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Georgetown is deciding the future of its downtown. Here's how residents can weigh in.

A flag on a lightpost says "You belong downtown" in front of storefronts across the street
Kailey Hunt
/
KUT
The City of Georgetown is in the process of updating its "downtown master plan" for the first time since 2014.

Georgetown needs residents' help in deciding the future of the city's 52-block downtown district.

Kim McAuliffe, the city's downtown and tourism director, said her team is in the process of updating the master plan — a "roadmap" that helps guide long-term planning and development. It takes into account the community's wants and needs for the area, including things such as transportation, parking and types of businesses.

"The downtown master plan is the guiding document that we use as we continue to develop into the future," she said. "[It] really helps to create that vision for what our residents and visitors want to see happen in downtown."

The city first developed a downtown master plan in 2003. Since then, it has been updated once, in 2014.

McAuliffe said the plan has become even more important in recent years as the city explores ways to manage its rapid growth.

In 2014, Georgetown had a population around 50,000. In January, the city estimated its population to be over 85,000.

Last year, Georgetown was ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau as the fastest-growing city in the nation for cities with a population above 50,000.

"As we're looking to the future — the pressures that we see from the development and desire to be in downtown ... we want to make sure that we're still keeping with the things that people love that create that sense of place," McAuliffe said.

The City of Georgetown first developed its downtown master plan in 2003. Since then, it has been updated once — in 2014.
Courtesy of The City of Georgetown
Georgetown's downtown and tourism director, Kim McAuliffe, compared the city's downtown master plan to a "roadmap" that helps guide long-term planning in the city's 52-block downtown district.

Residents (as well as nonresidents) can give feedback on the plan through an online survey.

McAuliffe said the city wants to know things like: why residents visit downtown, what they like about it, what they’d like to see expand and where there are opportunities for improvement.

The city has received around 700 responses so far, she said.

Initial findings from the survey will be presented to the community at the city's Red Poppy Festival in the South Main Arts District on April 28-30.

McAuliffe said the city plans to provide more opportunities for residents to give feedback over the next several months.

"I love that downtown creates a place where people can come together. I think that that's my favorite thing to see," she said. "Just being in that place and keeping it special is something that I really love about Georgetown, and I hope that we can do a good job of keeping everything as charming and lovely as it is."

For more information about the downtown master plan update, including a timeline of the project, go to its website.

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Kailey Hunt is KUT's Williamson County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at khunt@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @KaileyEHunt.
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