Smart Growth: Georgetown

Growth is Coming...Let's Be Smart About It

Page 2 of 3

Making the Most Beautiful Square in Texas Better………with “al fresco” dining in the Streets?

al fresco dining in the Streets

I really enjoyed reading D.Ann Shiffler’s Guest Essay, “Going al fresco”, in last Sunday’s  Williamson County Sun. Her essay got me thinking about how we could increase outdoor eating around Downtown Georgetown and help our struggling restaurants around the Square.

Over the last few weeks, this idea has been discussed at City Council, in the papers and around the Square. Is there a way we could try it out and see if it could work…while still enforcing social distancing requirements?

Since I’m an architect, I decided to use my good Texas Tech education (Go Red Raiders) and look into the possibilities of experimenting with al fresco dining on some of the streets around the Square…but remember, we have to be Safe, Protected and Smart!

Continue reading

Sales Tax Revenues…A Tale of Two Cities

Since I have been looking into Georgetown’s sales tax revenues and the continuing impact that the spread of Covid-19 has had on those revenues, I have discoveCharles Dickens a Tale of Two Citiesred Texas cities have not been equally affected by the pandemic.

As some cities have had their sales tax revenues significantly drop like Austin (-11%), other cities like San Marcos have had their sales tax revenues jump by 63%. 

I took Charles Dickens’ approach and looked at A Tale of Two Cities for inspiration (and their sales tax revenues)…and selected San Marcos & Georgetown. San Marcos’ population (2018: 63,500) is a little smaller than Georgetown (2018: 74,180), but the Comptroller reported San Marcos’ July sales tax revenues at $4,645,120 (collected in May) while Georgetown only received $2,592,905…so what’s going on?

I started looking into why San Marcos received a 63% bump in revenues collected in May and in the same month over $2 million (+79%) more sales tax revenue than Georgetown…and discovered the inequitable truth about the imbalance.

I also discovered things could be changing and some cities are really upset about those changes. So which cities could be facing the guillotine?

Continue reading

City Begins Work on New 2021 Mobility Bond Package

With the appointment of a 16 member Citizen Advisory Committee on July 14th, City Council has started work on building a mobility bond pacTraffic Backup on University Avenuekage that voters will decide up or down in May 2021.

The City has kicked off their public engagement phase with an online survey. I strongly encourage you to complete the online survey (web link to survey).

Since we will be voting on the bond package next May, our opinions and priorities are critical to the process. Feel free to share the survey site with your friends and neighbors…the more the better.

With Georgetown being one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, we need to ensure we invest our tax dollars on projects that protect and enhance our community’s quality of life. We will have to live with the decisions we make next May for years to come. Typically, mobility bonds packages build bigger, wider roads, but does that always really help us? When we build wider roads through our neighborhoods, we are inviting more traffic to travel on those wider roads.

Instead of just building more concrete infrastructure, maybe we should also be investing in new ideas that can help solve our existing traffic congestion. Enter Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that can help move more traffic faster through our existing roadways.

Let’s be a “Smart City” and think about how and where we invest our hundreds of millions of dollars to improve Georgetown’s future. Continue reading

« Older posts Newer posts »