The future of Cedar Park is in the hands of its residents, who are being asked to weigh in on the city's development strategy for the next 20 years.
The Cedar Park Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, along with engineering consultant Freese and Nichols Inc., launched ImagineCedarPark.com on April 8. The website allows residents to provide comments and feedback on different topics such as transportation, parks, public facilities and economic growth.
Rawls Howard, Cedar Park development services director, said the website is a way for all Cedar Park residents to engage with the committee.
"We will be having some town hall meetings during this process, but those types of meetings are not very accessible for a single mom who can't get out in person and has to work late. A lot of voices end up being lost, and it's not convenient," he said during a March 8 committee meeting. "This is a platform where people can submit ideas, comment on ideas, rank and prioritize them and submit photos."
The Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee is made up of citizens and community leaders. With feedback from residents, they will create a blueprint for the next 20 years.
"As the business community in Cedar Park continues to grow, CPAC will look at the residential wants with the business needs to create a successful model for Central Texas," said Tony Moline, CPAC vice chairman and Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce president. "We have a chance to shape our future and imagine what Cedar Park can be."
Residents can provide feedback online by signing in on their Facebook, LinkedIn or Google accounts, or by using an email address. Once registered, participants can weigh in using a commenting system similar to other social networks on questions such as, "What one thing would you do to improve Cedar Park's economy?" and, "What are your top three reasons for living in Cedar Park?" The site also measures and tracks participation to identify the most interested residents and most compelling topics.
The plan will guide elected officials' and city staff's decisions about land use, attracting major employers, transportation, public facilities and overall quality of life. Similar plans were developed in 1998 and 2006.
"Most of us daydream about how we would like our lives to be and then set goals to achieve our dream. ImagineCedarPark.com is your opportunity to help the City of Cedar Park fulfill your dreams about life here," said Councilman Lowell Moore, who also serves on the committee. "When the city went through a similar plan in 1998 and 2006, citizens drove the process and ideas through input and most of those ideas are now reality."