Editor's note: An earlier version of this story did not name the engineering firm Rollingwood officials selected to facilitate the city's comprehensive plan.
Rollingwood officials took another step forward in establishing the city’s first comprehensive plan, a lasting framework for citywide goals, policies and future development.
Representatives from local engineering firms, Freese & Nichols and Pegasus Engineering, presented proposals to council during a virtual City Council meeting May 20.
Communication and community involvement, which have been identified as top priorities by the city, were also key aspects highlighted in both firms' proposals.
Freese & Nichols employs the largest planning firm in Texas, according to project manager Chance Sparks, who noted 95% of the company’s work is done for public organizations.
The firm proposed a plan costing approximately $90,000, which would involve stakeholder meetings, transportation planning, growth management and other aspects. Work could begin as early as June 1, if contracted by Rollingwood.
Pegasus, a locally based engineering firm, proposed a six-month-long project at $60,000, according to representative Sean Garretson, who said he was confident in the firm’s ability to stick to that timeline and budget.
The plan would encourage significant community involvement and include a fiscal analysis of the city’s current zoning map and a final land development code modification.
Pegasus’ proposal also focused on potentially improving the city’s commercial corridor, a goal that has been on council’s agenda for some time.
“If we as a city are going to pay $60,000 for a comprehensive plan, then I want to know what the return on our investment is,” Council Member Wendi Hundley said.
Focusing on Rollingwood’s commercial district could allow the city to generate increased sales tax dollars rather than relying predominately on property tax.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, civic engagement could take on a different form within the planning process. Garretson noted Pegasus is prepared to adapt to the current climate by utilizing a number of virtual resources.
“Even though city councils may turn over, people will come and go, we’ll be able to have a guiding document to get us there,” Hundley said.
Following the discussion council selected Pegasus Engineering to conduct the comprehensive plan.