Pearland’s city planning is seeing a paradigm shift — from focusing on new development to reinvestment, city staff reflected in a special meeting Monday.
An updated, 2015 version of the city’s comprehensive plan, the document that will guide the city’s development for the next 10 years, was the topic of Monday’s discussion.
Details such as land use, mobility, recreation, housing and economic development are covered in the comprehensive plan. The city has been working since 2013 with the firm Kendig Keast Collaborative to update it, and a citizen input session is being planned July 16 and a public hearing in August or September.
On Monday, council heard from consultants during a special presentation.
The revised plan focuses more on integrity of neighborhoods and quality of life, Community Development Director Lata Krishnarao explained.
“That is important, because the vacant land we have is really dwindling,” she said. “It’s important to focus on neighborhoods and keeping them sustainable and vibrant.”
Tourism, for the first time, has been included in the new proposed comprehensive plan.
Costs, objectives and strategies behind future annexation – not discussed on previous plans — is a separate section in the updated plan. In addition, the new plan looks weighing the cost of growth and land uses.
“What does it take not just to develop these areas but to sustain them in the long run? That has been incorporated into the comprehensive plan,” Krishnarao said.
Included in the plan are “themes” that address concerns such as the city’s balance, connectivity, attractiveness and safety. Under these items are “focus areas,” that include everything from being viewed as more than a commuter city to long-term water supply and pedestrian/bike circulation.
The plan includes goals and strategic actions to meet them, items to either put more emphasis on, or consider doing for the first time. The possibility of a long-discussed multi-purpose events venue in Pearland is included in the outlook.
Among concerns voiced during the workshop were the need for a public safety and police multi-year plan, and a plan for libraries.
“As we develop this concept, we will become more efficient at focusing in and tailoring it to what we think we want — though what we think we want may not be what we need some day,” Mayor Tom Reid said.
Krishnarao said comments from Monday’s meeting would be incorporated into the document and addressed.
Since 2013, more than 1,700 residents have given input on the plan via an online portal known as Mindmixer.
Transportation and easier commuting was mentioned over and over during feedback, consultants said.