Thursday, May 29, 2008

1st Town Center Advisory Committee meeting Monday at 6:30 pm.

REMINDER: The consultant and City staff will be holding the first Town Center Advisory Committee meeting this Monday (June 2nd) at 6:30 pm in the Whitehouse City Hall council chambers. The meeting will include supplemental surveys of all interested parties regarding the visual and physical direction the district should take for future development. Attendance is important as the discussion undertaken during this meeting will form the basis for draft zoning regulations to be presented at our next session in late June (currently scheduled for June 30th).

Those unable to attend should check this blog for links to download audio of the meeting.
Notifications have been mailed to land owners, a notice was placed at City Hall, and both newspapers will run stories and/or advertisements. However, the team would like to once again use this venue to encourage attendance by anyone interested. Now is the best time to have your opinion counted, and acted upon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Preliminary survey results are in, but there is still time to submit!

The consultant team has received a portion of the Town Center surveys back from respondents. Responses will continue to be accepted for a few more weeks. Also, anyone who is interested in participating is encouraged to do so. The original survey was distributed to Town Center property owners and city officials. While the responses of these individuals will remain separate, the opinion of other community members is also welcome. If you are interested participating in either the general or visual preference portions of the survey, please contact the consultant at

For those who are interested, the preliminary results for the general survey are as follows:

  1. Respondents would like a Town Center which is accessed by automobile but offers strong internal pedestrian circulation.
  2. Respondents UNANIMOUSLY desired a Town Center which resembles a small downtown.
  3. Respondents UNANIMOUSLY believed that projects in the Town Center should not be large-scale in nature.
  4. Respondents UNANIMOUSLY desired more flexibility for zero lot line/setback developments.
  5. Respondents were evenly divided over the issue of holding projects developed in the Town Center to a higher aesthetic standard.
  6. Respondents NARROWLY believed that the City should be willing loose a development project if it does not meet the Town Center vision established by this project.
  7. Respondents NARROWLY believed that projects in the Town Center should be limited in height.
  8. Respondents UNANIMOUSLY believed that mixed-use development should be allowed in the Town Center.
  9. Respondents desired a combination of vertical and horizontal mixed-use development in the Town Center.
  10. Respondents UNANIMOUSLY believed that the City should consider establishing development incentives for the Town Center.
  11. Respondents UNANIMOUSLY believed that the City should consider establishing development partnerships with WISD and or the private sector.
  12. Respondents STRONGLY believed that publicly owned sites should be considered for redevelopment consistent with the established Town Center vision.

The online component (visual preference) also has some preliminary results to report:

So far the respondents have supported low intensity multi-story structures. Mixed-use, both in terms of commercial/residential, and various types of commercial have been supported. Respondents have also shown an affinity for historically themed architecture which is conservative in nature. Highly rated examples in the visual preference portion of the survey reinforce most of the preliminary general survey opinions as well. Aesthetic values such as pedestrian friendly design and architectural form and character show consistently high ratings for both surveys. High intensity development patterns have been rated poorly. Likewise, architectural/signage components which are overly modern or conspicuous have received consistently low ratings.

As mentioned previously, these results are very early and subject to change. It is expected that additional submissions may drastically alter the results upon final tabulation. It is important that each and every stakeholder and community member take part in this survey (and overall planning process). The end result of this project will be new zoning regulations for the Town Center and city at large. Now is the time to have your opinion influence what these ordinances require for future development.