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Imagine That: Council Approves New Comprehensive Plan

Austin City Council members voted unanimously early this morning to adopt the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, a blueprint for the city's growth in decades to come.

A public hearing on the plan lasted past 1 a.m.

The Imagine Austin plan was created from thousands of ideas submitted by residents about how Austin should develop over the next 30 years.

The city will review progress each year and conduct a more thorough evaluation of the plan every five years.

“It has been an enormous undertaking, and clearly there’s plenty of stuff in here to like, and there are going to be things in here that some people may not be so wild about,” council member Chris Riley said. “Like all good plans, there will be something that everybody can find to criticize about it.”

The plan’s priorities include improving transportation options, ensuring a long-term water supply and investing in labor, education and entrepreneurs.

The Council rejected the inclusion of controversial State Highway 45 Southwest in the plan.

The highway, also known as the Manchaca Expressway, would have provided a route from South MoPac to FM1626. Critics of the highway cited the road’spotential environmental damagebecause of its route over the Edwards Aquifer.

Prior to the plan's passage at 1:20 a.m., council took action on several other items:  approval of proposed renovations to the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center; increasing permitting fees to pay for extra staff in an attempt to expedite permitting reviews; and execution of a contract to perform satisfaction surveys with Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services patients.

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