Abandonment Process

The abandonment process is used when the City of Waco agrees to release ownership rights of certain excess property or unused portions of a street or an alley right-of-way or an easement. Abandoned property reverts to adjoining property owners on an equal basis if that portion of the property had been previously dedicated for that use through the Subdivision Process.

Abandoned property may then be incorporated into a resubdivision for assembly and used for future development. If utilities are present and will not be relocated by the owner, an easement for the abandoned section will be retained.

The process begins by meeting with staff from Planning Services to discuss the applicants’ request. This discussion is centered on the reason for the request, extent of the abandonment, future construction plans, and the desired result achieved by the abandonment.

Planning Services will coordinate the process and develop a report to the Plan Commission and Waco City Council. This report will include the conditions for approval or a recommendation of denial of the abandonment request. If any utilities are present in the section of public right-of-way to be abandoned, then an easement will be retained for that entire portion where existing utilities are located. There may also be additional staff requirements, unless otherwise determined, to eliminate traffic hazards or other problems that may arise during this process.

The Abandonment Review Process takes approximately 75 days to complete. This time frame may vary depending on the initial application submittal date. The application is processed by staff, and placed on the City Plan Commission agenda for a public hearing. Action is then taken by the City Plan Commission in the form of a recommendation to the Waco City Council. It is then placed on the Waco City Council agenda on the 2nd meeting of the month as a public hearing and two readings of the ordinance are required before the process is completed.

There is a non-refundable application fee(PDF, 142KB) for the abandonment.

Abandonment Process at a Glance

Application submitted online (items required listed below)

The following documents must be submitted to consider the application complete. Therefore, incomplete applications will not be accepted or may result in delaying action on the case until the following month.

  1. Petition with signatures of all adjoining property owners within the block.
  2. Signature Page
  3. Survey exhibits of the abandonment including field-note description from a Registered Professional Land Surveyor showing the extent of the area to be abandoned, and location of all utilities (i.e. water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone, cable, etc.).
  4. Pay Invoice using CSS – Customer Service Portal
  • Request reviewed by city staff and utility companies
  • Receive comments and prepare report
  • Notices mailed to property owners within one block of the area through standard mail service
  • City Plan Commission Work Session
  • City Plan Commission Public Hearing
  • Waco City Council Public Hearing and 1st Reading
  • Waco City Council 2nd reading of the ordinance
    If approved, Quitclaim Deed(s) prepared