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November 17th, 2009
Dripping Springs holds town hall meetings

STAFF REPORT

Dripping Springs held its first Town Hall meeting on Nov. 3 to update the city’s comprehensive plan. More than 40 citizens and area residents attended. The second town hall meeting will be Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Dripping Springs City Hall.

The meeting was facilitated by Chris Holtkamp, Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Community and Economic Development representative. He began with an explanation of the comprehensive plan, saying “A comprehensive plan
helps cities develop a long-term shared vision for the future and a blueprint for achieving that vision. It is a city’s first step toward long-term planned community development.”

“Holding to the city’s long-term planning commitment, the city first adopted a master plan in 1985, updated the initial plan in 1995, and adopted an entirely new interim comprehensive plan in 2004,” he stated.

The current update, as explained by Holtkamp, would revisit a variety of topics important to the development of the city, including demographics, community vision, future land use, historic preservation, downtown revitalization, housing, and community and economic development.

“With a community like Dripping Springs that is experiencing so much growth, it  is important for the city to create a common vision which leaders will follow in the decision- making process,” Holtkamp said. “It is also important to update that plan every few years as the community continues to change and grow.”

Deputy City Administrator Ginger Faught announced the  newly appointed steering committee members, which include Bob Richardson, Carlotta McLean, Robby Callegari, John Kroll, Leonard Olson, Walter Krudup, DeNae Lee, Joe Cantalupo, Jim Powers, Mike Woodward and Melanie Fenelon.

The first phase of the process gathered public input through a community survey. The survey was available online and in hard copies mailed to residents in the month of July. More than 400 citizens participated in the survey. The results of the community survey were tallied and announced at the town hall meeting, which began the second phase of the process.

The town hall meetings are held to insure that important issues to citizens are addressed in the comprehensive plan. Following the second meeting, focus groups and interviews will be held in upcoming months to zero in on specific issues and topics brought up by the surveys and meetings.

Groups and individuals will have another opportunity in phase three to provide input on community topics such as downtown revitalization, parks and open spaces, historic preservation, land use and community development.

From all the sources of community input, the steering committee, the staff from LCRA and PEC, will work together to develop a document that reflects the community’s interests a provides clear and specific actions for the community to undertake to address those issues requiring action.

The citizens, non-profit groups and other organizations are  encouraged to participate in this process so that the plan will meet with greater community success.

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