Public gets look at comprehensive plan updates

Jenna Carpenter Staff Writer May 8, 2018

The Kerrville Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is a step closer to putting the finishing touches on the update to the city’s master plan

On Tuesday, committee members hosted a meeting at the Hill Country Youth Event Center to discuss the ways they’ve changed the plan since hosting two open houses in April.

About 40 members of the community also attended the meeting.

Kerrville residents voiced concerns over the impact to developed property, natural and historical impacts, traffic and preferred circulation and connectivity, according to Mark Bowers, of Kimley-Horn and Associates, the project management and land-use consulting group assisting with the plan’s development.

“We received additional feedback from the community and made some changes to both the land-use plan the thoroughfare plan,” he said. “We want to walk through some of those changes.”

It’s important to balance what both the community and committee members see as the future of Kerrville, Bowers said. So, on Tuesday, he presented ways to address the public’s needs in the comprehensive plan.

When it comes to thoroughfare, the community provided input on four projects: the Bear Creek Road extension, a Creekwood and Twin Springs connection, the future arterial between Texas 16 and Texas 173 and an extension of Olympic Drive.

The Bear Creek extension proposes a collector between Bear Creek and Thompson Drive to provide an alternate route for areas to the west. But, after hearing concerns that the area is a known archaeological site and is in a floodplain, planners decided to take it out, Bowers said.

“Instead, we’ll look at improvements to the existing Bear Creek Bridge crossing to allow access in high water conditions,” he said. “That was one of the reasons that we were recommending that connection, was to get through the area if there was high water.”

As for Creekwood and Twin Springs, the plan originally proposed a collector to improve connectivity between Spur 100 and Texas 27 to make room for future redevelopment, Bowers said.

But residents said it would impact existing residential property and topography.

So planners are suggesting the use of existing road alignments.

“We’re minimizing impact to residential lots and still maintaining connectivity for future fire and safety access to the area,” Bowers said.

Also on Tuesday, Bowers discussed changes to the land-use plan that took into account suggestions to expand boundaries that are expected to drive change within the city. Also known as strategic catalyst areas, those places have an attribute associate with them, such as being along the Guadalupe River or near Peterson Regional Medical Center, Bowers said.

There’s a total of 11 catalyst areas. For example, the place designated as Area 1 is located around the intersection of Texas 27 and Texas 16, next to the Guadalupe River and Louise Hayes Park. That area is distinctive because there’s a strong focus on redevelopment.

Area 6 is near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Texas 16 and Quinlan Creek. That space can support a variety of land uses, from agriculture and outdoor tourism and rural living to regional commercial, Bowers said.

The commercial side of the area would be closest to the highway, he added.

“That area is a key entryway into the community, so it has to be done right to fully take advantage of the community’s gateway to the region,” Bowers said.

Because of the topography of the areas, maintaining the hills and creeks is important, he said.

The steering committee will have two more meetings in May, and will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission on June 7.