Zoning, Special Exception & Variance Info

What is zoning?
Zoning is a tool for providing compatibility and predictability in land use and development and for protecting a city’s health, safety, and general welfare. Zoning categorizes the city into zoning districts and establishes permitted land uses within each district. Zoning districts also specify how dense or intense each use may be (for example, by specifying how big or small lots may be or how many homes are permitted per lot).

Access more information on Zoning at our Knowledge Base. To check the zoning of a specific property, please see the city's zoning map. To find out what land uses are permitted in a particular zoning district, please see the Kennedale City Code, Section 17-421.

If you have a question about a pending rezoning request, please call Rachel Roberts,Community Development Director, at 817-985-2135, or send an email. Please include the P&Z case number or the property address in your request.

What is a special exception?
Kennedale’s zoning code classifies permitted land uses by the following types: permitted by right; permitted with a conditional use permit; and permitted with a special exception. Uses permitted by right are allowed within a particular zoning district without additional permission from the city. For example, single family homes are permitted by right in single family zoning districts. Uses permitted by special exception require a review by the Board of Adjustment.

A special exception is a tool cities use to consider a proposed land use on a case-by-case basis. For example, on some properties, an auto inspection station or tire repair shop would be compatible with surrounding uses and would not be considered a nuisance. In some cases, however, these uses would be unsuitable. Certain criteria must be met to receive a special exception; for example, the person or company applying for the special exception must be able to argue that the proposed use won’t endanger public health or impair the ability of a neighboring property owner to have the full use and enjoyment of his or her property.

When a special exception is requested, the city’s Board of Adjustment holds a public hearing to consider the request. The public hearing process is as follows:
  1. Staff makes a presentation about the case, providing an overview of issues involved and usually making a recommendation to the Board.
  2. The applicant (person or company requesting the special exception) makes a presentation on his or her behalf, describing why he or she should be granted a special exception.
  3. The Board opens the public hearing and receives comments from public in favor of or in opposition to granting the special exception.
  4. The applicant is given the opportunity to respond to comments made during the public hearing.
  5. City staff provides a closing summary and comments for the case.
If you would like to register an opinion in favor of or against a request for a special exception, you may do so in two ways. You may:
  1. attend the public hearing and register an opinion by turning in a form to the board secretary(the form is provided at the public hearing); or
  2. submit comments in writing to the Community Development Director before the meeting, by mail, email, or in person. You must provide your name and address for the official records. Comments submitted for the Board’s consideration must be signed by you. The Community Development Director's office is located in the Permits & Utility Billing section of City Hall.
If you have a question about a pending special exception request, please call Rachel Roberts,Community Development Director, at 817-985-2135, or send an email. Please include the BOA case number or the property address in your request.

Access more information on Special Exceptions at our Knowledge Base.

What is a variance?
Most cities establish regulations governing the form that land uses may take, such as how far a building must be from the property line (these required distances are called “setbacks”), maximum or minimum building height, and minimum or maximum lot sizes. In certain cases, these standards cannot be met because meeting the standards would create an undue hardship or because it would be almost impossible to meet the standards. For example, some properties have very steep slopes or have large sections in the floodplain, making building difficult or impractical under a city’s setback requirements. In these cases, the property owners may apply for a variance from the zoning or subdivision regulations. If the variance is granted, the property owner would not be required to meet the regulation in question.

Most variance requests in Kennedale are heard by the Board of Adjustment (BOA). Before a variance request may be heard by the BOA, planning staff must publish a notice in the newspaper, post a sign on the property in question, and send notices to property owners with 200 feet of the property for which the variance is requested. Variances also require a public hearing to allow members of the public the opportunity to speak in favor of or against the variance request.

In making its decision, the BOA will consider information presented by city staff and the applicant, as well as comments made during the public hearing. Please note that the BOA is not permitted to consider financial issues when determining whether there is a hardship.

Applications for a variance are available at city hall in the Permits & Planning office and may also be sent to you by email. You can also request a variance by email.

When a variance is requested, the city’s Board of Adjustment holds a public hearing to consider the request. The public hearing process is as follows:
  1. Staff makes a presentation about the case, providing an overview of issues involved and usually making a recommendation to the Board.
  2. The applicant (person or company requesting the variance) makes a presentation on his or her behalf, describing why he or she should be granted a variance.
  3. The Board opens the public hearing and receives comments from public in favor of or in opposition to granting the special exception.
  4. The applicant is given the opportunity to respond to comments made during the public hearing.
  5. City staff provides a closing summary and comments for the case.
If you would like to register an opinion in favor of or against a request for a variance, you may do so in two ways. You may:
  1. attend the public hearing and register an opinion by turning in a form to the board secretary(the form is provided at the public hearing); or
  2. submit comments in writing to the Community Development Director before the meeting, by mail, email, or in person. You must provide your name and address for the official records. Comments submitted for the Board’s consideration must be signed by you. The Community Development Director's office is located in the Permits & Utility Billing section of City Hall.
If you have a question about a pending variance, please call Rachel Roberts,Community Development Director, at 817-985-2135, or send an email. Please include the BOA case number or the property address in your request.

Access more information on Variances at our Knowledge Base.