I'm working on a story about Victoria, and its lack of zoning. Victoria is the second largest Texas city, behind only Houston, to lack zoning.
Is that a good or a bad thing?
* MAP PROVIDED BY THE CITY OF VICTORIA'S PLANNING DEPARTMENT.
A story like this can get complicated quickly, so I'm trying to focus in on a manageable number of questions:
1) Why does Victoria lack zoning, and is the absence of zoning good or bad?
2) How does a lack of zoning play out in the city? Where are there, for example, industrial plants next to residential neighborhoods? Where can you find shacks next to mansions? If a chemical plant wanted to build next to a new high school or subdivision, could it ? (The answer is yes, if the plant met federal environmental guidelines.)
3) What are the benefits to the city and its residents of not having zoning?
4) What other Texas cities in recent time instituted zoning? What were the effects -- good and bad?
5) Does Victoria plan to institute zoning in the future?
That's a short list that sums up my focus headed into this story. Of course, that can change once I learn some of these answers.
Above, I pasted the city's land use map. It shows, by color, how each property in the city is used. I suggest you use the tool's zoom function to take a closer look. You find the zoom tool at the bottom left of the map.
So, what do you think of Victoria's lack of zoning?
Thanks for your input,
Gabe Semenza, Advocate public service editor
P.S. If you want to view Victoria's Comprehensive Plan for 2025, click here. It's a 184-page document, so it will take a short while to load.
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