What did the City of El Campo really gain by going through the extensive three-year process of updating the Comprehensive Plan?

A resource to guide the direction of municipal actions over the next 20 years.

It’s an effort that’s working. Based upon the 2020 Comprehensive Plan created in 2000, a significant amount of progress had been made.

That’s why new areas of focus were needed.

The Comprehensive Plan process was essentially a labor of love by some very committed community members.

For many hours, they served on the City Council-appointed Planning & Zoning Commission or the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) working with staff during an assortment of sessions including town hall meetings.

These volunteers went above and beyond having good honest dialogs with each other and the consultants retained to work with the group.

The focus was broken down into three core phases:

• Community Vision, Community Profile and Land Use Updates.

• Utility Infrastructure and Transportation.

• Parks and Recreation, Housing Strategies and Implementation Plan.

From those efforts came the final updated version of the Vision Elements.

• Community Value – To be a community that continues to value its small-town character, active community volunteer groups, and local businesses in the spirit of cooperation and continuous improvement.

• Community Character – To be a community that celebrates families and community interaction by ensuring balanced opportunities for housing, employment, education and recreation.

• Balanced Growth – To be a community that strives to balance residential and non-residential (commercial and industrial) development supported by sound infrastructure and efficient transportation systems.

• Public Safety – To be a community that places a high premium on the safety of its citizens through effective law enforcement programs.

• Quality of Life – To be a community that values its quality of life by establishing sound development practices that buffer neighborhoods from incompatible development and excessive traffic.

This tool provides the long-term plan for the city in the important areas of land use, infrastructure for the water system, wastewater system and storm water system, transportation, parks and recreation and housing.

Why?

To help the city grow and develop based on the vision created in the Council-approved Comprehensive Plan.

But it’s not going to be simple. Making it work takes figuring out what resources are available and then prioritizing what should be targeted first via the strategic planning process City Council uses.

It all starts with a plan.

The Planning & Zoning Commission helps with this long-range planning and Comprehensive Plan implementation as does City Council, municipal staff, the volunteer boards and you – the citizens of El Campo who care about making sure it stays a vibrant place to live, work and play.

– Mindi Snyder is city manager of El Campo.

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