Comprehensive Plan leads Temple for next decade

Temple City Council at its Oct. 15 regular meeting unanimously approved the city’s comprehensive plan, a long-range planning document that outlines a blueprint for new development and redevelopment in Temple.

“This is 20 months of work put into one outstanding document,” Director of Planning Brian Chandler said. “It’s been a very thorough process and we have had a lot of input to develop a plan that we feel confident will be a good guide for future growth for at least the next 10 years. I think that is one of the most successful pieces of this plan – the amount of public input we received.”

City staff held more than two dozen meetings, including seven open houses, and sent out two electronic surveys to ensure continued public engagement following the onset of COVID-19. The plan is divided into four broad categories: community context, future development, direction and recommendations and implementation, which together define a vision for the future of Temple.

“As communities grow, they change,” Chandler said. “As Temple grows, we want to ensure we maintain a balance between our heritage and our future opportunities and proactively consider growth and development rather than react to it as it comes.”

Residents can expect to see updated guidance for future zoning cases and code amendments as well as the full thoroughfare plan put into effect.

This plan does not just focus on land use, as many often do, but rather incorporates population, economic development, transportation, downtown revitalization and other topics.

“This plan is somewhat unique in being truly comprehensive,” Chandler said. “It is difficult to envision successful development without public safety or a high-performing organization. That’s where the tie-in with the strategic plan, unlike a lot of comprehensive plans, is so important and something to be proud of.”

The comprehensive plan has four focus areas, outlines eight goals, 26 commitments and 170 initiatives. The plan aligns goals with their focus area, commitments with their goals and the initiatives that need to happen to achieve the commitments.

“Ultimately the plan proposed policy guidance on what the community has indicated they want related to growth,” Chandler said. “That helps council prioritize where and when to spend money.”

The approval of the comprehensive plan by city council was the final step in its completion and now paves the way for staff to begin its implementation.

“This is just the beginning,” Chandler said. “We will spend the next year working on tracking of the different 170 action steps and initiatives. In year two, we would look at additional staff to continue the oversight of this plan and ensure we are meeting the priorities that our community has identified.”

View the Temple 2020 Comprehensive Plan online.