The city of Glen Rose held a public meeting Monday night to reveal its 2009 Comprehensive Plan. Although it was a small crowd at the Citizen’s Center, there was a large amount of input and questions from residents in attendance.
The plan, which has been posted on the city’s Web site (www.cityofglenrose.com) for a week, was presented by the Sefko Planning Group of Freese and Nichols, Inc. Sefko worked in conjunction with a steering committee that helped map the future of Glen Rose.
“The comprehensive plan is a guide for the future development of the city, a GPS for its future,” Sefko representative Daniel Harrison said.
Harrison compared the plan to a map used for family vacations and said it should be used as a basis for a capital improvement plan.
“The main objective is to increase the effectiveness of public investments,” he said.
The comprehensive plan should be used as a foundation document, but it will not hold the answer to every question the city will face, Harrison said.
“(It) should be reviewed every year and updated every five years,” he said. “It’s not going to be a cure-all for every issue but it gives your decision makers (tools).”
The plan was divided into four parts - baseline analysis, visioning, future land use and implementation.
The baseline analysis is a snapshot of the community and a summary of the city’s existing infrastructure and population. Sefko reported that Glen Rose had a population of approximately 3,100 and a high retail ratio per 100 residents. The company also determined that 67.5 percent of the land within the city limits was developed.
For the second step, the visioning, Sefko turned to the community and asked what they would like Glen Rose to look like in the future. Through a visual character survey, questionnaires, public workshops and letters, they were able to develop a vision statement, which says Glen Rose is interested in “investing to enhance our small town environment.”
“We had a lot of good response,” Harrison said. “It was really good to see people get involved. We like to see such a great participation as we have here.”
The visioning process was a tool for Sefko to determine the future land use of Glen Rose, which they documented and will make as recommendations to the city. Harrison said it was clear that residents want to achieve residential growth for all ages, implement a trail system and preserve the Paluxy River District.
“The Paluxy River District should be preserved for tourism and should really be the heart of the community,” Harrison said.
Residents also communicated to Sefko that they wanted neighborhoods to connect to one another, as well as to retail centers, which resulted in an in-depth trail system to be implemented throughout the city.
Sefko also looked at the infrastructure assessment and growth management that Glen Rose will face in the next 30 to 50 years.
“(Officials) know we are going to have to procure more water rights as the town grows,” Harrison said.
Glen Rose is estimated to grow at a rate of six percent over the next 30 years, which will be spearheaded by the extension of the George Bush Turnpike/121 from downtown Fort Worth to Cleburne.
The last phase of the comprehensive plan is the implementation process, which will begin when Sefko presents the final plan to the planning and zoning board and the city council.
Harrison said it is important for the city to be proactive rather than reactive and the first item on the agenda would be to get a jump on the parks planning for the city because of available grants through Texas Parks and Wildlife.
“The idea would be to get the park plan adopted on Nov. 23 and send it to Austin,” Harrison said. “The first grant cycle is in January.”
The submitted park plan will take into consideration the top three items that residents deemed most important to Glen Rose, which included a swimming pool and a recreation center.
Sefko will present the final master plan to the city council and planning and zoning in a joint workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The company will return for a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 23.
For more information, or to view the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, visit www.cityofglenrose.com.