DeSoto City Council Tables “Hampton Road Character Code” Case until May 7th

Charactor coding will not impact existing but new or changed or redevleoped Properties. Colors mean: Purple - Urban Center. Gold: Urban Urban General: Grayish. Niehborhood. Urban Transition: Red.

Recap of DeSoto City Council Public Hearing On “Hampton Road Character Code”

The first item on last Tuesday’s meeting was to conduct a Public Hearing and consider Ordinance rezoning properties within the new “Hampton Road Character Code” zoning area. The properties within the “Hampton Road Character Code” zoning area will be rezoned from their current multiple zoning districts to the following five (5) new zoning districts: 1. Urban Center, 2. Urban General, 3. Neighborhood Services, 4. Urban Neighborhood and 5. Neighborhood Transition. The applicant is the City of DeSoto. (Case #Z-1514-24)


As far back as 2005, the City of DeSoto embarked on the creation of a central core with the redevelopment of the Hampton Road Corridor to a pedestrian-friendly, multi-modal destination for citizens and visitors. The creation of a destination that requires an approach to zoning that focuses on place and character, such as what is built, size, height, relationship to neighboring properties, parking, and signage that impact how the corridor develops as a pedestrian-friendly, multi-modal destination.

To ensure these outcomes, a character-based code for land development regulations was needed and on April 5, 2022, the City Council approved the contract with Halff Associates for the creation of a character-based zoning area along the Hampton Road corridor.
As a part of the planning process for the Hampton Road Character Codes, Halff Associates conducted community input meetings to keep the residents informed and engaged in the process and to create the opportunity for residents to provide input into the development of the project.

Halff Associates conducted a public input and engagement meeting on November 6, 2023, conducted open house and open drop-in sessions on February 1, 2 and 3, 2024.
Halff Associates also assisted the City with the development of a Zoning Advisory Board (consisting of staff members, developers, Hampton Road property owners, a Planning & Zoning Commission member, and other stakeholders) in order to review the proposed amendments to DeSoto’s Land Development Regulations within Hampton Road.

On March 5, 2024, the City Council approved an Ordinance (by a vote of 4-3) amending the City’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and officially establishing a new Hampton Road Character Code section consisting of the following five (5) new zoning districts: 1. Urban Center (UC), 2. Urban General (UG), 3. Neighborhood Services (NS), 4. Urban Neighborhood (UN) and 5. Neighborhood Transition (NT).

It is important to note that area homes and businesses already existing will not be impacted or forced to change and it will only affect new development in those areas.
The Hampton Road Character Code zoning area is generally located along a one-mile section of Hampton Road (just north of Pleasant Run Road to just south of Belt Line Road) and along sections of Pleasant Run Road and Belt Line Road. The properties within this area consist of approximately 423 acres with 466 individual properties being considered for rezoning as summarized below.

Urban Center (UC) (purple)

The Urban Center (UC) district will consist of multi-unit residential and mixed-use commercial centers. The buildings will be three to five stories vertically integrated to support a mixture of uses. Land uses within this district are intended to have the highest intensities and densities along the corridor and may include a mixture of residential, commercial and office uses.

The Urban Center district will have activated pedestrian spaces and frontage zones to create a human-scale environment.

There are a total of ninety-nine properties that will be rezoned from their current zoning districts to Urban Center (UC) zoning district.

Urban General (UG) – Grayish Color

The Urban General (UG) zoning is intended to develop at a smaller scale, with infill and redevelopment of existing developed properties between Urban Center (UC) zoning districts. The district will consist of mixed-use, commercial, retail, office and residential uses.

The buildings will be two to three stories vertically or horizontally integrated at medium densities and intensities within the Hampton Road Character Code Area. Urban General will be similar to Urban Center, but at a lower scale and with more design flexibility available.
A total of ninety-two (92) properties will be rezoned from their current zoning districts to Urban General (UG) zoning district.

Urban General (UG) Urban General (UG) Neighborhood Services (NS) will be generally located along major roadways on the edges of the Hampton Road Character Code Area.
The district will consist of primarily auto-oriented and non-residential uses, including commercial, retail, office and personal services, which are intended to support surrounding residential uses.

There may be limited moderate-density residential uses that may be vertically or horizontally integrated, one to two stories (1-2).
A total of fifty-one (51) properties will be rezoned from their current zoning districts to Neighborhood Services (NS) zoning district.

Urban Neighborhood (UN) (gold in color)

Urban Neighborhood (UN) support larger pockets of primarily moderate-density residential buildings, with some limited commercial, retail and office uses within walking distance of Urban Center (UC) districts.

Buildings up to four (4) stories will be single-use or vertically integrated and generally placed close to the street with some acceptable variations. Urban Neighborhood will have high densities and may include multifamily apartments and condominiums, townhomes, and similar residential units with greater landscape and open space standards to support residential living.

A total of sixty (60) properties will be rezoned from their current zoning districts to Urban Neighborhood (UN) zoning district.

Neighborhood Transition (NT) (red in color)

Neighborhood Transition (NT) supports areas of primarily single-unit and modest-density multifamily uses. Single homes, accessory dwelling units, duplexes and townhomes are mixed together to create an eclectic residential district.

NT provides a transition/buffer from higher densities and intensity areas [Urban Center (UC) and Urban General (UG)] to surrounding low-density single-unit areas. It will include various dwelling types at moderate densities at a scale that reflects the area’s character. Commercial, retail and office uses are limited in this district but may be appropriate at certain scales and locations.

A total of one hundred and sixty-seven will be rezoned from their current zoning districts to Neighborhood Transition (NT) zoning district.

What Citizens Think About The Hampton Road Character Code

Stacy Hampton spoke in favor.

Herbert Marsh Jr of Midlothian has business in DeSoto across from Dairy Queen on Hampton. He is not in favor and is worried about traffic.

Scott McDonald said high-density apartments can be right next to single-family homes. Non-conforming uses make getting insurance difficult.

Louise Kapsos said, “I don’t like the idea one iota.”

Corey Blair said, ” I’m highly concerned. I don’t mind development, but we need the right development.” He had not heard about this and would not have if it hadn’t been for his neighbor informing him.

Donna Anderson: Stated she believes the changes need to be voted on by all of DeSoto. “I read that it is a soft cost of $3,400,000 … we need to focus on reducing crime, more pay for our teachers, more pay for our police officers and firefighters.”

Douglas Lindsey: Echoed concerns neighbors have expressed. “I’m a firm no.”

Michael Hurtt: “I am personally disappointed that this has not been voted on by the entire public about what you’re doing to the one-mile plus of Hampton Road … the things that we have been told were going to happen have not happened.”

Karen O’Daniel: “Why are we only being allowed to perform minor renovations to our homes/ what about the taxes?

Jamie Lopez: In favor.

Jose and Maria Saenz: In favor.

Ruby Dickson: “I am not in favor of this because the traffic is so heavy.”

Mayor Proctor stated “That concludes our public comments …” Mayor Proctor was then interrupted by someone else who wanted to speak. The Mayor said they should have filled out a form but she would allow them to speak if they wished to regardless of the form not being filled out and turned in earlier.

The lady then approached the podium and said her name was Madelyn Baker and that she lives in DeSoto. She asked if she could be told where apartments were going to be (and other questions). She said, “If you call, nobody knows.”

The Mayor replied that when an apartment might be open, “That is something that has yet to happen. … We’re not able to share exactly where a building might go. That’s not what we’re discussing.” The mayor continued that meetings have not been limited to only the daytime.

She was interrupted again by Ms. Baker, who replied that the consultant (Mr. Johnston for Halff Associates) would be available to answer concerns after the public hearing and that the public hearing was a forum to listen to concerns and statements by citizens. The public hearing was then closed.

Councilmember Raphiel moved to table the public hearing until April 23rd, which was seconded by Councilmember Parker. Councilmember Byrd then asked if that was enough time to allow consideration.

City attorney Gorfida said the best way to accomplish this would be to reopen the public hearing and table it to that date or later. Councilmember Raphiel then made the motion to reopen the public hearing and move it to May 7th.

Councilmember Marks asked Councilmember Raphiel what her goal would be to accomplish during the postponement. She (Raphiel) replied it was her understanding that once P&Z passes something, it would have “30 days to breathe.” Two, the questions that have been brought forth tonight do that give staff time to answer the questions, and is that enough time to understand what the council has in front of it? The hearing raised additional questions: “What are the consequences thereof.”

Councilmember Marks replied, giving the item “time to breathe…” This was the date that was on the timeline. They have actually kept in sequence with the timeline. … that was presented to us … back on February 2nd… March 5th, March 25th … Each one of those times they did present it to the council.” She continued that she didn’t want people to think it was rushed but rather was already in the plan.

Marks continued that Halff and Associates had answered the questions that arose during the P&Z meeting, continuing that Halff had done an excellent job. The city sent out 1100 notices. She said notices were only required to be sent out to residents within 200 feet, but they expanded it to 400 feet. She continued that the notice was put in the newspaper three times as well. “We can’t just keep kicking that can down the road.”

Editor’s note: The notices not only appeared in Focus Daily News the number of times required by state law but also on the statewide Texas Press Association site. Citizens can always view the Press Association site at no charge. While subscriptions to Focus are available to receive all 256 issues per year online for only $50 total, Focus has NEVER turned down anyone who says they do not have the $50 or can’t afford it. They have been and will continue to be able to request the publication be emailed to them every day we publish at no cost whatsoever by sending an email requesting a subscription to

Mayor Proctor then addressed the council, asking, “Between now and May 7th, what are we expected to do (in terms of what we presented tonight and over the past two-to-three years)? Are we looking to host more meetings? Are we looking to do more Q&As? Are we looking to do more outreach? What exactly are your thoughts?”

Raphael replied that a number of members of the community have come forward, and this is to give them some time to breathe as well.

City Attorney Gorfida then pointed out that if there were any changes, the process would have to start over with new notices, etc.

Mayor Proctor then asked if there were more comments from the council prior to the vote.
Member Parker responded that she now wanted to knowmore about insurance implications and other things as people followed up on the project. She wanted to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to be heard.

Mayor Pro-Tem Hughes said she feels “we need to have at least two or maybe three meetings so everyone can understand what’s going on.”

Councilmember Byrd said he would favor having additional meetings as well to ensure that everyone was heard.

Mayor Proctor said, “This is not us against the community. We pay the same tax bill, we pay the same insurance …, and many of us are impacted by the same things.

A motion to leave the public hearing open and continue on the May 7th meeting.

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