City seeking community input for Comprehensive and Downtown plans

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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Felicia Frazar The Seguin Gazette

The city of Seguin is drawing up a road map for the town’s future and is seeking the community’s input on the direction to take.

The city began work on its Comprehensive Plan with the help of consulting firm Freese and Nichols Inc. The consultants began reviewing and researching the city’s codes and ordinances, and are now seeking input from the public for both the overall Comprehensive Plan, and the Downtown Plan.

A comprehensive plan is a planning guide for cities, laying out the needs and wants and budgets in which to obtain them, city of Seguin Planning and Zoning Director Pamela Centeno said.

“Cities usually update their comprehensive plan about every 10 years. It is a guiding document, a plan that sets goals for a community going into the future for the next 20 to 30 years,” she said. “The key to that plan is input from the community. Whether or not it is a resident that lives here or someone that works here every day or someone that owns a business, they’re all impacted or affected and they all have an interest in the community and what we see happening to Seguin in the future.”

The plan is the city’s road map, Centeno said.

“It is not just a plan that sits on the shelf, we do use it very frequently,” she said. “It sets goals that the city uses during the budgeting process when we’re looking at new projects that are important to the community and it helps us establish the regulations that we have, the requirements of new businesses, the regulations of homeowners.”

The plan is built around the information given from the residents, business owners and visitors, Centeno said.

“We want input from the community, so that it is not just city staff making recommendations or the elected officials,” she said. “For every type of person that lives in the community, whether they work here or live here, we want to know why is Seguin important to them and what do they want to see.”

The survey, found at PlanSeguin.com presents various questions from traffic and mobility to business offerings on specific corridors, land use, roads and more.

“The questions really hit a broad variety for the comprehensive plan,” Centeno said. “The questions are tailored very well in asking about different aspects that will be included in the Comprehensive Plan.”

While the Comprehensive Plan focuses on the city as a whole, there is a secondary plan in the making for the city’s historical downtown district, Seguin Main Street Director and Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Kyle Kramm said.

Just as Centeno urges community members to chime in on the Comprehensive Plan, Kramm said it is equally important for them to participate in the survey specified for downtown found at PlanSeguinDT.com .

“It is important that the community gives their input, because it is not just Kyle’s ideas and Kyle’s vision for downtown,” he said. “Downtown belongs to the whole community. It is where we gather, it is where most of our small independent businesses are located. It is really Seguin’s most unique asset. This is to ensure that we get the vision correct, and to make sure that everybody in Seguin feels welcome, whether they are longtime residents or they just moved here or they’re visitors.”

The survey seeks more specified input on the downtown district including assets in Central Park.

“They ask questions about what type of businesses we would like to see in downtown, what amenities you would want to see in downtown, what are things you don’t like in downtown right now, are there things you would like to see added in Central Park that would make you a more frequent user,” he said.

The Downtown Plan page includes an interactive map, which allows community members to drop a pin and mark their ideas or like the thoughts that others have already shared.

“That is going to be a way to help us judge what the community really likes idea-wise for downtown,” Kramm said. “The ideas and pins that get more likes will obviously be the ones that will have a higher priority for us in downtown.”

Both Centeno and Kramm want the community to take ownership of the plans and help create the vision and future for the city.

“We really want people to get involved,” Kramm said. “This isn’t just going to be a plan that just sits on the shelf. It is going to include an implementation schedule with priorities and estimated budgets and things like that, so we can really take this plan and work it and it is not just going to be pretty pictures of what downtown could be.”

To join the conversation and take the surveys, visit PlanSeguin.com for the city’s Comprehensive Plan and PlanSeguinDT.com for the Downtown Plan.

View article on SeguinGazette.com

Category: news, City of Seguin, Downtown

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