General Plan 2020: Places and Spaces

July 2009 - Posts

General Plan 2020: wrap-up meeting and feedback results

A big thank-you to everyone who participated in these four workshops for the time and thought you gave to this project!

Input from these meetings, along with the phone survey and Strategic Plan, will inform the goals and objectives of the General Plan 2020, which lays out the City’s growth and development strategies for the next decade.  After the City Council retreat in mid-August, we will begin to create draft policies to achieve these goals. 

This meeting
Over the three previous General Plan workshops we have collected your thoughts about issues that Round Rock will be facing over the next decade, and how the City might address them.  We collected these comments and in this meeting asked you to rate your support for each.  The list of comments is long because the General Plan covers a lot of subjects, and we got a lot of valuable suggestions from participants in the first three meetings.  We have tried to condense them as much as we could without injecting bias. 

Blank rating form, summary of rating results and participants' written comments

Highlights 

By mean (average), the 3 highest-rated items were (all 2.5): 

  • Provide incentives for developers to incorporate water conservation measures into new development
  • Build a diversified and efficient transportation system
  • Develop public transit options for point to point routes and to serve the college campuses

The items receiving the highest numbers of “3” ratings were:

  • Build a diversified and efficient transportation system (25 of 36)
  • Provide incentives for developers to incorporate water conservation measures into new development (23 of 36)
  • Preserve the City’s history/sense of place for future generations  (23 of 36)
  • Implement a regional approach to transportation planning (23 of 36)

By subject area the results indicate:

Future Land Use & Subdivision Design

  • Strong support for more open space and recreational facilities and better subdivision design generally
  • Strong support for more variety in housing types for different life stages and incomes
  • Strong support for locating neighborhood commercial at major intersections between neighborhoods, but not within them. 
  • Strong opinion that neighborhood commercial should be scaled to local needs – several mentioned the grocery on Sam Bass. Significant concern about over-commercialization of areas near neighborhoods
  • Strong support for more assertive standards “don’t let developers define our community for us”
  • Significant support for denser and more diverse housing, and for mixed-use areas, but ONLY if well planned
  • Significant concern that apartments and duplexes are too concentrated.
  • Significant agreement that commercial development should be directed to nodes rather than strips.
  • Ambivalence/disagreement on whether subdivisions should follow a traditional neighborhood pattern or a suburban one with cul-de-sacs.

Support for Older Neighborhoods

  • Very strong opinion that the city should assist neighborhoods in improving amenities, and also strong opinion that maintenance of city properties should be improved (sidewalks, lighting, trails, parks)
  • Very strong support for organizing neighborhoods, volunteers etc. for neighborhood cleanups, and strong opinion that the city should actively organize or facilitate these efforts.
  • Very strong support for adopting/enforcing maintenance standards for rental properties/landlords
  • Strong support for having the city and volunteer groups help property owners meet code/maintenance standards
  • Moderate support for stronger code enforcement standards and enforcement

Historic Preservation

  • Very strong support for preserving the City’s history (buildings and documents) and sense of place for future generations.
  • Very strong agreement that the City needs to clarify its preservation goals
  • Very strong support for giving more attention to the character of a district: creating standards for new construction to harmonize with older buildings in the area; also strong aversion to creating a false history (theme park)
  • Very strong support for flexible standards that allow modern, better-performing materials if they preserve the building’s look and character – although standards must be strict enough to be meaningful. 
  • Strong support for various preservation activities, including improving public awareness of preservation, offering City grants, and establishing a non-profit preservation organization
  • Moderate support for more designations and stronger standards
  • Strong support for increasing the City’s support for preservation (its existing preservation programs)
  • Support for improving preservation through incentives and improvements in preservation management – streamlining review or waiving permit fees, and creating pattern books so that buildings are evaluated by their building type
  • Very strong rejection of reducing the City’s preservation efforts or standards, or that it’s too late for preservation/too much has been lost

Residential design (single-family)

  • Strong support for requiring more trees and less obtrusive utility placement
  • Strong support for encouraging design variety and better construction and materials
  • Strong-moderate support for both appropriate house/lot proportions and variety on these proportions. 
  • Moderate support for variety of house types, price points.
  • Moderate support for better design standards and less obtrusive garages.

Environment

  • Very strong support for water conservation measures, especially for new development.
  • Strong support for improving the recycling program and adding curbside service

Parks & Open Space

  • Very strong support for conservation of natural areas
  • Very strong support for the development of a connected hike & bike trail system
  • Strong support for improving maintenance of older parks – significantly stronger than support for new parks

Connectivity and the Transportation Network

  • Very strong support for a more comprehensive and diversified transportation system (incl. transit) that is integrated with neighboring communities’ systems.
  • Very strong support for better street connectivity - more entrances to subdivisions, better connections between neighborhoods and small-scale commercial, etc.
  • Agreement that you should notice the city and not just pass through as fast as possible
  • Strong support for other transportation issues: synchronized signals, better street maintenance, fewer school zones, generally improving congestion etc.

Street/Corridor Design

  • Very strong support for more sidewalks/bike lanes, and generally improving pedestrian safety, access and connectivity.
  • Very strong support for improving street appearance (and walking experience) with trees, landscaping, medians, lighting, underground utilities, etc.
  • Very strong support for better signage for both public facilities and places/events of interest. In discussion several had mentioned that they like the builder sign kiosks.  [unclear whether this was more an issue of more signs or more attractive signs, but mentioned that they appreciated that all streets had name signs]
  • Mixed opinions on speed bumps
  • Rejection of roundabouts at major intersections.

Transit

  • Very strong support for bus and rail connections, including bus service within the city. Strongest support for transit serving the university area.

Public Services

  • Strong support for strengthening neighborhoods’ sense of community
  • Strong support for ensuring that social services accommodate population increases.

Programs & Attractions

  • Strong support for attracting more businesses downtown, more family oriented entertainment, and a more diversified economic base. 
  • Strong support for developing a stronger identity for Round Rock
General Plan 2020 – wrap-up meeting July 15

In our final workshop we will discuss your comments from the previous three meetings, and how they will be incorporated into the General Plan 2020.  Participants will individually rank their priorities, which will be tallied for further discussion.

The meeting will be Tuesday July 15, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Baca Center Grand Room.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in these workshops for all your hard work!