Last month I shared with you information about the open house being held to gather community feedback as we begin the process of creating the vision for Highland Village for the next ten years.
The open house was held on Wednesday, February 23 – the day the second ice storm of the new year hit our community. We continued with the open house and expected a lower turnout; however, much to our surprise, we had a non-stop stream of residents coming by to learn about the plans and provide their input. Fortunately the freezing rain held off until later that evening and the roads were passable for those who attended.
As was explained to the attendees, we are at the beginning of about a 12 month process to update or create five different planning documents that will set the vision for our City. This beginning stage is the “Explore” stage as we seek input from our residents on options to be included in our planning documents.
I want to share with you the feedback we are seeking and tell you how you can still be part of creating the vision for our City.
For the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, we are asking residents to tell us the recreation programs, recreation amenities and park amenities they would like to see offered in the City and to prioritize those as well. There is also the opportunity to share ideas that are not listed.
Looking at the Trail System Master Plan, we are asking residents to select areas on our trail system map where they would like to see improvements, added trail connections or enhanced crossings to improve the safety of our users. We are also asking residents what elements would encourage them to use the trails more often.
Also part of the planning process is looking at the undeveloped tracts of land in the City. This is the Opportunity Areas Plan and we are asking residents to rate what they would like to see on these vacant properties.
The new plan is the Village Connection: 407 Corridor and Amenity Plan which is a proposed trail that will begin at The Shops at Highland Village on the north side of FM 407 and end at the eastern City limit at Sellmeyer. We are asking residents to tell us how they would use this trail and what amenities they would like to see along the trail.
In the Thoroughfare Master Plan we are asking residents to tell us which of the intersections in the City do they feel needs improvement and which do they consider unsafe.
And through all of this we are asking the community to tell us what is important to them as we develop all of these plans; or what do they hold valuable so we can set the communities values to use as the guide in developing these plans. The goal is to gather input from the community to create the vision that will then be transferred to recommendations, goals and objectives based on the economic viability and quality of life we have in Highland Village.
We were certainly pleased with the turnout at the event. It was so good to hear from so many of our residents. I know many of you were not able to attend and there is still the opportunity for feedback online at www.SpeakUpHV.com. The same information is provided there and the City produced short videos explaining the process so it is almost as if you were able to attend the in-person meeting. The City will use the SpeakUpHV website to inform of the progress made, and opportunities for input throughout the process so please go there now to provide your input and register so you will receive notifications when updates are posted or meetings are scheduled.
Another project on the SpeakUpHV.com website is the “Ask Us” section. We’ve had quite a few people ask us questions that you may be wondering about as well. City staff works to respond to your questions in a timely manner – usually the same day or within 24 hours. Go check it out and see if an answer to one of your questions is there or it may prompt a question you’d like to submit.
We are heading into spring and that means Easter and the Art Festival are right around the corner. The Parks and Recreation department will hold their annual Easter Egg Hunt at Unity Park on Saturday, April 9 at 10 a.m. sharp. And the Art Festival is scheduled for the first Saturday in May at The Shops at Highland Village. The City has partnered with The Shops at Highland Village for the last seven years to host this event. We have so many local artists there selling their unique and beautiful items. Plan to attend on Saturday, May 7 anytime from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be live entertainment and art activities for the kids. While you’re there you can stop in one of the many shops or have a meal at one of the restaurants in The Shops at Highland Village.
As you know, this is my last year to serve as Mayor of Highland Village. Each year we produce a State of the City video to provide an update on the year ahead. Our video this year highlights the City and the projects planned for the year and also clearly shows there is something magical about Highland Village. It has been my privilege to serve as Mayor of this wonderful City. There truly is no place like Highland Village.
I hope to see you around the City!