City planners will hold two more gatherings this month on the update to Denton’s comprehensive plan so that residents can learn more about the process before planners launch the first community forums next month.
The meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Oct. 23, both at the Denton Civic Center, 312 E. McKinney St.
The city has grown — by 40 percent in population and by 3,000 acres in area — since the first plan was drafted in 1999. The updated plan will need to take into consideration the likely influx of 100,000 more people over the next 20 years, planning consultants have told city leaders.
In addition, planners also advised the city that they should consider other important factors that were not on the radar in 1999: the rising enrollment at area colleges, the downtown transit center and the Barnett Shale natural gas boom.
A team of consultants, costing about $628,000, have been retained by the city to help with the plan’s update over the next 18 months. During and since an open house on the plan last month, residents have already begun providing the city staff and planning consultants some feedback. The feedback is published on a city website devoted to the update, www.Dentonplan2030.com.
For example, residents have shared their favorite things about Denton, such as the vibrant culture downtown, arts and events, local businesses and the city’s amenities — parks, libraries and senior center. Residents also touched on less tangible things as favorites, including a sense and spirit of community and feeling at home in the city.
Residents told city planners the challenges they’d like to see addressed, too. In transportation, residents are concerned not only about traffic but also about mass transit and being able to get around town by walking or by bicycle. They are concerned about the city’s poor roads and lack of sidewalks. As the city grows, people are concerned not only about specific developments, but also about how buildings look and the gateways to the city. Residents also want to see air quality improve and the water supply remain sustainable, citing both development and environmental concerns over gas drilling in the city.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org