The Prosper Town Council discussed an amendment to the zoning ordinance that may restrict what residents can build on their property at the town council meeting on Jan. 24. The council’s recommendations and concerns will be presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission on Feb. 7 and will be back on the agenda for the council’s vote in late March or April.


The restrictions include a maximum of one guest house per property — the accessory structure must be on the same land tract and must share the same electric and natural gas meter service as the primary building. In addition, the maximum size of the guest house should not exceed 50 percent of the primary building including the patio.


Prosper resident George Dupont addressed the council with his concerns regarding accessory structures and guest houses in Prosper.


“You could have two storage units and a guest house and a pool house and you have to ask, ‘Is that what you want on what’s supposed to be a single family residential zoned lot?’ Dupont said. “It ties back to what are these properties? They are single family residential zoned lots … In my mind it means a single family residence means one single family per lot.”


In July 2016 town staff held a brief meeting to discuss the review of the current ordinance in response to complaints received about a recently constructed guest house and accessory structure. Accessory structures and guest houses that do not follow town ordinances can impose fire-safety hazards.


Director of Development Services John Webb said issues arise when residents put “buildings closer to other people’s buildings.”


“The question is does it continue to be appropriate to have this kind of structure?” Webb said. “The question is how much do we start allowing in the backyard area?”


The Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing in March and will make a recommendation for changes in the ordinance to the town council.