- What is an escarpment?
- What is the purpose of escarpment development regulations?
- Escarpment Development Application
The Balcones Escarpment which runs through Cedar Hill is one of the most defining physical characteristics of our city. Considered to be the highest point between the Red River and the Gulf Coast, Cedar Hill rises above 880 feet mean sea level. The Escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that formed as an effect of erosion or vertical movement along the Balcones Fault zone, giving it's distinctive hillside character. While the Escarpment is prominent in Cedar Hill, this natural feature extends across Texas from the Red River to Del Rio. Because the Escarpment in Cedar Hill is an environmentally fragile bluff, development within this area is regulated by City Ordinance.
The purpose of the escarpment development regulations are to promote the following...
- To provide a factor of safety against unstable slopes or slopes subject to erosion and deterioration in order to protect human lives and property.
- To maintain the equilibrium of steep slope areas to control problems of erosion, slumping, and other earth movement.
- To minimize the increased runoff that accompanies the development of slopes, especially during the construction phase when large tracts of land are disturbed.
- To minimize the long-term effects of slope development including downstream flooding and the siltation of area streams and lakes.
- To minimize soil erosion by limiting activities that unnaturally expose the subsoils such as cuts, stripping off topsoil, and major regrading.
- To reduce the hazards associated with slope development including flash flooding, landslides, mudslides, and rock falls.
- To minimize the scarring effects of grading and to protect and retain the natural character of the escarpment.
- To ensure that development is planned to fit the topography, soils, geology, hydrology, and other conditions existing on the proposed site.
- To ensure a safe means of ingress and egress for vehicular and pedestrian traffic to and within the slope areas and to provide access for emergency vehicles necessary to serve the slope areas.
- To minimize the high cost of public improvements and maintenance associated with the development of slopes including the need for increased flood control and storm water management measures.
The regulations of escarpment development are further defined in Chapter 20, Article III, in the Cedar Hill Code of Ordinances.