Quality Planned Development – Standards

Updated as of January 1, 2023

In order to be considered for Quality Planned Development distinction, residential developments must conform to the following minimum standards:

  1.  A master home owners association shall be established in order to promote community involvement, maintain common areas and to enforce restrictions and covenants.
  2. Restrictive covenants shall be established for the purpose of maintaining the character and appearance of the development and ensuring proper maintenance. These covenants shall be recorded with the county clerk’s office.
  3. Landscaped buffer areas having a minimum width of twenty (20) feet must be provided immediately adjacent to the right-of-way of all major thoroughfares and collector streets. These areas must be planted with a combination of trees, shrubs, ground covers and turf. Irrigation for all non-native plant materials must be provided by a properly installed and functional irrigation system. All landscaped areas must be maintained to reasonable standards.
  4. No more than 20% of landscaping can be non-native plant species and 100% of the landscaping shall be non-invasive plant species.
  5. Sidewalks having a minimum width of five (5) feet shall be provided along all public streets with residential lot frontage. Exceptions will be considered for specialty products and developments.
  6. Extensive multi-use trail system and pedestrian crossing systems are provided to tie the community together. Major thoroughfares within a development require multi-use sidewalks unless alternate trail system provided. Provide a preliminary map showing the planned system(s).
  7. All developer installed signage shall be of uniform appearance. No temporary, bandit, banners, A-frame, mobile or portable signage shall be permitted.
  8. Detention basins shall be designed and constructed as a multi-use amenity and shall be free form and natural in appearance. Multi-use amenity is defined as an active or passive feature with thought given to planned recreational or educational uses while maintaining the intended drainage patterns. No more than 20% of landscaping can be non-native plant species and 100% of the landscaping shall be non-invasive plant species. Areas adjacent to detention basins should be extensively landscaped and should incorporate pedestrian trails and recreational features where appropriate.
  9. Any vacant land or proposed commercial areas under common ownership and located within 1000 feet of any entry point to the development must be deed restricted to comply with the minimum requirements established for commercial development established herein. If commercial or residential deed restrictions are not yet in place on the proposed commercial property, the design guidelines for these areas must be in place and the developer must submit a letter stating the intent to place commercial restrictions on such properties, create a commercial property owners association and apply the commercial design standards.
  10. A cohesive or uniform fencing program using high quality sustainable materials (sustainably sourced wood, brick, metal, etc.) and workmanship shall be provided along all external major thoroughfares and collector streets. (i.e. developer installed vs. builder installed)
  11. All residential units must be located within one quarter (1/4) mile of a park or open space area having a minimum size of 20,000 square feet. Open space is defined as an outdoor space for communal use for recreational or social activities. The open space must be visible and accessible by sidewalk.
  12. All developer installed lighting shall be erected and maintained so that light is confined to the property and minimized direct light or glare upon adjacent properties.
  13. Any above ground water or wastewater facilities shall exceed fencing requirements (typically TCEQ minimum standards) and provide masonry or precast walls to enhance the aesthetics of the community. In addition, an evergreen landscape buffer shall be provided to further improve the aesthetics and utilize a minimum of 80% native plant species.

In addition to the minimum standards, residential developments must meet a minimum of three (3) of the following requirements:

  • The developer utilizes purple pipe irrigation for at least 80% of all required landscape irrigation.
  • The developer shall implement and set forth HOA guidelines to maintain a neighborhood composting and farming program.
  • 50% of roadways with center median shall utilize vegetative filter strips and/or bioswales for storm water runoff.
  • 50% of developer installed lighting shall use solar lighting.
  • All community lighting, including streetlights, use LED.
  • A community building(s) is/are LEED certified.
  • The Development is Envision certified.
  • Multi-use trail system, open space and parks utilize interpretive signage for educational and fitness information.
  • Developer shall implement community website with information pertaining to the sustainability aspects of the region and highlight how the development is designed and projects implemented to connect with the natural landscape and ecology.
  • Include natural and native habitats within amenity and detention ponds.


Currently Under Review for Updates