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In the News

Taylor credits public participation for award winning master plan

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Creating a master plan is about more than just designing a look for an area in town. It is about creating a distinct feel and experience for both residents and visitors. It is about synergizing new growth while maintaining a sustainable atmosphere for current businesses and residents. And most importantly, it is about the people, the community and the vision to move forward.

In early October, the American Planning Association – Texas Chapter awarded the city of Taylor its Project Planning Award in recognition for exemplary planning for the creation of Taylor’s new Downtown Master Plan. And while the physical award goes to the city, the honor and the credit go to the residents.
“We are extremely proud of the community support that went into the creation of the Downtown Master Plan,” said Holli Nelson, the city’s public information officer. “People care about Taylor and where we are going and how we are going to get there.”

More than a hundred people contributed to the Downtown Master Plan during its creation, which consisted of visioning secessions, community forums, stakeholder workshops, open houses, city council meetings and more.

Taylor’s Downtown Master Plan is innovative, transferrable, comprehensive and implementable, said Cameron Walker, APA-Texas Chapter committee chair for the planning awards. It also included a good record of public participation.

“Any plan without community support is a plan that will sit on the shelf,” said Noel Bernal, Taylor assistant city manager. Master plans can take years to fulfill, but when residents and business owners back them, developments guided by master plans can move faster as those who are already invested in the area continue to grow and redevelop themselves.

Taylor’s Downtown Master Plan combined previous work from seven other plans to encompass about 30 of the city’s blocks and about 14 streets. According to the plan, its goals set out to stimulate economic development, protect the unique history of Taylor, provide entertainment, recreation, programming and events and serve the needs of visitors and residents alike over other goals — all of which were prioritized by community stakeholders. Taylor adopted the plan in April 2015.

> Riewed Taylor's Downtown Master Plan.
> Discover the American Planning Association - Texas Chapter.

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