day before the meeting.

Step 4.Hearings

  • A public hearing is held at the Zoning Commission (ZC) meeting. The Zoning Commission votes to recommend or not recommend the rezoning to Council. View the current agenda.
  • City Council holds a public hearing and one reading. The final vote is held at this meeting. Rezoning is adopted upon this reading and a majority of votes of Council.
  • The public hearing is held by the City Council for all zoning change requests, whether recommended for approval or denial by the Zoning Commission. Council may take the following actions:
    • Approve as recommended;
    • Deny with or without prejudice (if denied without prejudice, the Applicant does not have to wait one year before submitting another request for zoning change);
    • Continue hearing;
    • Continue hearing and re-send notices as required under state law in order to substitute a more restrictive classification unless the affected property owner is present and agrees or if not present, agrees in writing to the more restrictive change on his/her property; or
    • Return to Zoning Commission for rehearing.

When the City Council has denied a proposal, or when the applicant has withdrawn the proposal at the Zoning Commission meeting after the giving of public notice, no new applications of like nature shall be accepted by the City or scheduled for hearing by the Zoning Commission within a period of twelve (12) months of the date of Council denial or applicant’s withdrawal.

Application due dates and dates for meetings may be found on the calendar on the right side of this page.

The process takes approximately 7-8 weeks from submittal to Council approval.

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