On August 5, 2013, the Town Council approved a resolution to initiate the review of the Town’s Master Plan, specifically the land use portion, through a community engagement process. The purpose of the review was to determine how to implement the existing vision in four focus areas. The Town used a community engagement process to provide a framework for early public involvement, promote widespread participation and active engagement, and produce community-led options.
The “Our Master Plan” project set out to encourage discussion on how best to achieve the vision in the four focus areas concurrent with a returning economy. The focus areas were:
To begin the process, the Town created an “Our Master Plan: Strengthening the Vision” webpage which included information about the project, historical documents, description of the review process, a timeline, contact information, and a FAQ section. Since the process focused on community engagement, the Town also created an open Facebook page where the public could share ideas and concerns, ask questions, and suggest alternatives. The informational webpage also defined what a successful process would look like and outlined the project goals, roles and responsibilities, and steps in the process.
Discussion on the Facebook page began on August 6 by asking for initial thoughts and questions about the project and continued by asking questions about the overall vision of the Master Plan. The Facebook page also served as an avenue to communicate information about the process and notify the public on updates.
General questions regarding each focus area were posted on the project’s webpage for public view between August 16 and September 11. The public was able to provide feedback on the project’s Facebook page, via email, by phone, or in person. Any comments received via email were posted online and the Facebook page for public view.
Town-wide community meetings were conducted on September 19 and 21 at the Flower Mound Public Library. Audience polling was used to guide discussion, as well as gauge participant knowledge and interest on a variety of topics related to the focus areas. The structure of the meetings included background information on master plans, in general, and their legal implications. A presentation on each focus area followed and included location, current land uses, development interest, summary of comments received, and a series of questions specific to the focus area. Three types of questions were asked at both meetings: demographic, background (i.e., the current vision for the districts), and level of interest questions, based on comments received from the public on Facebook, online, or via email.
During the week of September 30, options were posted online, based on community feedback during the project, to serve as a basis for the work session discussion. Further, as part of the ongoing community engagement effort, public suggestions on each focus area were encouraged to add to the discussion at the work session.
The next major step in the ongoing process was a joint Town Council and Planning and Zoning Commission work session on October 17 to discuss the project, including feedback and data compiled during the process, and direction on next steps.
Following the joint work session another work session with the Planning and Zoning Commission was held on October 28 to discuss proposed options and amendments based on the direction received during the joint work session.
The “formal” review process began on November 11 with a public hearing with the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider proposed amendments to the Town’s Master Plan and land development regulations. The formal process included a public hearing with Town Council on December 2, a Town Hall meeting on December 10, and a final public hearing with the Town Council on December 16, 2013.
Historical information on this project is provided below.