Marble Falls unveils plans for city growth and development

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

The 2015-16 Comprehensive Plan for Marble Falls outlines measures such as enhancing recreational activities for all ages and maintaining city streets and planning infrastructure to keep pace with growth. Staff photo by Jared Fields

The 2015-16 Comprehensive Plan for Marble Falls outlines measures such as enhancing recreational activities for all ages and maintaining city streets and planning infrastructure to keep pace with growth. Staff photo by Jared Fields

MARBLE FALLS — City leaders have launched steps to implement a blueprint for growth and development in Marble Falls with a hotel and conference center project just off Main Street at the core of the plans.

The 2015-16 Comprehensive Plan, passed by the Marble Falls City Council in June, updates the last plan adopted in 2009.

“It’s really lock-step with the ’09 plan in that we wanted to update it soon enough to make sure that everything we’re implementing in the ’09 plan was still consistent with really what the community wanted to see happening in the city,” Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel said.

After 13 months of meetings with the public, stakeholders and city officials, the updated plan outlines measures such as enhancing recreational activities for all ages and maintaining city streets and planning infrastructure to keep pace with growth.

READ A COPY OF THE 2015-16 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN HERE

“The big thing in ’09 was the hospital,” Kraenzel said. “Now, coming into this plan update, we thought it was a good time because we thought, ‘Wow. The hospital is done, it’s opening, it’s doing well. Now what is the next big thing? Does there need to be a big thing? Does there need to be an ensemble of little things? What is the next step?’”

Concept plans for a potential new conference center and hotel along Lake Marble Falls. Courtesy illustration

Concept plans for a potential new conference center and hotel along Lake Marble Falls. Courtesy illustration

Planners identified the next “big thing” as planned development on Lake Marble Falls.

“Some focus areas would be the downtown conference center and hotel project. That being in the ’09 and current update,” Kraenzel said. “Most of the citizens uniformly said the lake is the best asset Marble Falls has, so we need to protect it, but we also need to build on it.”

Drafters of the updated document also aligned short-term and long-term goals with other city documents.

“The vision of the Downtown Master Plan and the Comprehensive Plan update are to improve that lakefront space and capitalize on it being a major component to our really cool Main Street, which leads right up to the lakefront,” Kraenzel said.

Department heads are taking so-called “action steps” to implement components of the plan.

For example, the parks and recreation department began meetings June 13 with community leaders to gather input on potential recreation projects.

“What the city staff focuses on is implementing the action steps in the plan,” he said. “Those really being the building blocks for accomplishing the vision laid out in the plan.”

connie@thepicayune.com

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