Can You Do The ROO Too?
College Station neighborhoods can now petition the City to allow them to adopt a Restricted Occupancy Overlay (ROO), commonly known as the “two-unrelated” rule. The ROO process is complex and must be followed exactly.
CSAN wants to help eligible neighborhoods obtain the ROO.
Even if you want to go it alone, we'd like to hear from any interested neighborhood. Send us an e-mail at info@CSANTX.org
Before you contact the City and begin the formal process, you should get some idea of whether your neighborhood can plausibly vote to obtain a ROO.
Step 1: Define your neighborhood. Only “originally platted” neighborhoods can apply for the ROO. Most neighborhoods are developed in phases and each phase is considered a “neighborhood” for this process. Each neighborhood must apply for the ROO separately, but neighborhoods (usually adjoining) can, and probably should, cooperate and apply around the same time, if possible. To find your neighborhood:
1. Go to CSTX.gov/GIS
2. Choose “Planning and Zoning Map” from the choices, click to open the box and click again on
“click here” to see the map.
3. In the upper right corner of the tool bar in the black area, click on the “Layers” icon (looks like
a stack of papers).
4. A long list of check box choices will drop down. In the bottom half of the list check the box
labeled “Scanned Plats” and a maze of maroon lines will appear on the map. Each of these
polygons is an “original plat”. Unfortunately, these plats are not labeled.
5. Zoom in as needed and click on your property (or any other within those boundaries). A box
will pop up with ownership information. Your neighborhood is listed after “Legal Description”.
For instance; “Legal Description: Southwood Valley, Ph 9, Block 2, Lot 8.” Southwood Valley,
Phase 9 is your “neighborhood” and the basis for everything else in the process.
Step 2: Determine the potential interest in the ROO for your neighborhood. You will eventually need to determine interest in the ROO for every property in your neighborhood. As a screening tool, CSAN has used Brazos County tax records to develop a rough determination of which neighborhoods can likely get the ROO, based on Homestead Exemptions.
It takes 50%+1 of properties (each property gets one vote) to approve the ROO. Property owner-occupants may not be in favor of the ROO for a variety of reasons. Also, experience has shown that some property owners, particularly absentee owners, will simply refuse to respond to any communication and will be counted as "no" votes.
In the lists below, we make two assumptions (neither of which may be completely true):
- Homestead Exempt properties are owner-occupied and will vote "FOR".
- Non-homestead Exempt properties are rentals and will vote "NO".
Neighborhoods that can:
- Likely get the ROO (click)
- Probably get the ROO (click)
- May be able to get the ROO (click)
Step 3: Talk to your neighbors! You will eventually need to form a formal committee composed of neighborhood residents to organize and pursue the ROO. Gauge the interest of your neighbors before entering the formal adoption process. You can find owner addresses two different ways.
1. On the College Station GIS map, click on individual properties to find the owner address in the pop-up box (there are usually 2-3 pages in these boxes). From this box, you can also link to Brazos CAD for much more property information.
2. Go to Brazos CAD; Select the "Advanced" option at the top; in the next screen select
"Subdivision"; find your subdivision/phase from the drop-down list, select and search. You will get a list of all owners, but will still need to click individual properties to get owner addresses.
Step 4: Begin the formal process. The City of College Station has developed a handbook to guide neighborhoods through the ROO adoption process. Since the ROO is a legal designation involving property rights, the steps in this handbook must be followed exactly.
Note: A fee of $1,321 is charged by the City for all rezoning applications, including the ROO.
(Keep in mind that ROO organizers can ask for donations, split the fee among property owners or use other means to cover the cost.)
Click to link to the City's ROO site where you can download the ROO Policy Handbook.