SUBSCRIBE NOW

Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 6¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Over 20 changes were made to the 2024 Marble Falls Comprehensive Plan before it was approved with a 4-1 vote of the City Council on Tuesday, May 7.

Recommended changes to the 193-page document included removing “nebulous” language and updating data. The finalized plan can be read here.

Future city councils will use the document to guide decisions.

“This is not a trivial document,” Mayor Dave Rhodes said Tuesday at the meeting. “This is something that is concrete. It will outlast us, or at least most of us, on this dais. It’s something that our staff uses on a daily basis.”

Councilor Lauren Haltom was the only dissenting vote. 

“I didn’t agree with every comment made,” Haltom told DailyTrib.com after the meeting.

Councilors Griff Morris and Karlee Cauble were absent from the meeting.

The council delayed approval of the plan on April 16 to ensure members had time to read and understand the almost-200-page document.

“I hope we all took the time to read through it,” Mayor Rhodes said Tuesday. “I really wanted us to have time to understand what was in here and understand the implications of what is in here.”

Rhodes claimed the bulk of the data and statistics in the plan was “outdated.”

Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee Chair Brian Shirley explained the source of the figures.

“They’re (U.S.) Census Bureau numbers,” he told Rhodes.

That fact didn’t sway the mayor’s opinion.

“I get it, but they’re old,” Rhodes said. “They’re Google numbers, as far as I’m concerned.”

Another issue for the mayor was the use of words such as “equity” and “inclusivity” in the document.

“There was a day when I’d go right past those words and not think one thing about it, but they mean something different today than they did back then,” he said. “It’s not consistent with who we are as Marble Falls.”

He recommended removing the words from the plan.

“What does equitable mean?” Rhodes said. “It’s pretty subjective. It needs to be written out. If you can’t quantify it, it’s not a very good guiding document.”

Councilor Bryan Walker echoed Rhodes’ concerns regarding the use of the words after the meeting.

“There’s a general trend of labeling and throwing as many labels (on people) as we can,” he told DailyTrib.com. “That’s not who we are in Marble Falls. We simply want the best applicants. We want the best people in positions, regardless of their upbringing, culture, or personal beliefs. We want the best people for the job.”

Rhodes also asked for changes to an item that recommended the establishment of new development review procedures or reduced fees for developments that integrate affordable housing options.

“We’re in lots of discussions about this topic, but it’s not the government’s ability, or even in our (city) charter, to work on affordable housing,” he said. “It’s not there.”

One inclusion in the plan that received Rhodes’ full support was opportunities for year-round programs and special events that reinforce a sense of community and small-town character.

“I really like this one,” he said. “This is right up my alley. I’m a big fan. I think we need to put a commission together. We need ideas for how to get this done.”

nathan@thepicayune.com

1 thought on “Marble Falls adopts comprehensive plan with changes

  1. True it is not in the charter to work on affordable housing specifically. But I dont recall it being in the charter to give tax abatements to commercial developments either but yet they do it. The city leaders are still deciding who should have the most or least equity (Skin in the game)as it is.

DailyTrib.com moderates all comments. Comments with profanity, violent or discriminatory language, defamatory statements, or threats will not be allowed. The opinions and views expressed here are those of the person commenting and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DailyTrib.com or Victory Media Marketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *