Last Wednesday the City Council met in the UTA Planetarium for a four hour meeting concerning the City's needs, reaching into the future for the next 5-10 years. It was a workshop session that had us identify factors that not only affect our city but also exist on a state and federal level. In other words we were asked to consider all the factors that local government could face with consideration to all levels of Societal Trends, Political Factors, Economic Climate, Industrial Trends and Technological Factors. We were also asked to consider what the Citizen Expectations were and also our Employee Expectations. Then we were asked what our challenges were for the future in trying to attain these goals. What supports success and what will be the obstacles confront us. After about three hours we then voted on the top five goals that the Council should be pursuing. These are the results:
1. Continue to focus on the Entertainment District
2. Economic Development
3. Update the Comprehensive Plan for the City
4. Intensify Code Compliance/Public Safety
5. Articulate and address Future Vision for Housing
Entertainment District-Arlington has become a destination city with events where people come from all over to see and participate. The proximity of DFW, Dallas and Ft. Worth contribute to this venue. We certainly want to promote our events and the attraction of new complexes such as a destination hotel etc.
Economic Development-It is important that the city invests within itself. Once that happens then other investors will consider development of the city and as an end result our collective tax base will increase. Which means your houses will be worth more.
Comprehensive Plan-The current comprehensive plan was update and adopted in 1992. That's right its 20 years old. We need to adopt a new plan for the city and we need to make sure that we update that plan in a more timely fashion.
Code Compliance/Public Safety-2/3's of our general fund is consumed by our requirement to keep our citizens safe. We need to make sure that we have at our disposal the most progressive and advanced equipment and the best trained personnel to keep us safe from harm. Also it is imperative that we maintain a certain set of living standards for our community. These standards have to be modernized as technology evolves. It is important that the city reconstitute itself, and maintain its stand of living through revising/complying with updated code.
Address Housing-apartments, that four letter word, are truly a dilemma in our city. Planning and Zoning from the past has been very detrimental to the makeup of this city. There are way to many apartments and I know we would all like more single family dwellings. This however is impossible, due solely to the cost to reconstitute and develop the land. To get an apartment building back to raw build able land cost millions. 67% of all the door knobs in District 1 are multi family. Amazing isn't it! The city simply doesn't have the funds to buy up all the apartments and give the land to developers. As a Council we need to look at each project and insure that it benefits the city now and 30 years from now. It can be done and it needs to be done right from this point forward.
Well this is the kinda stuff that I do in my spare time. Just thought that I give you some insight as to what down the road looks like.