Downtown Redevelopment

February 2010 - Posts

Round Rock Jelly marks first anniversary

OK, so this post isn't about the public process for approving the Downtown Master Plan, but a little break from that long march isn't such a bad thing, is it? Round Rock Jelly, which meets from 11 to 2 each Friday at Star Co. downtown, marks its first anniversary today. And, no, really, we do not digress. Jelly is a great example of the kind of activities the Plan calls for to bring more people downtown.

Major props to Round Rock resident and social media goddess Sheila Scarborough, who kinda sorta runs it. City of Round Rock tech guru Brooks Bennett and I often join the gang of what is now a regular crowd of about a dozen or so programmers, real estate agents, photographers, web designers, etc. It's a fun group and we do actually get work done. In fact, I finished the last Downtown Redevelopment blog post there last Friday.

We’re hoping/thinking it could lead to a co-working venture in downtown Round Rock. What do you hope/think?

Planning Commission unanimously recommends approval of Round Rock Downtown Master Plan

The Round Rock Planning and Zoning Commission, following a final public hearing, on Feb. 3 unanimously voted to recommend approval of the Downtown Master Plan to the City Council.

While we will continue the public process as the Plan now moves to the City Council for deliberation, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the team members who have provided their considerable talents: city staff members from the Planning Department, Engineering and Development Services, Transportation Services, and Parks and Recreation Department; and, of course, our wonderful consultant, Torti Gallas and Partners, and their many sub-consultants.

And I'd like to give a not-so-quick shout out to the downtown area residents and business and property owners who have participated and provided the input so critical to getting the plan where it is today. You’ve turned out by the hundreds over the past 13 months, from the first charrette in January 2009 to this week’s public hearing. You’ve provided creative input, asked pointed questions, sometimes just checked in for an update, and offered your support.

And, finally, a big thank you to the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, who have pored over each draft of the plan document, and met in three regular sessions, four work sessions (two of those were half-day affairs), conducted a driving tour of the area and held two public hearings. That’s a lot of work (for which they volunteer, in case you weren’t aware) and their insights and experience with development in Round Rock have been invaluable. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

While the P&Z vote was a significant milestone, there’s more work yet to do. We’ll update the City Council at its Feb. 17 retreat, and seek direction on how they want to proceed with their review of the Master Plan.

Once the City Council approves the Plan, we’ll then begin work on the Form Based Code, which will specify the details of the land use and design standards the Plan document provides broad guidance on.

While much of the discussion with the P&Z has focused on the future land use and design issues, there's a lot in the plan about other initiatives -- like marketing and branding, and activating the downtown core -- that we can begin work on after City Council approval.

In other words, stay tuned!