Public Engagement

Round Rock 2030

Round Rock 2030, adopted June 25, 2020, included a robust public engagement process in order to ensure that the plan reflects the needs and wants of our residents and businesses. Public input collected influences the vision, policies and implementation strategies that guide Round Rock’s decisions regarding commercial development, housing and more. Visit roundrock2030.com.

Phase One – Community Survey

The public input process for Round Rock 2030 started in 2018. Every two years, the City conducts a city-wide statistically valid survey to gauge how residents feel about services provided in the City. For the 2018 survey, Planning and Development Services asked 5 questions regarding land use in Round Rock. The responses to these questions formed a base-level from which further public input material was developed.

2018 community survey results (pdf)

Phase Two – Quadrant Meetings

Over the course of February and March 2019, four public meetings were held in which people from each quadrant of the city were able to share their visions for what Round Rock will be like in 2030. The reports below contain feedback received through activities conducted at each meeting. 

Quadrant Map

 

Exercise Board Activity
An exercise board activity was conducted at the quadrant meetings. Attendees were given four prompts (Today, Round Rock is…; Tomorrow, Round Rock will be…; What do you like about your quadrant?; and What would make your quadrant better? Describe your idea and its benefits). They were instructed to record their responses to each prompt on a sticker and place it on the corresponding board. They were also given small dots to place on other responses they agreed with.

Exercise board responses (pdf)

Policy Discussion
At the quadrant meetings, attendees were given a list of 10 draft policies for the next decade that they could edit, comment on, and prioritize. They were also given the opportunity to create their own. These serve as a starting point for land use policies the city of Round Rock is developing for the comprehensive plan. There will be more opportunities for public input before the plan is drafted.

Policy discussion responses (pdf)

Quadrant Meeting Materials
Each of the activities conducted at the quadrant meetings are included in the links below:

Topic display boards (pdf)
Meeting presentation slides (pdf)
Exercise boards (pdf)
Policy discussion worksheet (pdf) 
Polling questions (pdf)

 

Phase Three – Online Engagement

The City conducted its third phase of public input for Round Rock 2030 from mid-April through mid-June using Polco, an online public engagement tool. 21 standalone questions and 2 surveys were developed based on input received at the in-person quadrant meetings the City hosted in February and March.

Polco is an online engagement tool that helps local leaders collect civil, insightful ideas and feedback from the community in real time. It is an easy way for residents to learn about and participate in key initiatives and decisions. Polco uses a variety of publicly available data to verify residency and voter status of respondents. Polco never shares individual level data or responses (other than anonymous comments) with the city or anyone else. Both of these are important; the verification helps city staff have more confidence in the data, and the strict privacy helps foster an environment of safe participation online.

Online Engagement Reports
Respondents were encouraged to read the descriptions for each online question to learn more about the topic prior to responding. Respondents were also encouraged to leave comments on each question after answering to provide staff more feedback. 

 
 
 

The historic preservation survey was posted for the month of May (National Preservation Month) as part of the outreach for the Preservation Plan being developed to ultimately be included in the comprehensive plan.

 

 

In mid-May the City added a Policy Discussion survey to the City’s Polco page. This policy discussion is an important step in creating land use policies for Round Rock 2030. Policies are meant to be general statements that guide the comprehensive plan. City staff incorporated concepts from the currently adopted comprehensive plan and current trends in planning practice to draft the policies. 

The first policy discussion activity took place during a series of public meetings in February and March. Attendees were given a list of 10 draft policies for land use decisions throughout the next decade that they could edit, comment on, and prioritize. They were also given the opportunity to create their own new policies. After the quadrant meetings, planning staff reworked the draft policies to reflect the 745 public comments received.

The online policy exercise allows participants to tell City staff whether or not they support the draft policies, and to suggest changes to the wording of the policies. With the Polco feedback, planning staff will adjust the policies again to reflect the online input. 

Specific information and implementation strategies related to each policy statement will be incorporated into Round Rock 2030 as it is developed. Input received for all of the online engagement questions and surveys will be incorporated into the content of Round Rock 2030.

 
 

 

Phase Four – Future Land Use Exercises

The City conducted its fourth phase of public input for Round Rock 2030 from late June to Late August. One component of this plan is a future land use map which establishes the general distribution, location, and extent of land uses, including open space, residential, commercial, etc. Every 10 years, the City takes a closer look at the entire map and adopts a new future land use map as part of its comprehensive plan.  Stakeholders owning a parcel or parcels of land over 5 acres in the City limits or Extraterritorial Jurisdiction boundaries of the City were able to give input on how they saw their land being developed or redeveloped in the future.

The map is a living document with the flexibility to be amended to reflect changing development trends and land use proposals through 2030.

Future Land Use Mapping (FLUM) Process
The Future Land Use process initially engages stakeholders rather than the general public to ensure that landowners that may plan to develop their land are represented.

  1. Planning staff reviews and adjusts location criteria.
    Most of the land use designations in the plan have unique location criteria. These criteria are applied to guide zoning decisions and minimize land use conflicts.
  2. Staff identified 402 parcels of land that were 5+ acres in size.
  3. Staff conducted a preliminary review of the existing future land use map from the previous comprehensive plan and identified potential revisions.
  4. Individual future land use mapping meetings conducted to gather input from land-owning stakeholders that own over 100 acres of land.
  5. FLUM Open house held on July 22, 2019.
    Previously identified stakeholders and their representatives were invited to review and discuss proposed map with planning, transportation and parks staff.
  6. City staff editing the FLUM based on input received. 

 

Phase Five – Draft Plan Release and Open Houses

The city conducted its fifth phase of public input for Round Rock 2030, an update to the city’s comprehensive land use plan, from February to April 2020. The city invited stakeholders to review the draft of Round Rock 2030 prior to commencement of the adoption process. Stakeholders could view a copy of the draft online or review a paper copy of the draft that was made available at the Round Rock Public Library and the Planning and Development Services Office, 301 W. Bagdad Ave., Suite 210.

Drafts posted February 21, 2020:

 

 
 
 
 

Open Houses were held March 7, 2020 and March 10, 2020 to allow stakeholders to give feedback and tell the city their vision for Round Rock’s future. Much like the prior public meetings, the community was invited to interact with and learn about the Comprehensive Plan. Unlike some of the earlier meetings, the Open Houses were not specific to particular areas of the city.

The Open Houses were not formal presentations. Rather, the community was invited to review plan content, interact with planners, and give their input at any time during the event. Additionally, staff from the Transportation and Parks and Recreation Department were available for questions, as well as staff from the Community Development Division of the Planning and Development Services Department.
 
At the Open Houses a printed copy of the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) was available, and participants were encouraged to talk to staff and write comments directly onto the map. Display boards summarizing each section of Round Rock 2030 and each of the twelve policies and corresponding implementation strategies were displayed at the Open Houses. Participants had the opportunity to comment on each of the boards. 
 

Open house display boards (pdf)

In addition to the two Open Houses, the city planned to hold three sets of Office Hours where stakeholders could view the Open House materials and talk to staff about the draft. Office Hours were held on March 12, 2020; however, they were cancelled for March 18 and March 23 due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions. Additionally, the adoption process was suspended, postponing public hearings originally scheduled to commence on April 1.   

Throughout this phase of public input, the city offered an online alternative for input as an alternative for in-person meetings using Polco, an online public engagement tool. The questions posted on the Round Rock 2030 Polco page were open ended, to gather feedback about the Round Rock 2030 draft and the Future Land Use Map (FLUM). Online input was originally proposed to conclude on March 24, 2020. However, when the adoption process was postponed, the online comment period was extended through Sunday, April 26.

 

 

Phase 6 – Adoption  O-2020-0175  

The public input process for Round Rock 2030 commenced almost 2 years ago, and the last phase was the adoption process. The Plan was presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission for recommendation on May 20th and City Council for adoption on June 25th. Both presentations included public hearings with the opportunity for the public to comment on the Plan. In order to preserve public safety, commenters had the option to participate remotely. 

On March 16, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation suspending various provisions of Chapter 551, Government Code, relating to Open Meetings. Beginning April 1 and continuing until further notice, the City will host public meetings that are subject to the Open Meetings Act through videoconferencing powered by Zoom, in order to advance the public health goal of limiting face-to-face meetings, i.e., social distancing. If you would like to participate in the meeting by speaking during a public hearing, please visit our website at roundrocktexas.gov where a registration link will be posted on the calendar entry for each public meeting.