Consulting firm Kimley-Horn provided an update on the final draft of the Old Town Master Plan at the May 18 Leander City Council meeting, propelling the project forward.

With plans to develop the area with bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, the purpose of the Old Town Master Plan is intended to “create a more enjoyable and comfortable environment for those who visit the district,” city officials said.

How we got here
  • In 2021, council approved the 2020 Leander Comprehensive Plan, which listed creating Old Town to be a destination for arts, shopping and entertainment as a city goal.
  • Old Town Leander was identified as a “high-priority topic” by the Leander Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, which also emphasized the need to create a clear vision for the area, according to meeting documents.
  • Council approved a contract with Kimley-Horn to prepare the Old Town Master Plan in April 2021. Kimley-Horn then worked with city staff to establish the Leander Old Town Advisory Committee, which provided feedback during the Old Town Master Plan process.
  • Last year, four meetings were conducted to seek input from residents and stakeholders, which was the step prior to city staff reviewing the draft plan before it was sent to Council for approval.
What they’re saying

“I’m very excited to have this done. We have talked about it a long time,” Council Member Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said at the meeting.

Diving in deeper

A few key Old Town Master Plan highlights include:
  • Establishing multimodal urban street sections with parking; involves planning for pedestrian activity while accommodating motorists
  • Opportunities for trails and side paths to connect key areas
  • Parks and open space opportunity areas
  • Gateway opportunities as well as pinpointing essential intersections and areas to let people know when they are entering and leaving Old Town
One of the main takeaways from the community engagement portion of the process was to improve parking. Parking action items identified in the master plan include:
  • Redesigning streets to maximize on-street parking
  • Conducting a feasibility study for a garage for identified sites in the Old Town Master Plan
  • Modifying the parking requirements to meet the demand
  • Engaging in potential shared parking
The city will also be working on a few transportation projects that will help enhance the Old Town area. Broade Street is being considered for restriping to allow for angled parking; South Street is under design and includes parallel parking spaces; and the US 183 Corridor Study with a detailed plan for US 183 along with concept areas in and near Old Town will kick off in June, according to the city.

Next steps

Due to missing elements in Kimley-Horn's document, council decided to consider the final draft for approval as a consent agenda item at a future meeting.