Fulshear City Council approves parks, livable center strategic plans

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At the Feb. 19 meeting, Fulshear City Council approved two strategic plans to help guide the city’s growth.

The Parks and Pathways Master Plan and the Livable Center Study were unanimously approved by council. These studies provide recreational and development guidelines for the city, City Manager Jack Harper said.

“[The studies] provide a blueprint and a way forward for us to know what the council and citizens want because that has also been part of a public process,” Harper said.

Both studies included public input through online surveys, in-person focus groups and public meetings, according to the studies.

Council members stressed these studies are only conceptual to help guide decision making, gain funding from the state or federal government, and show developers the city’s plans. Any actions related to creating a new park or revitalizing downtown will need to be proposed and approved through council.

“Before any dollars are being spent, those projects are going to come back in front of us, and we’ll have multiple opportunities—or whoever is sitting here at that time—is going to have multiple opportunities to seek [input]into that process,” Mayor Aaron Groff said.

Parks and Pathways Master Plan

The parks plan found the top recreational priorities for Fulshear residents are additional pedestrian facilities, community events and event space, sports facilities, and bicycle facilities, per the study.

Upon review of the public input and available resources, the parks plan identified the following projects as priorities for the city:

  • Build the 25-acre Primrose Park near Huggins Elementary on Dixon Road. The projected cost for the park is $6.4 million.
  • Renovate the 1-acre Frances Smart Park north of Fulshear on the west side of FM 359. The estimated cost for this project is $593,864.
  • Construct Paseo Park along the meridian of FM 1093/Westpark Tollway. The size of the park was not included. The projected cost is $592,864 per 1,000 linear feet.
  • Build a 5-acre park at a location that has yet to be determined. The projected cost is $1.6 million.
  • Create up to 47 miles of bicycling and walking paths throughout the city. The project cost is $373,346 per linear mile.

Groff said the city’s first priority is to build Primrose Park and will evaluate the four other projects as time and resources allow.

Livable Center Study

The Livable Center Study provided suggestions for land use in the city. These suggestions were based on three themes: creating a pedestrian-friendly environment, growing development in a sustainable way and maintaining Fulshear’s small town charm while also welcoming new growth, per the document.

The study found the city of Fulshear could add:

  • 65,000 square feet of retail;
  • 25,000 square feet of restaurant;
  • 46,000 square feet of industrial or office space;
  • 521,000 square feet of mixed-use development;
  • 15 corporate or AirBnB rentals;
  • 739 units of single-family homes;
  • 80 apartment units; and
  • 99 townhomes.

If all of this is built, it would translate into $881,000 in new annual property tax revenues and $500,000 in combined new annual sales tax revenues for the city, according to the study.

The study also provided transportation projects ideas, such as reducing traffic on Main Street by making it a one-way road and converting either Harris Street or Wallis Street as a one-way road in the opposite direction. Creating additional traffic signals at the FM 1093 intersection was also suggested along with adding pedestrian and bicycle accommodations along streets in the downtown area.

Other ideas from the plan included adding additional public parking near the downtown core, developing and implementing a branding and signage plan, and creating and enforcing zoning regulations in the downtown area.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to provide the number of hotel rooms that the Livable Center Study projected the city of Fulshear could sustain.

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Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jen has written about business, politics and education since 2013. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.
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