As Taylor continues to grow, several studies aim to help manage the city moving forward.
The Taylor City Council received an update Jan. 23 on various master planning projects being conducted by city personnel and consultants. The projects’ intention is to help prepare the city for growth.
The studies were funded during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years. The plans are designed to help the council make decisions related to development and capital improvement programming.
The city’s Comprehensive Plan project is slated to begin this month. The plan is a roadmap for staff to follow to achieve the community’s vision. It also serves to guide most city decisions related to growth, allocation of resources and development regulations such as zoning and subdivisions.
“It is estimated to take about 12 months from start to finish,” said Tom Yantis, assistant city manager.
Started in October 2019, the community parks master plan plan should help guide the physical improvement and maintenance of Fannie Robinson Park, Murphy Park and Bull Branch Park. The project will also include a maintenance plan for Taylor Regional Park and a new parkland dedication ordinance. Yantis also explained how the parks’ master planning could help in grant applications.
The drainage master plan project started in December 2019 and evaluates existing drainage conditions throughout the city to develop an accurate understanding of the drainage infrastructure.
Two master planning projects got off the ground first in February 2019, the water and wastewater plans. Both plans examine their existing systems to identify deficiencies and potential upgrades.
The majority of the water and wastewater planning projects have been completed. However, Yantis explained how the projects such as the water plan needed to be paused until the comprehensive plan is finished.
“One of the things that the water master plan needs to have as an input is the future land use plan,” said Yantis, “because it needs to know what types of land uses you anticipate having in what parts of the city so that the water master plan can know what sorts of facilities you need where and what sorts of water capacity you need in those areas.”
The water, wastewater and transportation impact fees planning project will also need to wait until the comprehensive plan is completed.
“Impact fees are the fees that we charge to new development to account for their impact on those systems, the water, wastewater and transportation system for new capacity that is needed to accommodate that growth,” explained Yantis.
Although not a master planning project, Yantis and City Manager Brian LaBorde added that a pavement condition assessment was in its early stages. A company will drive every city street and do an analysis of the condition of the pavement to helpd decide allocating resources for maintenance and reconstruction.
Councilmember Robert Garcia tried to alleviate possible concerns citizens might have regarding why the city is devoting time to many studies.
“We’ve got so much growth coming into Taylor is one of the reasons,” said Garcia, “and we want to make sure that we strategically put places where they’re at but also have the capacity to serve those individuals instead of blindly going out there and just doing whatever we do and hoping for the best. We actually want to make sure that the studies will help us plan our future.”