Benefits to Developing on Panther Island
- Unique urban, active, outdoor lifestyle and waterfront living
- Award-winning, flexible, form-based zoning code securing your investment
- Timely, informal administrative review process
- Water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer already master planned
- Mass grading determined for the entire district
- Preliminary storm water drainage plan already established (Preliminary iSWM)
- Voluntary storm water detention credit available which eliminates on-site needs
- Cost-effective water quality program
- Readily-available power
- Phase One street car alignment established which provides direct access to downtown
- East half of the district cleaned to TCEQ residential standards
Why the development standards are beneficial
The award-winning Panther Island Development Standards and Guidelines promote sustainable development which creates a vibrant urban waterfront district. The Standards embrace New Urbanism – a walkable community laced with river walks, Fort Worth’s town lake and river promenade. They also deliver a waterfront fabric, hosting a strong, mixed- used district of high-density with a focus on the pedestrian experience.
The Standards require and promote exceptional design which enhances the function, experience and value to investors, residents and guests alike. Developments that conform to the Standards are eligible for expedited administrative approval by TRVA and City staff.
TRVA staff are available to assist with applying the Standards to a project. They can also provide aid to those applicants seeking permits from the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Panther Island Development Principles
Expand to view the full list.
- Promote a pedestrian-oriented urban form
- Require excellence in the design of the public realm and building that front public spaces
- Maximize connectivity and access
- Create a network of distinctive neighborhoods that provide diverse urban housing options
- Encourage inclusion of authentic Fort Worth characteristics in new development
- Champion creatively-exceptional design
- Support adaptive reuse and support the preservation of historically-significant buildings
- Foster sustainable development that enhances Fort Worth’s natural resources
- Endorse the inclusion of public art into public and private development
- Support existing Panther Island businesses
- Advocate development that complements the Downtown core
Want More Details About What to Expect?
Click below for more detailed information, then contact us to get started. TRVA’s staff will provide interested developers with all the particulars to get any project off the ground–and on the water!
All projects are subject to review
All private construction projects, with the exception of interior construction or exterior in-kind replacement work, are subject to review by the Trinity River Vision Review Committee (which includes the Planning and Development Department) and/or the Urban Design Commission (UDC) for compliance with the Panther Island (formerly Trinity Uptown) Standards and Guidelines. All buildings, streets, and public spaces by public entities are also subject to review. In accordance with their civic role, public buildings should reflect exceptional design quality.
Administrative review vs. UDC review
Projects that are supported by the Trinity River Vision and are clearly consistent with all applicable development principles and clearly conform to all standards may be approved administratively by the Planning and Development Director or his/her designee without UDC review. The UDC shall review all other projects that require interpretation/discretionary judgment with respect to the project’s compliance with standards and guidelines.
Who makes up the Urban Design Commission?
The UDC is a nine-member body appointed by the City Council and charged with the administration of urban design districts. The Zoning Ordinance specifies that UDC appointees should be knowledgeable about fundamental principles of urban design. Furthermore, at least six of the nine appointees shall be practicing professionals from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design or planning, real estate, or law. The Planning and Development Director or his/her designee serves as staff advisor to the UDC.
Exceptional design recommended
For UDC approval, TRV may recommend public buildings of exceptional designs that do not comply with certain standards or guidelines provided that the buildings conform to the Intent and General Development Principles. Parks, plazas, sidewalks, waterfront paths, and all other publicly-accessible spaces should also reflect exceptional design quality and are subject to review for compliance with the Panther Island Development Standards and Guidelines.
Discussions during the conceptual phased
One of TRV’s most important roles is to provide informal guidance to developers of significant projects during the conceptual design phase. These discussions take place during informal work sessions, and provide an opportunity for early TRV and Planning and Development staff input that should facilitate timely design review and approval of the final design phase. All public and private developers of significant projects are encouraged to present their conceptual plans to TRV for informal review.
Variances to Zoning Ordinances
Property Development Standards
The UDC is authorized to approve appropriate exceptions to the vast majority of the Panther Island Standards and Guidelines. The UDC may allow additional flexibility for projects of exceptional civic or environmental design. Any waiver of basic property development standards related to building heights or setbacks requires a variance approved by the Board of Adjustment.