• December 9, 2016

Cove council talks transportation, business needs

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 8:00 pm

COPPERAS COVE — The City Council’s special workshop Wednesday focused on improving the city through a new transportation master plan.

Project Manager Chris Stewart, with K. Friese and Associates, and Alex Flores, project planner for Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., the two businesses working with the city to update the city’s comprehensive plan, discussed land use, housing patterns and ways to boost business.

“U.S. 190 B remains the most significant service and retail center in the city of Copperas Cove, and that the city has grown 2.5 times in area since 1994. The connection between transportation and land use must be carefully considered during the development process,” Stewart said during the meeting at the Economic Development Corporation. “Our goal is to develop a more diverse selection of housing choices and prices, streamline the permitting process and make sure there are places for people to live at every stage of their life.”

One of the goals is to develop, retain and expand existing businesses and support small-business development, Stewart said.

The intent is to provide zoning flexibility for downtown that matches economic development recommendations, Stewart said.

Stewart said officials will work on retention, expansion and recruitment by regularly visiting existing businesses to determine their needs, develop a packaged industrial building plan and develop a retail recruitment strategy.

A framework for how the city will spend money and make decisions on roads, sidewalks, trails and transit over the next decade also was discussed.

Flores said residents are not happy about the conditions of the sidewalks in Cove, but projects are underway to improve the situation.

“Avenue D is receiving sidewalk improvements to incentivize economic revitalization,” Flores said.

Feedback from residents will help determine a project list and priorities. The input will guide zoning decisions and serve as a basis for capital expenditure plans.

“When we’re talking about the city in the long term, no one knows better than the people that live here what they want,” Flores said. “Getting them to respond to us is historically very difficult. Activities like this create ways to get that feedback.”

“When someone asks us why we did something first, we can say, ‘Because people told us that’s what they wanted,’” he said.

Any questions or concerns about the master plan or comprehensive plan may be directed to Kevin Keller, the city’s public information officer, at kkeller@copperascovetx.gov or 254-547-4221, or to Charlotte Hitchman, a city planner, at chitchman@copperascovetx.gov or 254-547-4221.

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