Downtown Redevelopment

Update on Round Rock's Downtown Master Plan process, schedule

On Sept. 14, we forwarded the input we've received from the public, City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and staff to consultant Torti Gallas to include in the final draft of the Downtown Master Plan. Here are some of the highlights:

  • We need to revise the land use map and future road and pedestrian improvements near Brushy Creek. Our goal is to open up the creek for appropriate development, like restaurants with outdoor seating that overlooks the water. So we'll be removing the "Civic" land use designation along the creek between Sheppard and Spring streets to allow for private development. We still want to provide for public access along the creek, particularly for our new proposed Heritage Trail.
  • Other creekside changes to the draft plan include: changing the alignment of a future east-west road connecting Pecan to Fannin (Here's a very rough draft map (PDF) showing the new alignment); making Lewis-Spring streets the primary north-south connector between Main Street and Pecan, instead of Burnet Street; and planning for the pedestrian bridge over Brushy Creek to extend north from Lewis instead of Sheppard. 
  • The roundabouts on Palm Valley Boulevard-U.S. 79 will be removed from the list of catalytic projects.
  • Revising Chapter 4, Design Guidelines for Development, so it is clear it is not a form based code. This chapter will no longer include detailed design standards, but will explain why standards will be necessary in a soon-to-be-adopted Zoning Code for downtown.

Which leads us to the schedule. Here is what's on the calendar at present:

  • Oct. 6 -- Planning and Zoning Commission process update -- this will be a five-minute presentation
  • Oct. 21 -- P&Z work session -- we'll have a full-blown review of the final draft Plan
  • Oct. 22 -- City Council update -- we'll discuss results/questions from P&Z work session; this will not be a work session, but rather a presentation with an opportunity for Q&A with the Council
  • Nov. 10 -- Public hearing and P&Z consideration of a recommendation to the City Council
  • Nov. 12 -- City Council work session
  • Nov. 24 -- City Council public hearing and consideration of approval

All meetings will be open to the public.

Once the Plan is adopted, we'll begin work on the Zoning Code. That process is expected to take a few months, and will include further opportunities for public input prior to adoption.

If you've got questions about the process or schedule, please contact me at whampton@round-rock.tx.us, 218-5409, or, better yet, leave a comment here on the blog!

Comments

JFerris said:

It is disappointing to me to slow down the roundabouts.  They are very effective traffic tools that keep people moving. But I do understand a lot of people have resistance to them because they haven't had to use them before.

Also, I would like to see/recommend one thing.  All installed street lighting should be "Dark Sky" lighting. Nearly half the light projected by a normal streetlight is wasted because it does not shine where it is needed.  The "glow" of the unused light outshines the stars.  And, well, you know what they say...The stars at night are big and bright...Dark Sky lighting is more cost effective, uses less energy, and I would like to see those big bright stars again...

# September 28, 2009 9:24 AM

gperks said:

Ditto JFerris' comments. Getting sick of stop signs and red lights. Roundabouts are far nicer to drivers and other road users, as well as allowing some greenery: plants look better than yet another concrete slab, and roundabouts don't need electricity like lights do.

# September 29, 2009 9:40 PM

Will Hampton said:

@JFerris and @gperks,

Thanks for your comments. You might want to consider speaking at future public hearings the decision makers, i.e. City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, can hear from you directly.

Next opportunity will be Nov. 10 at Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 221 E. Main St.

Regarding street lighting, we've had some discussions with the good folks at Hendrix Engineering, a firm located in downtown, no less, about that aspect of the plan. We'll definitely look into Dark Sky lighting. Thanks for the suggestion!

# October 26, 2009 9:50 AM
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