With several construction projects underway in University Park, city council members have decided to tap the brakes on a staff-recommended half-a-million-dollar update to the city’s outdated master plan.
“As they say, ‘Our plate is loaded,’” Mayor Olin Lane said.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the city’s master plan was penned, and City Manager Robbie Corder said most items on it have either been crossed off or proven unnecessary.
Drawing up a new plan, he said, would help tie together other long-term planning tools the city uses such as the five-year capital improvement plan and the zoning ordinance, which is being reworked.
“The idea is to paint the picture for the next 20 years of the city; what are going to be our priorities, what’s going to be important for us,” Corder said. “It’s good for staff to have that direction, not only from the council, but also from the community.”
In 1989, the city spent around $100,000 on a year-long initiative to study citywide issues. The project blended the ideas of hundreds of residents with those of city staff and consultants.
More than 40 topics relating to the city’s future were identified and a series of recommendations were developed.
Items such as preserving neighborhood character, improving Snider Plaza, and cleaning up Turtle Creek were hallmarks of the plan.
A new planning process would mimic what was done 30 years ago, but council members expressed concern that comments from construction-weary residents could lean negative.
“Right now we aren’t going to get the right feedback,” Council member Gage Prichard said. “I think we should wait.”
Instead, the city will rely for the next several months on input from advisory committees, a cost-saving idea put forth by the mayor.
The council anticipates revisiting the matter within the next year.
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