Bee Cave residents complete survey regarding local issues

In the past two months, Bee Cave residents completed surveys drafted by city officials about aspects of the city that citizens like or dislike and proposed features that could benefit the municipality in the future.

City staffers plan to compile these questionnaires—completed between March 14 and April 22—in preparation for an update to Bee Cave's 2009 Comprehensive Plan, a document that provides a guide for city development, City Manager Frank Salvato said.

"A comprehensive plan is intended to be a reflection of a community's long-term goals for growth," he said. "It provides a road map to guide the city when making policy decisions regarding land use; transportation; infrastructure; parks, trails and open space; and public facilities."

Texas law allows for a comprehensive plan to be adopted by a municipality, and most cities try to review or update the plan every five years or so because of population changes and community development, Salvato said. All sections and chapters of the plan will be reviewed and updated under this process, he said.

"With the current growth rate in Bee Cave, staff is looking to the survey to ascertain the recommended changes in the comprehensive plan from the residents and business owners," Salvato said. "The updated comprehensive plan will then drive an update to the zoning ordinances."

He said staffers do not have a specific list of items they want to see reviewed and will use the survey results to draft the plan update.

The 14-page survey focuses on a variety of topics ranging from the resident's demographic to identifying the five most important issues facing the city in the next five years. The questionnaire also asks what is missing from the city and about Bee Cave development—housing, retail, commercial and parks—as well as the need for the community to maintain its Hill Country or small-town image.

The city acknowledges in the survey that state highways are operated by agencies not within the city's control. However, staffers sought public opinion about the way Bee Cave has handled transportation issues involving its local streets, urban design, and pedestrian and bicycle paths.

Former Bee Cave development plans include a 1990 Village of Bee Cave Master Plan and a 2000 Village of Bee Cave Comprehensive Plan before being incorporated as a city. The city of Bee Cave Comprehensive Plan was drafted in 2000 and updated in 2009, said Lindsey Oskoui, city director of planning and development.

The city has estimated Bee Cave's population twice since the 2009 update, Oskoui said. As of June 2012 the population was 5,163, and as of February 2013 the population had increased to 5,371, she said.

On April 22, Bee Cave City Council voted to not extend the survey deadline after receiving responses from 13.7 percent of residents—a rate that council members felt was statistically significant.