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Pilot Point looking ahead

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

Planning experts to help city officials set long-term goals

On Thursday, a team of planning experts will visit the city of Pilot Point to kick off a five-day event in an effort to help city officials set long-range goals for the city.

The five-day event is slated for Thursday through Feb. 4. Pilot Point council members and economic development corporation board members will meet with the team from the American Institute of Architects.

Early last year, a city-appointed planning committee applied for and received a grant from the institute, awarding Pilot Point assistance from an award-winning volunteer project team of the AIA.

“We are so excited to welcome the team to help us create this visionary plan for our city,” committee chairwoman Joyce Duesman said. “Having the team lead the conversation and share their expertise with our community is a rare opportunity.”

Pilot Point officials said the event will help prepare the city for future growth that’s expected to occur because of the North Dallas Tollway extension and regional growth.

Only a few cities across the nation receive this assistance annually, a spokeswoman with the American Institute of Architects said. Pilot Point named its vision project a Plan for Living and Community Excellence, or P.L.A.C.E.

The architecture institute has helped lead similar projects since 1967, and Pilot Point joins some other Texas cities, including Dallas, Houston, San Angelo, Corpus Christi and Temple, that have benefited from this assistance.

Program director Erin Simmons said the event has helped several cities recognize their potential.

“This event will help Pilot Point realize the same,” Simmons said. “Sometimes a city and [its] leaders need a pair of eyes from the outside to help it realize what’s missing.”

During a preliminary visit in last fall, the team of planning experts identified six key areas that needed to be addressed for Pilot Point — tourism, urban design, historic preservation, housing, open space, conservation and economic development.

The institute’s spokeswoman said the visiting team is made up of experts from the disciplines that include planners, architects, public financing advisers, tourism consultants, economic development specialists and preservationists.

Officials said having outside experts working with the city will ensure that all voices are heard and given a fair hearing and that options are weighed impartially.

City officials encourage residents to participate in the events that are open to the public.

Pilot Point may be small now, but officials know that incredible growth is headed their way, Duesman said.

“Our goal is to preserve, strengthen, and improve the wonderful things about Pilot Point … as well as plan for the inevitable growth we are anticipating,” she said.


JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@


Schedule of events

The schedule of the five-day planning event is as follows:

Thursday: A private meet-and-greet session between city officials and planning experts.

Friday: City officials and experts will take a morning tour of the city. From 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Pilot Point Intermediate School, officials will conduct a roundtable discussion on planning topics. From 6 to 9 p.m., officials will conduct a town hall event for residents’ input at Pilot Point High School.

Saturday through Feb. 3: Officials will use the weekend to formulate their recommendations based on their expertise and Pilot Point’s community feedback and input.

Feb. 4: Officials will give a presentation at 6 p.m. to city officials and residents at the Pilot Point High School.