The Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) heard what Glen Rose residents envision for the city Thursday.
CPAC Chairman Larry Shaw introduced himself and the intent behind the committee to several new faces in the crowd.
CPAC kicked-off in Sept. 2008 with the task of setting long-term goals for the city. In Feb., about 65 residents attended a community input meeting, giving planners an idea of what they wanted the city to become.
Dan Sefko and Daniel Harrison with Freese and Nichols, Inc., gathered information that night and presented it to the committee last week.
“We’ve got six or seven key issues identified that we can start working on right now,” Sefko said.
Harrison said they used a Visual Character Survey (VCS) to find out what people liked or disliked visually.
“We use these images to help infer things,” Harrison said.
Open public spaces with trails and natural elements were some of the highest ranking images. Pictures of sign clutter and square metal buildings ranked the lowest.
They also asked a series of questions during the Feb. meeting to get a better idea about the people who live here.
Approximately 47 percent have lived in the area 10 years or less. Typically in other growing suburbs, this population is much higher - around 80 percent. But the majority of people who responded, 52 percent, described their quality of life as “excellent.”
“People are happy living here,” Harrison said.
But the vote was split when it came to identifying current issues in the city. Twenty-two percent said city management was the greatest single issue facing Glen Rose and another 22 percent said the need for housing was the greatest issue. And 42 percent of the respondents said city maintenance was “fair.”
Sefko said that although the survey was not very scientific, it did give an idea of what people thought was important.
“We can begin to understand there’s an issue with a bypass,” Sefko said. “We can begin to understand there’s an issue with the appearance of (Highway) 67.”
Many people identified a need for a bypass, allowing large trucks a route around town. But other people didn’t like the idea fearing tourists would bypass the town and shops too.
“We also know these things effect economics and development more than we thought 20 years ago,” Sefko said. “All the recommendations will be coordinated with the EDC (Economic and Development Committee).”
Pointing out that even types of housing in a city could attract or deter potential businesses.
Recreation also ranked highly among respondents, but none listed a public pool specifically.
“They seemed to like the idea of the trails,” Sefko said.
The 4-B Tax Committee has been accepting public comments for the past month after unveiling preliminary plans for a $4.2 million water park in the city.
Shaw said he would make monthly reports to the city council to help them make decisions as they consider the project. He encouraged residents to continue providing feedback about the water park to the committee.
The 4-B Tax Advisory Board is scheduled to meet April 6 and will accept public comments through the end of the month. Residents can drop off written comments at Town Hall or mail them to the board at PO Box 1949, Glen Rose, Texas 76043.
“Somebody needs to be thinking about how to plan and manage all this growth,” Sefko said. “That’s the biggest most important issue.”