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Imagine Austin To Get Vote Today At City Council

Kayak Town Lake Congress Bridge bybethcortezneavel.jpg
Beth Cortez-Neavel
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The Austin City Council will vote Thursday on the map and framework of the city comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin. It lays out a roadmap of how the city will grow over the next 30 years.

Austin City Council members will hear from Austinites this afternoon on the Imagine Austin Plan Framework. Imagine Austin is the city's comprehensive roadmap to what Austin's will grow up to look like by 2039. As SXSW crowds swamp Austin this weekend, take note; then imagine five SXSW conferences going on all at one time and you'll get a sense of the 750,000 additional people planners expect Austin to absorb by 2039.

Council will hold a public hearing at 4 p.m. at City Hall. They are expected to prefer the Preferred Growth Scenario.

The Scenario -- Scenario D -- calls for population growth and development between I-35 and Mopac and alogn Texas 130 in a north-south fashion. The plan includes investment in the Red Line and the San Antonio to Georgetown Lone Star Rail.

The map and framework City Council will vote on today is the culmination of a 17-month planning and public input process. Along the way, there have been some complaints about participation. As KUT's Mose Buchele reported during the first stages of collecting public input, survey's at one community forum reflected a small portion of Austin's population.

"We'll it turned out that the people that attended that meeting we're older, had higher incomes, and tended to be more homeowners than the average Austinite," said City of Austin Planning Commission Chairman Dave Sullivan."

There's a two step process to Imagine Austin. The first part is to do the imagining. After City Council approves the the map and framework, workshops through the summer will begin creating policy and plans base on the seven building blocks of the map:

  • Land Use and Transportation
  • Housing and Neighborhoods
  • Economy
  • Conservation and Environmental Resources
  • City Facilities and Services
  • Society
  • Culture

Finally that's all wrapped up in a community forum scheduled for late 2011.
Looking for more Imagine Austin? Check our KUT News page on kut.org. You'll find Changing Austin, a regular news program on city policy changes and growth.