Downtown Redevelopment

City Council approves Plan on unanimous vote

The Round Rock City Council unanimously approved the Downtown Master Plan on June 24, 2010.

To watch the presentation and final vote, visit Round Rock Replay, and go to Item 10A1.

City Council ready to vote on Downtown Master Plan

The Round Rock City Council is scheduled to make its first reading vote on the Downtown Master Plan at its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10. The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint work session on Monday, June 7, to discuss specific aspects of the plan.

The Council held a public hearing on the Plan at its May 13 meeting. At that time, some Councilmembers had questions about some specific elements of the Plan so Mayor Alan McGraw suggested Councilmembers meet with staff to discuss specific issues prior to the June 7 joint work session. Meetings have included City Manager Jim Nuse, Planning Director Jim Stendebach, Chief of Public Works Operations Tom Word and Project Manager Will Hampton.

Below are the main points/issues discussed in the meetings, as well as at Monday's work session.

Traffic, street network, parking and walkability

  • Mays Street recommendations – A number of Councilmembers have expressed concerns about traffic patterns and flows downtown in general, and, specifically, about the recommendation to reconfigure Mays Street from four lanes (two each north and south) to three lanes (one each north and south and one continuous left turn lane). Tom Word explained that would improve traffic flow on Mays by improving the capacity of the intersection at Mays and Main. Allowing concurrent left turns would result in moving more cars through the intersection in a shorter period of time. Tom presented a detailed explanation at Monday’s meeting.

    Here is a helpful graphic (PDF), prepared by Gary Schatz, P.E., our transportation subconsultant, last year that shows how Levels of Service at the Main-Mays intersection are likely to improve with the reconfiguration of Mays Street. Levels of Service are scored A through F, with A being no delays and F being prolonged delays. As graphic shows, the overall Level of Service for the intersection improves to a C from an E in the morning peak times, and to a C from an F in the afternoon peak.

    The proposed changes to Mays Street were covered in this blog post last year. That post includes a link to Gary's full analysis. 

    When Tom explained the Level of Service graphic at Monday's joint work session, it prompted the question of how can we get that intersection to an A or B? Tom noted that in urban environments, a Level of Service D is generally considered acceptable. To get to an A or B would likely require the City to purchase the businesses and properties along Mays Street to widen the road to five or six lanes, Tom said.

    Councilmembers also asked where Mays Street would taper from four lanes to three. Tom believes the best places would be north of Brushy Creek bridge (but south of Sunset), and north of Logan. Tom also noted we plan to test the reconfiguration by re-restriping Mays Steet before we make physical improvements as a way to gauge how successful it would be without having to make a major investment.
  • Road network – Councilmember John Moman raised a pair of issues on traffic/roads: First, he believes an east-west arterial along creek (as shown on map of “Street Hierarchy” on Page 126,) could help divert cut through traffic from Liberty and provide a catalyst for creekside development. Second, street sections shown on pages 127-130 should be more clearly labeled as “recommended” or “examples.”
    Mayor Pro Tem Clifford felt Sheppard Street should be labeled as a “secondary street” on the Street Hierarchy map since it is now a Catalytic Project.
  • Walkability, parking – Councilmember Rufus Honeycutt had questions about walkability. The cities he visited in California (Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Mountain View) had cars primarily circulating on the perimeter of their downtown, which made it easy for pedestrians. Here, we’ve got Round Rock Avenue, Mays and Main bisecting the area. Pages 80-81 in the Plan present short-term and long-term recommendations for parking reform downtown. Tom noted that, like in Southwest Downtown, the various streetscaping projects recommended in the Plan will add a significant number of on-street parking spaces.

    At Monday's work session, Mayor McGraw and Councilmember Whitfield both mentioned that Fort Collins, Colo., has major streets that bisect its downtown, which is thriving. Our Plan suggests a "park-once" strategy with parking garages located at key sectors of the Plan area. Honeycutt noted that we need to begin identifying locations for future park-once garages to complement the existing garage next to City Hall and the parking garage and transit center currently under construction in Southwest Downtown.

Catalytic Projects/Programming Document

  • Phasing of projects – Mayor Pro Tem Clifford asked about phasing of capital improvements, because we have such a large Plan area. Both Clifford and Councilmember Carlos Salinas felt like focusing improvements in one key area first would be the best way to get results, as opposed to spreading dollars around the entire Plan area.
  • Programming Document – For each Catalytic Project, the City will develop and maintain a dynamic “programming document” that will include the following types of information: 
    -- A critical path timeline, with milestones
    -- Zoning, infrastructure and public space needs
    -- Potential sources of funding, including identification of anticipated timing
    -- Summaries of input from developers regarding which public investments and other actions are likely to spur economic activity

    The Programming Document will become a key planning and decision making tool for Councilmembers. Our plan is to fully develop the Programming Document after the Plan is approved by the City Council.

Other issues

  • Marketing – Councilmember Salinas asked about a marketing plan and branding elements. He felt a gateway at Mays Street at Brushy Creek would be crucial early branding element for the area, as so many cars come into downtown via Mays Street. Councilmember Salinas said a market effort should run parallel to planning and construction of infrastructure improvements. Page 51 provides an overview of marketing and branding needs for activating downtown. Wayfinding is key element covered here. Locations for gateway signs are on page 37, with illustrations of possible designs on pages 38-39.
  • Timing – Councilmember Moman asked how downtown development proposals would be handled during the period of time between Plan adoption and Form Based Code adoption. Jim Stendebach said existing zoning rules would apply, but that PUDs could also be developed if zoning changes are requested.
City Council wants more time to discuss details of Downtown Master Plan

downtown round rock at nightThe Round Rock City Council held a public hearing on the Downtown Master Plan on Thursday, May 13, but tabled the ordinance to approve the document, which will be an amendment to the General Plan.

Five people spoke during the public hearing. All support the Plan; some had specific concerns about a particular aspect of the Plan. Two speakers, who live on East Liberty, are concerned about an increase in neighborhood cut-through traffic if the City moves forward with the Round Rock Avenue-Liberty Avenue realignment (PDF). Another worried about increasing property values. One spoke of the opportunity to attract more Creative Class businesses, and one thanked the City Council for addressing his specific concern about creating more flexibility in the Plan so he can more easily add a room to his single family home in the future.

You can watch the presentation, public hearing and Council discussion on Round Rock Replay (click on Item 9B1).

After the public hearing, Mayor Alan McGraw asked City Councilmembers to identify specific concerns/issues they have regarding the Plan for City staff. Those concerns can be then addressed comprehensively at a joint work session with the Planning and Zoning Commission, scheduled for June 7. The City Council and P&Z were already scheduled to discuss the  General Plan 2010-2020 at that meeting. Now, they'll use the meeting time to discuss both plans.

Updated copies of Downtown Master Plan document are available

Updated copies of the Downtown Master Plan document can be found online here or at the Round Rock Library, 216 E. Main Street.

The Plan document now includes the changes detailed in the last post, regarding edits the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission made to the Plan. The document now also contains a letter from the City Council noting, essentially, the Plan is a guidebook, not a rule book, regarding future development downtown. The letter is in Chapter 1, preceding the Executive Summary on Page 1.

There is one other notable change to the document. At its meeting on May 5, the City Council directed staff to make one change to the recommendations regarding the Form Based Code. Previously, the Plan recommended that the Form Based Code, when adopted in the future, apply to properties when “a renovation or new construction is proposed such that the proposed square footage increase is 20 percent or more of the building footprint.” Because the Council wanted to provide additional flexibility to property owners wishing to add space to their homes, the trigger for the new code to apply is now 35 percent.

You comments are always welcome.

Round Rock City Council scheduled to vote May 13 on Downtown Master Plan

The Round Rock City Council is scheduled to make a first reading vote on May 13 to adopt the Downtown Master Plan. A public hearing will precede the vote. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 221 E. Main St.

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint work session on March 30 to discuss the Plan. The Councilmembers and Commissioners focused on clarifying the broad purposes of the Plan document, as well as evaluating the Catalytic Projects listed in Chapter 3.

The discussion resulted in the updated Mission, Aims, Principles and Strategies statements below. Much of the planning jargon has been removed, and a sharper focus is now on the economic goals of the Plan.

Mission
The goal of the Master Plan is to create a vibrant downtown that adds a thriving sector to Round Rock’s economy. The Plan aims to create an achievable design and policy strategy for an active town center featuring a mix of retail, dining, entertainment, residential and public spaces, in a walkable and historically sensitive environment.

Aims

  • Stimulate responsible and foresighted economic growth in downtown
  • Accentuate the area’s assets and build upon past planning efforts 
  • Present a cohesive vision and identity for the area
  • Describe place-making concepts to achieve an activated and attractive downtown
  • Provide strategies to implement the urban design concepts

Principles

  • Community input on design that respects the complex and unique characteristics within the Plan area 
  • Design of spaces and buildings that are inviting, encouraging people to stay for a while
  • Walkability and ease of mobility and accessibility
  • Respect for historic architecture
  • Respect for the original block network
  • Responsibility to the environment
  • Emphasis on enduring design and quality materials
  • Innovation to uncover new programs, policies, and designs

Strategies

  • Defining a series of walkable streets and connected neighborhoods that are differentiated from each other through streetscaping, building form, and program
  • Placing commercial/mixed use and multi-family buildings close to the street/sidewalk, creating an inviting  outdoor room 
  • Preserving and extending Round Rock’s historic district and building composition in terms of scale and architecture
  • Establishing compatibility among all modes of travel
  • Identifying and planning a series of greens / public spaces with adequate kid-friendly amenities
  • Incorporating sustainable urban design and building strategies

Chapter 3 changes

The following statement will be included at the end of the current text on Page 59, which introduces the Implementation Strategy for the Plan.

For each Plan Area, as described on Pages 30-36, the City will develop and maintain a dynamic “programming document” that will include the following types of information: 

  • A critical path timeline, with milestones
  • Zoning, infrastructure and public space needs
  • Potential sources of funding, including identification of anticipated timing
  • Summaries of input from developers regarding which public investments and other actions are likely to spur economic activity


Also, any sequence or timing references on Pages 60-61, which list the Catalytic Projects, will be removed. We will also add the following to the list of Catalytic Projects:

  • Sheppard Street streetscaping
  • City Hall plaza green space
  • Municipal Office Campus green space

We'd love to hear what you think about the edits and additions.

Two meetings coming up for Downtown Master Plan

We've got a couple of meetings coming up regarding the Downtown Master Plan.

First, we'll have a presentation and discussion with the City Council at its Thursday, March 11 meeting. Councilmembers have been taking driving tours of the Plan area this week, and the discussion will center on questions they have about the Plan. Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Al Kosik is also scheduled to attend the meeting, and will discuss the P&Z's extensive review of the Plan.

Here's a link to a memo (PDF) which lists the significant changes to the Plan from the first draft of the document, which was delivered in May 2009, as well as outstanding issues, i.e., public concerns about elements of the Plan that have not been resolved.

Next, we'll have a public meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, at the Baca Center, 301 W. Bagdad Ave., to receive public comments on a design schematic (PDF) for the Round Rock Avenue realignment at Liberty Avenue and Brown Street. Transportation Planner John Dean has been meeting with business owners and landowners immediately adjacent to the proposed realignment over the past couple of weeks. The March 23 meeting will give everyone an opportunity to see what is proposed, and comment on it. It's a working draft, not a final set of plans, so we would really appreciate your input now.

The realignment will help accomplish two significant features of the Plan's vision: First, by routing traffic on Round Rock Avenue to Liberty and Brown (here's a before and after PDF graphic), we'll create a much safer pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Mays and Main streets. The realignment also allows for the creation a Town Green by removing Round Rock Avenue from Brown to Mays. The creation of a walkable downtown and a central gathering point are both fundamental to the placemaking aspect of the Plan.

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!

Updated Downtown Master Plan document now available for review

An updated version of the Round Rock Downtown Master Plan document is now online and at the Library for your review.

There are four chapters in the document. Chapter 1 (PDF) provides an introduction and overview. Chapter 2 (PDF) presents the Vision Master Plan. Chapter 3 (PDF) covers Implementation Policies and Strategies. Chapter 4 (PDF) is the Design Guide, and also includes the Appendix.

There will be a public hearing on the Plan at the Feb. 3 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

While there could be parts of the Plan you disagree with, it is imperative that we have a plan to guide redevelopment in the downtown area. If we don’t plan adequately for downtown, we will lose the opportunity to re-establish downtown as the heart of the community with a distinctive sense of place.

Without a plan, haphazard development will be scattered throughout the downtown with no regard to the long-term viability of each distinct neighborhood. We’ll be without policies and ordinances to protect viable residential neighborhoods while supporting redevelopment where appropriate. We will be unable to ensure harmony between commercial and residential uses, and we will not have unifying design standards. Pedestrian, parking and cut-through traffic problems will get worse as those issues will go unaddressed in a comprehensive fashion. Infrastructure improvements necessary to ensure the success of the area will not be prioritized and funding options for those improvements will be limited. There will be a lack of consensus about what to do with green spaces in the area, which will result in nothing being done to improve them, and we’ll all continue to lament how Brushy Creek is an underutilized natural asset. Frustration among downtown business and property owners will build as the downtown continues to struggle without the vision and focus necessary to bring about the improvements everyone wants.

As a result, Round Rock will lose the opportunity to preserve its core and brand downtown as a destination, for shopping, dining and entertainment and lose the opportunity to compete at a regional level for tourism and economic development.

Your thoughts? Please comment here on the blog, or call me at 218-5409 or email me at whampton@round-rock.tx.us. I'd love to hear from you.

Downtown Master Plan open house follow-up

We had approximately 60 people attend the Downtown Master Plan open house meetings Jan. 12-13. We met a fair number of newcomers to the planning process, and saw a lot of familiar faces too. Thanks to all for taking the time to attend. It was a very productive two days.

If you weren't able to attend but want to see what was presented, here are the exhibits (PDF). If you've got questions or comments, please make them here on the blog.

Most folks who attended were complimentary of the plan and the process, and those who had questions and concerns were able to speak with staff one on one and/or provide their input in writing. Based on the input, we'll be recommending another tweak or two to the Plan.

Here are some of the highlights:

A gentleman whose family owns a house on Pecan Street came to the meeting Tuesday evening, as did his two adult daughters who live in the home. He and one of the daughters spoke in opposition to the plan at the Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing Nov. 10. We had a very productive visit at the open house, and we understand his issue much more clearly now and think we have a way to enable his family to achieve their goal for the property while we still achieve the overall mission of the plan.

The Round Rock Donuts "extended family" visited Tuesday, as did a representative from First Baptist Church. They were anxious to see how the design is coming along for the realignment of Round Rock Avenue onto Liberty Avenue (Here is the page (PDF) from the plan showing "before and after" images of the realignment.) We anticipate receiving a draft design from our consulting engineer soon, and when we do we'll start visiting with nearby property owners.

The owner of Kawaii Shaved Ice on Mays Street expressed his opposition to the recommendation in the plan to take Mays Street from four lanes to three in the future. Here's our consulting engineer's analysis of the proposal (PDF), with an explanation of why the change will improve traffic flows on Mays by allowing for more effective signal timing at the Mays-Main Street intersection. It's certainly sounds odd, if not downright crazy, that reducing the number of lanes will allow traffic to flow better, but that's what will happen. For those who remain skeptical, know that we are planning to test such a change by simply restriping Mays to see how well it works in practice before we rebuild anything. 

One display we had up that's not included in the exhibit download above is the Heritage Trail concept produced by our Parks and Recreation Department planning team. The plan would have the Heritage Trail start in Old Town Brushy by “the rock” with a number of sculptural stories and interpretative signs to tell the story of the frontier days in old town Brushy. As the trail continues east along Brushy Creek, the history of Round Rock would continue to be told through interpretive signs, sculptures and custom “time portal” view points. A pedestrian bridge would cross from the north side of the creek to the south side at approximately Lewis Street at Veterans Park.

Everyone was really excited about the Heritage Trail concept with one notable exception: those folks who own homes on Vista Avenue whose property backs up to the creek. They would much prefer the trail be built on the south side of the creek. They are concerned about safety, impact to creek views and the division of their property. These issues will be addressed during the design process for the trail, which will occur at some point in the future. There is no funding currently identified for the trail project.

Regarding the East Main Street ballfields property owned by the Round Rock Community Foundation, we received a couple of written comments asking the property remain as is, or that a majority of it remain green/open space. The RRCF is planning for the property to be used by social service providers like Williamson-Burnet Counties Opportunities Inc. and Hope Alliance and to provide some open/green space on the site. A special zoning district (Planned Unit Development) will be required to develop this property because a portion of it is currently zoned single family residential, with the balance zoned commercial. The PUD process will include neighborhood input.

We anticipate having the final draft of the plan document ready by next Wednesday, Jan. 20, when we will be distributing copies to Planning and Zoning Commission members in advance of their Feb. 3 public hearing and recommendation vote. Once we've got the Plan posted online, we'll send an email to our stakeholder list and write a new blog post.

Upcoming meetings for Round Rock Downtown Master Plan

We will hold two public meetings over the next month on the Downtown Master Plan. The first will be an open house meeting from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, and 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 13, in the Community Room at the McConico Building, 301 W. Bagdad Ave. The second will be a formal public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at City Hall, 221 E. Main St.

The open house will provide an opportunity to review the latest significant updates to the Plan document and ask questions of City staff in an informal setting. The public hearing is an opportunity to provide direct input to the Planning and Zoning Commission prior to its vote on the Plan.

Our vision is to create a vibrant, walkable downtown district that offers distinctive shopping, dining, working and living opportunities. The Master Plan is needed to guide the policies and ordinances, infrastructure and open space improvements, and financing options crucial to the orderly development and economic viability of a resurgent urban core.

Here are the issues brought up most recently regarding the plan:

Property rights
Some concerns we’ve heard since last January are about potential changes in the Flat, the neighborhood between Mays and Lewis streets south of Brushy Creek. There is nothing in the Plan that will force anyone to sell their home to make way for new development like condos or apartments. If you want your home to stay a single-family residence, then it will stay that way. You control what happens to your property.

That said, neighboring properties in the Flat may change. One of the reasons we are developing the Plan is because some downtown property owners are interested in redeveloping. The Plan is designed to provide a common vision for the area and offer some predictability to the types of redevelopment that occur. Without a plan, haphazard development will be scattered throughout the area with no regard to the long-term viability of the distinct neighborhoods in the area. We’ll be without policies and ordinances to protect viable residential neighborhoods while supporting redevelopment where appropriate.

East Main Street ballfields
Neighbors of the property have requested the draft Plan be amended to include a portion of the ballfields into the proposed Historic Residential Character Overlay zoning, and that the overlay be implemented with zoning of the first portion of downtown, if not sooner. The Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, owner of the property, has plans for building social service facilities and administrative offices on the land.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its Nov. 19 retreat, felt like the overlay was inappropriate for the property since there are no residential structures on it.

What we are recommending is that a note be included on the Vision Plan map (currently on page 27) and in the Design and Land Use recommendations in Chapter 4 of the Plan. The note will state the property should be designed as a combination of open space and family-oriented social service facilities and administrative offices, and that the property be comprehensively planned to effectively integrate those uses.  A special zoning district (PUD) will be required to develop this property.  This will include neighborhood input.
We want to the note and the Plan document to reflect the consensus reached at the special meeting held during the charrette last January.

Brushy Creek trail
The concerns brought up by residents who live on Vista Drive regarding the trail planned for Brushy Creek are understandable and legitimate. The issue was discussed briefly by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its Dec. 16 meeting. The issues – about safety, impact to creek views, division of property – will be addressed during the design process for the trail, which will occur at some point in the future. There is no funding currently identified for the trail project.

Form-Based Code
The Form-Based Code will codify recommendations made in the Plan for land use and design. We will begin work on the Code after the Plan receives recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission and approval by the City Council. The Plan provides general guidance; the Code will provide the specifics. There will be many details to work out as we develop the Code in conjunction with area residents and businesses, the development community and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The basic idea of the Code is to allow for transitions in land use from higher density and mixed uses along arterial roads like Mays Street and U.S. 79, to lower density and primarily residential uses further from busy corridors. The Plan calls for the creation of “Transect Zones” to accomplish the zoning transition.

In response to input from residents in the area who live on Sunset Drive and Summit Streets, we have proposed changes to the future zoning recommendation for that area, which is bounded by IH 35 to the west and Mays Street to the east, the creek to the south and development on U.S. 79 and the church on the north. Because of the proximity to IH 35 and existing commercial and multi-family zoning west of Summit, we are recommending future zoning densities higher than the first draft of the Plan suggested.

It is important to remember that the future zoning recommendations are only recommendations. As stated in the Property Rights section above, nothing in the Plan will force anyone to change the use of their properties.

A brief update on Round Rock Downtown Master Plan ... more to come next week

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Major mea culpa for not updating the tentative dates in the previous post when I knew they would change.

We did not have a public hearing or recommendation vote at the Dec. 16 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, as indicated in the previous post. At the P&Z retreat on Nov. 19, the Commissioners asked staff to get some feedback from the City Council regarding the timing of when and where the future form based code would go into effect once adopted. So we reported back to the Commissioners the input from the Council, and discussed a couple of other issues that we didn't get to at the retreat.

You can watch the Dec. 3 City Council presentation and discussion here (go to item 7C3), and the Dec. 16 P&Z update and discussion here (go to Item 3A -- it's toward the bottom of the list as the item was taken out of order during the meeting).

I'll have a more complete update next week, including date(s) for our next round of public input.

Input, changes to Round Rock's Downtown Master Plan

We had a productive public hearing on Round Rock's Downtown Master Plan at the Tuesday, Nov. 10, Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. This is the presentation (PDF) made prior to the public hearing.

Here's a synopsis (PDF) of the input we received. The Commission will consider the input as it gives the Plan document another once-over at its retreat on Thursday, Nov. 19. The meeting is open to the public and begins at 9 a.m. at the McConico Building, 301 W. Bagdad Ave.

To preview of the current list of changes we will be making to the Plan document, check this out. This document lists, by page number, the changes that will be coming. Many of the changes fix typos and formatting issues, while others are more substantive. Of course, we'll likely have additional changes and revisions following the P&Z work session.

We expect to have another public hearing, followed by a recommendation vote at the Dec. 16 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

We appreciate everyone's input on the Plan so far, and we welcome your questions. If something's unclear, feel free to ask questions here on the blog or via email to whampton@round-rock.tx.us. You can always call me as well at 218-5409.

Round Rock Downtown Master Plan approval schedule updated

After last week’s meetings with the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, we’ve changed the schedule for adoption of the Downtown Master Plan. Both the Council and P&Z made clear their preference to spend adequate time to fully review the document prior to taking action.

Here’s the updated schedule:             

  • Nov. 10 – Public Hearing at Planning and Zoning Commission’s regular meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 221 E. Main St.
  • Nov. 19 – Work session at the Planning and Zoning Commission retreat in the Community Room at the McConico Building, 301 W. Bagdad Ave. Discussion is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.
  • Dec. 16 – Public Hearing and recommendation vote at Planning and Zoning Commission’s regular meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.


All meetings are open to the public.

We don’t have dates set yet for City Council review and approval. In fact, the schedule above may be modified if the P&Z Commissioners feel they need additional time. Chairman Al Kosik noted at last week’s work session that this timeframe was still pretty tight.

My apologies in advance for any confusion or problems the schedule changes may cause you.

If you missed the P&Z work session, you can watch it here. The City Council presentation and discussion can be viewed here.

Final Draft of Round Rock Downtown Master Plan available for review

A copy of the final draft of the Downtown Master Plan is now available for viewing here on the City’s web site. The documents are broken out by chapter, so they should be easier/quicker to download.

Our approval schedule for the Plan remains the same as in the last email we sent. In case you missed it, or to remind you, the schedule is:

  • Oct. 21 – Planning and Zoning Commission work session
  • 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

If you think there's input we haven't captured, please provide a comment here on the blog. 

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