Yes. With the goal of establishing environmentally responsible community, beautiful community, and destination activity centers, the Plan recommends to evaluate opportunities for the naturalization of existing park areas (Action ID 5.2.2, Page 212), establish or expand park design guidelines to improve environmental compatibility (Action ID 4.1.1, Page 207), and preserve natural habitat and educate the resident on wildlife through Brazos River Park Master Plan Update (Action ID 1.1.1, Page 169), Gannoway Lake Park Implementation ( Action ID 1.2.2, Page 178), Brazos River Park improvements, (Action ID 1.1.8, Page 175), and Cullinan Park Improvements ( Action ID 1.1.5, Page 172).
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The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (PROSMP) is one of eight City master plans that implements goals from the Comprehensive Plan. A review of the 2005 parks plan in 2016 revealed that 95 percent of the priority projects have been completed or designed. An update is required to evaluate future needs.
A comprehensive plan documents a City’s broad vision and roadmap. A comprehensive plan is comprised of base information, vision and goal statements, and a set of master plans that outline objectives and strategies for land use, transportation, infrastructure and public facilities, including possible future capital improvements, development regulations, or major policies. The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (The Plan) must help achieve the goals from the Comprehensive Plan so that the City’s resources and efforts are aligned to achieve the same vision and goals. The specific goals from the Comprehensive Plan PROSMP aims to achieve are:
The PARCS Board is a citizen advisory Board that has provided feedback and is a sounding board for ideas and recommendations for the update. The Board has also participated in stake holder meetings and other forms of public input. They provided the recommendation to the City Council to adopt the plan on November 14, 2017.
Opportunities for participation in the planning included stakeholder meetings, statistically valid resident survey, public open houses and input gathered from Online Town Hall. Residents were encouraged to provide their input through notices in the Sugar Land Today publication, E-news Blasts, social media, and print media. The option to further comment was available online in conjunction with the posted Draft Master Plan. The public also had the opportunity to speak at public hearings at the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meetings when the Plan was on the Agenda for recommendation and approval.
Yes. The Online Town Hall summary report can be found in Appendix A of the Plan. The statistically valid resident survey results can be found in Appendix D of the Plan. The summaries of the all public engagement activities are captured in Chapter 2 of The Plan.
The plan identifies facilities and programs that residents would like to see added or improved. Based on community input the City will prioritize the needs. The highest priorities will receive the most consideration for future funding through the City’s Capital Improvement Program and Operating budgets.
Yes, Greatwood and New Territory are considered in the Master Plan. Since The Plan draft is completed before the annexation, the numbers for the current population and parkland area do not count these two subdivisions. However, the study area of The Plan includes the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which includes Greatwood and New Territory. The park service area, inventory, analysis, plan recommendations and implementation action plan all consider Greatwood and New Territory as part of the community. Residents of the 2 communities were encouraged to provide input through the on-line town hall.
This will depend on the cost associated with the program or development. The Plan’s forecast is 10 years, but the implementation will begin upon the adoption of The Plan in 2018 and be phased over this ten-year period. The City budgets for improvements annually based on the funding available. For larger construction projects, a future bond election would be anticipated.
First, a recommended list of projects was developed based on public engagement and a parks inventory and analysis. The identified projects were then categorized in accordance with the five goals from the Comprehensive Plan. As the steering committee, PARCS Board members were asked to rate each project to three priority levels: High Priorities, which are recommended to start in 1-3 years; Moderate Priorities, which are recommended to start in 4-6 years; and Longer-Term Priorities, which are recommended to start in 7-10+ years. The PARCS Board then performed a prioritization workshop as a group to conclude the priorities as a team. A prioritized Implementation Action Plan was then developed based on the PARCS Board’s consensus, how realistic the timelines are, the potential cost of the projects, and the community’s input. The Implementation Action Plan was then presented to PARCS Board again for feedback and approval.
Yes, the Master Plan recognizes the high-utilization of the T.E. Harman Center and identifies it as a high priority to perform a study of the T.E. Harman Center facility to determine if it can be enlarged or expanded to increase space and programming opportunities (Action ID 2.1.5, Page 190). It also recommends to evaluate the feasibility of discontinuing non-resident memberships (Action ID 2.1.1, Page 187). Once The Plan is adopted, staff will work on the related strategies accordingly to address this issue.
The plan’s recommendations are long-term in nature and also include recommendations to pursue strategies for alternative funding, such as partnerships, sponsorships, and fee adjustments. Regardless of when implemented, however, the implementation of the recommendations in the plan will be fiscally constrained by the City’s annual budget and long range budget forecast but alternative funding methods may be pursued to help offset reduced funding. For example, for City hosted events, the City will pursue increased sponsorships.