Updated Buffering and Donation Station Ordinances

The 2015 IBC Houston Amendments and 2020 NEC Administrative Code Provisions have been updated to reflect recent ordinance changes to the residential buffering standards and donation stations. Please replace any previously saved files with the updated amendments. 

On Jan. 25, 2023, City Council approved Ordinance No. 2023-64 amending the buffering standards in Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances to address the effects that may arise when newly constructed, mid-rise, and high-rise structures abut single-family and small scale multi-family residential structures. 

The following sections of the Construction Code were impacted by the ordinance changes:

  • Section 406.4.9 of the Houston Building Code - garage screening requirements for parking structures that abut a public street or land use for or restricted to residential use.
  • Section 103 of the National Electrical Code - added definitions for accent lights, color rendering index, correlated color temperature, and light trespass.  
  • Section 512.1 of the National Electrical Code - requirements to minimize light trespass and keep direct light from shining onto abutting residential properties or public streets.

The residentail buffering ordinance changes went into effect on Feb. 25, 2023. For more details and resources, visit the Planning Department's Livable Places website. 

On Mar. 1, 2023, City Council approved Ordinance No. 2023-151 amending Chapter 28 of the Code of Ordinance to include the regulation and permitting of donation stations. Section 105.2 of the Houston Building Code was amended to include size limits for donation boxes and donation stations.

The donation station ordinance changes went into effect immediately. For more details about donation boxes and donation stations, visit Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department's Business Licensing website.