CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, Corpus Christi City Council passed the creation of the Military Compatibility Area Overlay Districts (MCAOD).
It sets the regulations for zoning, noise light and height of structures around the Navy installations. Many questions came up like, "What happens to my property if I'm in one of the accident potential zones (APZ)?"
Corpus Christi development services said nothing will change for anyone who lives in an accident potential zone.
“This basically ensures that there is compatible development around these installations today, tomorrow, early on into the future,” Al Raymond said, director of development services
Raymond said the focus of the MCAOD is on future development.
There are 3,500 properties impacted by this, but eyes are on the undeveloped plots, like the ones around Waldron Field.
Of the 3,500, there are 689 properties around Waldron Field — falling into an APZ.
“117 are vacant," said Andrew Dimas, development services administrator. "Which means those are the ones we’re worried which direction could they develop?”
Dimas added there are 66 of the vacant lots that are zoned for residential families, but there is no concern because of the lack of access to wastewater.
"In the State of Texas, in order to have a septic system, which means you're not connecting to the grid, so to speak, you must have a half acre of land," Dimas said. "Which matches perfectly with the military overlay requirements, which is a density of two units per acre."
To help you visualize, think of a professional soccer field. An acre is roughly 60 percent of the field.
Raymond and Dimas said the Navy is willing to live with what’s already built in APZ. That includes the new Mary Carroll High School.
For property owners, the city is giving them a chance to make a change to be in compliance with the new code, if they choose.
“If they feel, by chance, that they may have lost an opportunity of some development they wish to have, their dream, which we want to encourage. We have a time period of six months in which they can apply for a free of charge rezoning,” said Dimas.
Included in the ordinance are requirements on noise, lighting and the height of a structure. But for the structures already in existence, they only thing they should take note of is if they are in a lighting zone.
Outdoor light fixtures would need to be shielded to not emit light above 90 degrees.
For noise compliance, again, existing structures aren't required to make changes. New structures must be built to make sure no more than 45 decibels comes from the home.
However, if you are remodeling in any fashion and the remodel costs 75 percent or more of your property asset, then you must build it to noise compliance as well.
The city has taken these steps to protect a city asset, the Navy. According to the governor’s office, having the base here provides over $4 billion to the economy each year.
Raymond said it’s important to have the MCAOD in place as the city grows.
It's also important because the MCAOD is modified every ten years and technology is always evolving creating changes as well.
“No one gets out of this unscathed," said Raymond. "Meaning that some people are going to be unhappy, some people are going to be really happy. But really the decision is for the greater good, our community overall, so.”
Raymond added this is just like any other ordinance. If it's noticed something works better, the ordinance can be amended.
City council will vote after the second reading of this ordinance Tuesday Aug. 16, where it's expected to pass.
You can see more about the study below: