Category: Planning (Page 1 of 2)

Thinking ahead to get to where we want to be

After 18 Months, the Future of Downtown is Set…I Hope We Were Smart About It!

Back in December 2022, I mentioned that the City was about to begin an 18-month process to update the Downtown Master Plan, which had last been updated 2015.  Master Plan CoverThey also partnered with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) to study the Austin Avenue Corridor.  Well neighbors, after a lot of community discussions, neighborhood emails, and City Council discussions up on the dais, the Georgetown City Council approved both documents on May 28, 2024!

During those 18 months, I personally followed City Staff and Council members to Waxahachie, Dallas, and McKinney to look at ideas for our Downtown.  I heard and saw what our Council members heard and saw.  I think it was a good learning experience for all of us.  I had hoped Council members would have also traveled to see downtown San Marcos and what can happen when you’re not Smart about development.

During that same time, CAMPO’s team was getting good feedback and ideas from community members.  Let me tell you, it has been a very busy 18 months.

So, after all that work…did our City Council make some Smart decisions OR did we just become the next Downtown San Marcos?

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City Council will set Downtown’s Future over the next 18 Months…Let’s Hope they’re Smart about it!

There are two major City projects that will be coming together over the next 18 months that will either produce a “perfect storm” or a bright future for our historic downtown and Old Town.

The City is starting the long-awaited Downtown Master Plan Update and the Austin Ave Corridor Study, in partnership the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).  Both projects will significantly influence the potential viability and livability of the center of Georgetown.

The Downtown Master Plan Kick-Off occurred on November 15, which I attended.  The consultant, DesignWorkshop, reviewed the City Vision for Downtown and discussed community involvement in the process.  One of the more controversial issues discussed at Council this year has been commercial development density and building heights.

I know Georgetown is growing rapidly, but let’s be careful that we don’t lose the charm and uniqueness of downtown and Old Town…if we ever lose it, we’ll never get it back.

We all need to be Smart…let’s not “San Marcos” our Square!

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Did You Hear That Loud Boom…it was probably a Quarry near your neighborhood!

Over the last year, I’ve read numerous posts on NextDoor about people hearing loud booms around town. In some cases, their windows even rattled. What’s going on? Are  Putin and the Russians now interfering in our great quality of life here in Georgetown?

I started digging into these loud booms and discovered it wasn’t Putin this time, but blasts from a growing number of quarries that seem to surround Georgetown. According to an article I recently read, if you live a few miles from these blasts, the blast’s shock wave is very similar to the sonic boom generated by a jet airplane when it “breaks the sound barrier.”

Talking to some friends that have been following these issues, I discovered that no one seems to have the authority to regulate the blasting at these quarries.

Now I’m not big on government regulations, but come on. When loud quarry blasts start to affect people’s quality of life and their property values…I think it’s time for someone to start doing something!

Looking into this noisy issue, I learned that the City says that they have no authority over the quarries, even though a lot of them are located in the City’s Extra-Terratorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). County Commissioners have told folks in Sun City that they can’t do anything about it…talk to the State. Apparently, the State of Texas doesn’t have much control over the situation either.

Is anyone doing anything?
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