Round Rock city officials are taking the first steps in compiling the city’s new comprehensive plan, known as Round Rock 2030. The process is one the city undergoes once a decade to help establish a framework to guide development and land use between 2020 and 2030.
“The comprehensive plan is a citywide land-use planning initiative we undertake every 10 years to set the vision, goals and objectives for land use planning over the next decade,” city Planning Manager Susan Brennan said. “The comprehensive plan is not a set of ordinances but a policy document that encapsulates the community’s goals and vision for how the city will develop.”
To help formulate that plan city staff are asking residents to consider the question: When you imagine Round Rock in 2030, what does it look like, and how is it different from the way it is today?
BUILDING A FRAMEWORK
Brennan and Comprehensive Plan Coordinator Joelle Jordan said the plan is broad in nature and serves as a “vision document” to guide future development.
“[The plan] is not intended to focus on short-term fixes for problems such as weedy lots or potholes,” Brennan said. “It really is an effort to create a guiding tool for both the city’s planning and zoning commission and City Council to use to make land-use decisions.”
An important element of the plan, Jordan said, is a future land-use map that designates areas of the city for specific land uses, such as commercial or residential.
While the map is used to guide zoning decisions, it is not set in stone. Jordan said if a developer was to bring forward a zoning change that deviated from the map, the change would require an amendment to the map.
“It is a working document that doesn’t just sit on a shelf,” Brennan said. “Having that land-use map available creates a level of certainty and expectation about where land uses are going to go so that there aren’t surprises in the future when there are problems with incompatible land uses.”
The last comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2010 for the decade ending in 2020, helped guide the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan as well as the increase in housing variety in the city and development standards.
The city has changed over the last decade with the addition of mixed-use developments, Brennan and Jordan said.
“We also anticipate more changes in the northeast as growth continues in Round Rock,” Brennan said. “It’s our area where there is the largest amount of vacant land, and we anticipate even more growth occurring there over the next 10 years.”
One of the most important elements of the process, Jordan said, is community input and participation.
ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
Jordan said public meetings will be held throughout the process to gather input that will be used to guide the plan.
The first meetings are scheduled to begin in February and run through early March. Those meetings will take place in each quadrant of the city. Although residents are invited to attend any of the meetings, each one will focus on the quadrant in which it is held.
“We want folks to come to the meetings to be part of the conversation,” Jordan said.
Using community input, the comprehensive plan team will identify goals, objectives and a vision for the city’s future. Those concepts will be presented to City Council, which will have the opportunity to add to the list, and then the planners will create a draft document and draft the land-use map, which are expected to be completed in fall 2019, at the earliest.
“This will be the first time that we have social media and other tools that we didn’t have a decade ago to have more interaction with the public along the way,” Jordan said.
Residents can submit feedback and questions throughout the process online at www.roundrocktexas.gov/roundrock2030.