Saturday, May 25, 2024

Highland Village City Update — February 2023

For the last couple of years, February is the month we see freezing temperatures, rolling power outages, and school and business closures due to the weather. While that scenario may hold true again this February, what we are excited about is this year February marks the beginning of Highland Village’s 60th anniversary.

On February 14, 1963, Highland Village incorporated as an official city with a vote of 53 “for” and seven “opposed.” Lakewood, Highland Lake, Holiday and Clearwater subdivisions made up the city at that time. History tells us many people from Highland Park built weekend getaways here and some were making it their permanent homes so when a name needed to be chosen, the founding fathers chose “Highland” and added “Village” because there was an already established feeling of closeness and cooperation and they wanted to retain that in the future. I believe over the years that feeling of closeness and cooperation has remained and grown. Having grown up here and then moved back as an adult with my family I have seen many examples of our community working together to help those in need, to support a project or initiative, or gather together in celebration. Alternatively, we have certainly seen differing opinions on how Highland Village should develop and operate and that has also made us stronger and better.

As we look to commemorate 60 years of Highland Village, we will have several different campaigns for your enjoyment and even participation throughout the year. First, the city is asking the community to share any photos you have from the last 60 years that tell Highland Village’s story. We have jokingly said photos of community members with beehive hairstyles and bell-bottoms are welcome, and they are, but so are your pictures in nylon workout suits and the big hair of the 80’s. If you have photos you would like to share, please send them to [email protected] and include your name, approximately when the photo was taken and a little something about the picture. We will share these photos throughout the year via social media and other outlets. We are also putting together and throughout the year will share 60 Facts about Highland Village and I will post a monthly video with some historical or trivia information. We are proud of the community Highland Village has grown into and believe our founding fathers would be as well. Let’s have some fun commemorating 60 years of Highland Village and, who knows, we all might learn some things about this city we call home.

We have a few projects that have been in the works that are wrapping up. The Highland Village Road sidewalk is nearly complete and will provide a safe route for walking, running, or bicycling along Highland Village Road. Our residents on the northeast side of the city now have a connection to safely walk or ride to Lakeside Community Park, Lions Club Park, Wichita Forest, Doubletree Ranch Park and Copperas Branch Park. Our residents on the west side will be happy to know that the Chapel Hill sidewalk is also nearing completion, which provides access to the main trail system without having to cross FM 2499. This new sidewalk connection crosses over the KCS Railroad tracks on the west side of FM 2499 and connects the trails in Chapel Hills to the main spine of our trail system and the tunnel under FM 2499.

We are also nearing the end of our comprehensive plan update. The Our Village, Our Vision project began in the fall of 2021 when City Council approved the contract with McAdams to update our comprehensive plan and other master planning documents. The project has taken place in three phases:

Explore – The first phase of the project was the community input phase where we held an all-day open house, an open house in conjunction with the HVBA Community Coffee, and a month-long online engagement opportunity. Between these three opportunities, we received comments from over 300 residents. Input from property owners, staff, and Council was also included. McAdams held two specific focus groups to gather input from users of our trail system and from the teens of Highland Village for needed park and recreation opportunities. A 300-sample statistically valid survey was also part of the project.

Envision – The second phase was the envisioning phase where McAdams gathered all the information provided in the community engagement, meetings with property owners, the statistically valid survey, the focus groups, the economic market analysis, and input from staff, Council, and Planning & Zoning to develop the planning documents.

Recommend – We are now in the final phase of the process. There have been multiple review discussions of the rough draft plans, Council and Planning & Zoning input, and an additional open house in November 2022. Council will consider approval of the plans at our February meetings where a public hearing is required prior to the vote. All of this is scheduled for our February 14th meeting.

The city provides many ways for you to stay informed and aware of projects, initiatives and events. You can sign up for the monthly email newsletter, The Villager, and the bi-weekly City Manager’s Report. You can also follow the City, Parks, Police, Fire, and Experience Highland Village on Facebook and Instagram. The city streams public meetings on the website and on its YouTube channel; just go to youtube.com/highlandvillagetx and subscribe to receive notifications when a video is live. At the Stay Notified link on the city website, you can sign up to receive notifications of events, news, public meetings, and emergency alerts. Council meetings are open to the public, both the early work session and the regular session. Be aware about what is happening in our city by using the tools at your disposal to find the information you need, when you need it. Additionally, you can ask me, other Council members, or city staff if you have a question about something or want more information. We welcome the opportunity to share information. Another great way to interact with us is my Coffee with the Mayor events which take place the first Monday of every month from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. at Sip Stir Coffee House. The next Coffee with the Mayor will be on Monday, Feb. 6th. Hope to see you there!

I appreciate the opportunity to serve as mayor and hope to see you around!

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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