City of Sugar Land – Zoning Regulations

One of the services that distinguishes Sugar Land from some of our neighboring cities is the city’s adoption of zoning and development standards.

Zoning is a municipal service that protects neighborhoods and property owners from development that is not compatible or in character with the surrounding area. This is accomplished through regulations regarding the physical development of land and the uses that are allowed to be developed on property in the city. Zoning is also a tool used to guide decision-making for improvements to existing property to ensure it is consistent with the surrounding environment.

Now that Greatwood is part of the city of Sugar Land, the city’s zoning regulations apply to all properties. All new construction is required to meet the zoning requirements of the city of Sugar Land.

Interim R-1 (Standard Single-Family Residential) zoning was temporarily placed on most of the properties in Greatwood at the time of annexation on December 12, 2017. The permanent zoning process began in early 2018 and is currently underway for the newly annexed areas.

Over time, as developed areas were added to the city, the Special Exception process was created to provide a relief to property owners who were annexed into the city after their property was developed, usually under different restrictions than the city’s zoning standards. This process allows property owners to request the use of and build to previous development regulations (such as recorded deed restrictions or plat restrictions) that applied to their property prior to annexation.

Special Exceptions are granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment, an appointed board made up of Sugar Land residents. The fee to apply for a Special Exception recovers the cost of public notification of the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting and review and processing of the application.

Information about the Special Exception process is available on the city’s website as part of Sugar Land’s Development Application Handbook at or by contacting the Planning Department at of 281-275-2218.