City of Tyler reduces minimum home size to attract builders and residents to north side of city

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – City Council voted on Wednesday to reduce the size of new homes eligible for the North End Residential Building Incentive Program from 1,600 to 1,300 square feet in hopes to attract residents and home builders to the north side of Tyler.

The program was updated in 2018 to establish caps on reimbursable funds for qualifying projects.

The update also put limits on incentives for qualifying projects in the Butler College and Texas College areas and revised the building size from above 1,500 square feet to above 1,600 square feet.

Between 2013 and 2018, 83 household met eligibility requirements for the program which state the new home be less than 1,600 square feet.

The incentive program allowed the city to provide more than $30,000 in building waivers and zoning and platting reimbursements for 73 households in the north end of the city

An additional $60,209 in water and sewer taps was also waived as part of the program. 

Since the program’s 2018 revision, none of the 58 permitted projects in the area qualified for the program due to the average size of the house being about 1,348 square feet.

“Reducing the minimum square footage to 1,300 square feet incentivizes homeowners and builders to develop vacant or undeveloped land within previously built areas identified in the Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan’s North End Revitalization Program. Those lots are already served by public infrastructures, such as transportation, water, wastewater and other utilities.”

Heather Nick, Managing Director

In 2013, the City set a goal of adding 3,000 mixed-income households to the north side of the City and Downtown in the next 20 years.

About 586 homes were added since the adoption of the Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan in 2007 compared to the 3,406 households that were added in other areas of the City.

Eligible fees, waivers or reimbursements include building permits, platting and zoning fees, water and sewer taps and water meter activation fees. Ineligible fees include Smith County recording fees, plan check fees and existing taps associated with new construction.

2020 Program Incentives:

  • Development Services funds: Reimbursable fees for building permits are capped at $5,000.
  • Zoning and platting fees: These reimbursable fees are not included in the $5,000 cap. Allows for about 10 homes to participate in the program. The average building fees for a single-family home valued at $153,527 are about $559.
  • Water Fund: Fees that can be waived are capped at $31,435 allowing about 10 homes to participate in the program in 2020.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must request to participate in the program prior to or at the time of the first application.
  • Residence must be located on a residential lot zoned as single-family, attached or detached zoning districts.
  • Home shall have a minimum of 1,300 square feet of heated and cooled space.
  • Residence must be built on an infill lot, vacant or undeveloped land within previously built areas. Infill lots do not include lots accessing public or private streets or private ways constructed and accepted after January 1, 2008. New subdivisions are ineligible for this program.
  • Property must not have any outstanding liens or enforcement issues.

Applicants have 180 days from the date the building permit is issued to complete and obtain a certificate of occupancy for the property.

If the project is not completed within 180 days or within any granted extension timeframe, all previously waived fees will need to be paid.

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