“I believe Leander is this: a community with amazing people that are building a home,” Hill said.
Hill, who was elected mayor in June, has been a proponent of attracting businesses to the city, which has grown rapidly in the last decade. He said Leander is known to have burdensome regulations that deter developers.
“From our Smart Code in the TOD to regulations about how far out in a creek bed you can build on or how long it takes for an inspection, we’ve developed a reputation as being tough to work with,” Hill said. “Today, I want to make it clear: it’s a new day, and we are open for business.”
During his address, Hill encouraged people in the city to be open to change. He said he is committed to what the city could look like in the future.
“I see a town center with anchor retailers that make a difference in our sales tax revenue with boutique stores and many great restaurants…,” Hill said. “I see a new version of Old Town... I can see it being the Rainey Street north for the suburbs, maybe the next big thing north of Austin.”
He noted several projects that broke ground in 2018, including the Texas Bullion Depository and Chick-fil-A. He said the Northline development will become the town center. Since being sworn in, Hill said he has met with large developers and restaurant chains to discuss them coming to Leander.
“We have to make things happen,” he said.
Hill urged residents of Leander to support local businesses by shopping locally and eating at restaurants in the city.
“I believe if we work together, put aside old rivalries and row in the same direction, we can achieve great things…” Hill said. “What is the state of the city today? Excited, grateful and very optimistic about our future.”