The City of Round Rock presented resident feedback to City Council Thursday following recent public meetings for the Round Rock 2030 Comprehensive Plan, and announced the launch of a new online tool as the next public input phase for the project.
Round Rock 2030 will provide a framework that will help City officials decide “what goes where” for development over the next 10 years. The plan is expected to be adopted in 2020. Planners have so far received feedback provided through city-wide surveys and recent public meetings, and are now inviting residents to participate in the Round Rock 2030 online public input portal at polco.us/roundrock.
Public meeting results
Approximately 300 people attended in-person “quadrant meetings” in February and March 2019 to give their feedback for the Round Rock 2030 plan.
One exercise at the quadrant meetings included open-ended questions, in which attendees wrote their answers on stickers and placed them on boards. Participants were invited to show support for existing ideas by placing stickers on them.
The answers that received the most support from attendees when asked to describe Round Rock “today” included:
- A good place to live, work, and raise a family
- Congested with traffic
- A great place for my family with the best schools/police/fire/library
- Nice city with issues with transportation along its major arteries
- A city that is quickly becoming unaffordable for many families
The most supported responses of what attendees thought Round Rock will be like “tomorrow” included:
- A vibrant, more diverse set of people with more opportunity to engage with the arts
- Keep downtown friendly, pedestrian safe + involved w/events including parades
- A shining example of what happens when a small town thoughtfully grows
- A vibrant city that recognizes its historic past and buildings, past and present
- A hip, exciting, culturally diverse community still oriented to family
The second exercise conducted at the quadrant meetings allowed attendees to comment on and prioritize a list of ten draft planning policies for the next decade, or propose new policies for the City’s consideration. A total of 780 written comments were received.
One of the policies that received the most support as a priority was: “Focus economic development initiatives on those that improve quality of life and not just those that make economic sense. Examples include those that are focused on entertainment and public gathering spaces that are connected to the community, create synergy, promote placemaking, and are iconic destinations where you can stay for a while to do multiple activities.” The most common comments on this policy included:
- Desire for entertainment options beyond tourist attractions
- Desire for unique places/ theatre, culture, arts that locals can enjoy, and
- Preservation of open and green spaces
The third exercise was a live polling exercise. The results included:
- The primary reasons that respondents decided to live in Round Rock were: to live close to work/school (20%), to raise a family (20%), and affordability (16%). One-third of attendees felt that Round Rock does not have sufficient housing options to upsize or downsize throughout a resident’s lifetime. Desired types of housing include single family with large lots, housing in mixed use developments, and senior housing.
- Approximately one-quarter of meeting participants expressed that they like their neighborhoods “the way they are now.” Respondents also indicated they would like better connectivity (18%), improved parks (17%), and better retail and services (16%) near their neighborhoods.
- In the future, 31% of respondents would like to see commercial development be more pedestrian-friendly, while other respondents indicated that better landscaping (27%) and better design/building materials (22%) are desired.
- Respondents identified that the City needs more cultural/arts options (25%), more parks and trails (25%) and a better variety of residential options (14%). Over 70% of attendees said alternative modes of transportation (besides cars) are important or very important to increase travel options in Round Rock.
- Living/affordability, road repair/maintenance/expansion, and crime/safety were top responses to the following question: “Aside from traffic, what do you think the biggest issues Round Rock will face in the next 10 years?”
Online participation in Round Rock 2030
The current phrase of public input on the Round Rock 2030 plan features an online participation portal at polco.us/roundrock that includes a series of follow-up questions for clarification and to expand on input the City has already received. Respondents can click on “Learn more about this” on each question to learn more about the topic prior to responding. Respondents can also provide comments in addition to answering each question in order to provide further feedback on a topic. This phase of public input will continue through May.
For more information about Round Rock 2030, visit roundrocktexas.gov/roundrock2030.