Public convenes: Open house focus on draft update

Published on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 22:53 - Written by KELLY GOOCH

Historic preservation and development were some of the subjects community members expressed interest in Wednesday during an open house event for a draft update of the Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan.

More than 80 people attended the come and go event, where they could ask questions about different chapters of the plan and provide input.

Tyler 1st, formerly Tyler 21, “defines a vision for the future linked to overall goals and policies, and it contains strategies and action items for achieving the goals,” according to a gathering notice.

Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie said it “calls for updating every five years.”

The comprehensive plan addresses issues, such as transportation and circulation; parks, open space, recreation and lakes; historic preservation; business and economy; downtown; and north end revitalization. The newest chapter is education.

Native Tylerite Ken Barron, 77, said he’s always been interested in the city of Tyler and was “listening and learning” at the open house. He said he’s interested in the history and future of the community.

Tyler resident Randy Mallory, 64, lives in the Azalea District. He said one thing he’s interested in is historic preservation, and he believes that it’s good to have a plan like Tyler 1st in place.

Tyler resident Laura Alexander, 37, said she is interested in the city’s plans for development.

Tyler resident Myranda Diduch, 26, said she, too, is interested in development in Tyler, as well as Loop 49, which is close to where she lives.

Overall, Ms. Guthrie and City of Tyler Planning Director Heather Nick said they were pleased with Wednesday’s turnout.

“It really shows how much the community is behind the comprehensive plan,” Ms. Nick said.

She said earlier this week that feedback from the open house, along with a draft update of the plan, will go to the Tyler Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as the Tyler City Council, for consideration. The updated comprehensive plan is expected to go to the city council for final consideration in April, Ms. Nick said.

Last month, Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee members received implementation plan updates from City Engineer Carter Delleney, Parks & Recreation Director Stephanie Rollings and Ms. Nick. They also heard updates from Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle, managing director of public safety, and Ms. Guthrie.

Among the items, Delleney said is reviewing policies and Texas laws “to implement shared lanes for bicycles” and requiring bus bay turnouts “for major new developments in the site plan and building permit process.”

Ms. Rollings said items also include developing a “Green-up the Gateway” plan and developing Gladys and T.B. Stewart Park as a heritage park.

Ms. Nick addressed historic preservation and future land use.

She said items include conducting a heritage tourism development study and developing and implementing a Black History Month Program.

Swindle discussed north end revitalization.

As areas are developed in the north end, he said the idea is to add pocket parks, green space, “anywhere we can utilize trail systems.”

In discussing downtown, Ms. Guthrie said last month that items include marketing for downtown and “working to strengthen businesses and recruit new businesses to downtown.”

As far as business and the economy, she has said items include more sports tourism, “continuing to promote oil and gas industry” and “working with key stakeholders to grow residency programs in Tyler.”

With the newly added education chapter, she said there are many items, such as working with Tyler ISD on implementation of its strategic plan, “implement strategies developed by the Business Education Strategic Plan” and evaluating businesses and their internship and mentoring programs.

She said other education items include determining five key outcomes the community wants to see with academic achievement and developing public service ad campaigns.

Information about the comprehensive plan is available at .