picture of town fountain

Centennial Master Plan

NEWS
EVENTS
MEETINGS
News Icon

Santa Around Town begins December 13!

News Icon

Write a letter to Santa Claus!

News Icon

Seasonal Reminders from UPPD.  

News Icon

COVID-19 Updates and Information.

News Icon

The Arbor - December 2021.

News Icon

UPPD Community Survey. Tell us how we are doing!

Events Icon

Tuesday, December 7 at 4 p.m. - Create & Chill with UP Public Library.

Events Icon

Tuesday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. - UPPL Friends Event - Meet Me at the Library with Tracy Walder

Events Icon

Tuesday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. - Elena's Children's Park Tree Lighting

Events Icon

Wednesday, December 8 at 10:45 a.m. - Preschool STEAM and Stories.

Events Icon

Thursday, December 9 at 10:45 a.m. - Toddler Story Time @ UPPL.

Events Icon

Thursday, December 9 at 6 p.m. - eBooks & More: Digital Collections Class @ UPPL.

Meetings Icon

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - City Council Meeting

Meetings Icon

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - City Council Meeting - CANCELLED

Meetings Icon

Tuesday, January 4, 2021 - City Council Meeting

VIEW ALL NEWS VIEW ALL EVENTS VIEW ALL MEETINGS
Latest news on Centennial Master Plan process

2021 Centennial Master Plan Town Hall
November 18, 2021
 
This month, we’re asking UP residents to again provide input that will help shape the City’s Centennial Master Plan. You may recall that last fall, the City hosted a virtual Town Hall to begin identifying areas of focus. Now that we have progressed to the later stages of the plan’s development, we have some specific questions for you to answer.  While some of your neighbors opted to attend an in-person Town Hall on November 17, the online presentation you are about to participate in contains the same interactive exercises and voting options that were available that night.   

Participate Now!
How did we get to this point?
 
Earlier this year, using data from the 2020 Town Hall, the City’s consultant identified a number of priority issues and ideas. That list was given to 10 focus groups for further study. From April to July, these groups met regularly to discuss and study topics ranging from city character to zoning and land use, to future technologies. More than 100 residents participated in this collaborative effort.
 
At the conclusion of this part of the process, each focus group developed a number of recommendations. Over the last several months, the recommendations were further refined by the City’s Leadership Team and by the members of our resident Master Plan Steering Committee.
 
In the weeks ahead, the steering committee, City staff,  and our  consultant will digest all of the input collected in this latest round of community outreach and continue building a draft document.  We hope to adopt our Centennial Master Plan in spring 2022, after the plan is presented to both the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council.

 
Special Joint Meeting of City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission
November 4, 2021
 
On November 3, the City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission held a joint-meeting to receive an update on the development of the City's Centennial Master Plan. The City's consultant, Gap Strategies provided an overview of the project's progress and next steps, including details for the upcoming Town Hall on November 17. Here is video of that hourlong meeting. 
 
  
Activities related to creation of a Centennial Master Plan 2019-2021

2019
 
Master Plan Steering Committee Appointed
October 2019
 

In preparation for the City’s 2024 Centennial, the City Council has asked for the development of a new master plan to assist the community with decisions and policies that will preserve and enhance the city for the next generation.  
 

In August, Council appointed former Mayor Pro Tem Bob Begert committee chairman.  Throughout September, residents wanting to volunteer for a spot on the committee had the opportunity to submit an online application. We shared information about the sign-up process in the Arbor and UPdate, on the City’s social media accounts, and on the City’s website.

In October, after a thorough review process, City Council appointed 15 steering committee members and a vice chair. Those selected represent a broad range of ages, expertise and neighborhoods. Applicants not selected for the steering committee will be asked to participate in the development of the plan through focus groups and other tasks during the course of the anticipated 18-month process.


Steering Committee Roster

  • Bob Begert, Chair
  • Dawn Moore, Vice Chair
  • Claire Baker
  • Alex Bell
  • Kelley Brown
  • Brad Cheves
  • Rita Clinton
  • Stephen Hudson
  • Francie Johnsen
  • Darrell Lane
  • Michael Malone
  • Dan McKeithen
  • Jenny Merkle
  • Jamie Slagel
  • John Stull
  • Laura Walsh
  • Chris Wright

2020
 
Consultant Selected & Next Steps
March/April 2020

Last year, Council initiated a project to update the City’s Master Plan beginning with appointment of a resident steering committee to help guide the process. A full roster of committee members can be found below. The primary task for the Committee was selection of a consultant to assist us with the project.

Following an RFP review process that evaluated multiple factors including experience, qualifications, methodology, references and cost, the Committee conducted interviews in late 2019. After a second interview, the Committee selected Gap Strategies as the finalist in early 2020. The City Council formally approved a contract for their service in February. In March, Gap Strategies joined city staff on-site for a project kick-off meeting with the Committee. The group shared ideas on aspirational outcomes for the master plan update and potential topics to be explored through this process.
 
Next steps include development of a survey to help refine and prioritize community issues to be addressed in the new Master Plan. Gap Strategies is working now to build a survey tool that can effectively gather this essential resident input. Rollout is anticipated this May, subject to COVID-19 precautions and disruptions. We are excited to hear from the community and are confident we have the right team to facilitate this important process.

Read more in April's Arbor. 

                                  


Master Plan - Community Survey 

June 2020
 

As a resident of University Park you now have the opportunity to take an online survey that will provide us with guidance on numerous long-term community concerns. 
 
The survey is 20 questions and takes just 10 minutes to complete. Gap Strategies, the consulting firm assisting us with the project, worked hard to strike a balance between length and the collection of needed information. Data collected from the survey will help to build a foundation for our new Centennial Master Plan. This fall, after Gap has had time to analyze findings, we will report back.  As the project progresses, there will be additional opportunities for resident input through town halls and stakeholder meetings. 


Thanks for your feedback!

August 2020

Using social media, our monthly publications and postcards that were sent to every household, in June and July we asked you and your neighbors to give the City guidance on several long-term community concerns. Response to the 20-question online survey was outstanding. More than 2,100 residents took part. Data from the questionnaire will help us build a foundation for our new Centennial Master Plan, a document that will serve the City for years to come. 

This fall, after our consulting firm has analyzed the findings and our resident steering committee has reviewed a summary, we will report back. As the project progresses, there will be additional opportunities for resident input through town halls and stakeholder meetings.


Participate Now - Master Plan Virtual Town Hall

November 2020

As you know, our Centennial Master Plan is in the early stages of development. This summer, many residents like yourself helped provide guidance on long-term community concerns through an online survey. As the data-gathering phase continues, you now have the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Town Hall!

The Virtual Town Hall will remain available through the end of the week, giving you the flexibility to participate at your convenience while maintaining elements of a traditional town hall. Participants will be guided through this virtual experience with an informational video, slideshow, and interactive exercises.

Tell us what you love about this community and what drives you crazy with an interactive mapping exercise (shown below). Even better, you'll be able to see what your neighbors have already shared! Most participants can expect to spend about 15 minutes completing the virtual experience.

This online format will provide a safe, self-paced experience while maintaining the collaborative nature of this engagement. An alternative option will be provided for those without online access. Contact Amanda Hartwick, Special Projects Coordinator at 214-987-5303 for more information.

Participate Now!



Click here for the full exhibits show in the Virtual Town Hall


2021
 

Centennial Master Plan: Virtual Town Hall Recap and Next Steps
February 2021
 

Efforts to update the City’s Master Plan are starting to take shape. After initial data-gathering involving a Community Survey last summer, a Virtual Town Hall was conducted just before the holidays. Participants were guided through the online experience with an informational video, slideshow, and interactive exercises. In less than two weeks, more than 1,000 residents participated! That’s far better than traditional Town Halls that are lucky to draw interest from 75 to 100 people.
 

Through an interactive mapping exercise we asked residents to share what they love about the community and what drives them crazy. We also asked for ideas on how to make our neighborhoods even better. With topics ranging from connectivity and traffic flow, to how to refresh commercial areas like Snider Plaza and Miracle Mile, we received nearly 200 comments. On average, participants spent about 15 minutes on the site, indicated their desire to furnish our resident steering committee with ample feedback and thought-provoking ideas.
 
The next phase of the project involves taking all of this information to focus groups for further study. Identified study areas are:
 

  • Big Bets: Looking to the Future

  • City Character and Aesthetics

  • Financial Sustainability

  • General Quality of Life

  • Parks, Trails, and Green Space

  • Public Safety

  • Public Works and Infrastructure

  • SMU/HPISD Relationship

  • Utilities and Community Connectivity

  • Zoning, Development and Lane Use

 
In the coming weeks, as the focus groups get to work, we’ll continue to report on our progress. The Centennial Master Plan remains on pace to be adopted by year-end. Between now and then we will be asking for more feedback and direction.   


Focus Group Work Begins

April 2021

A virtual orientation was held last month for new resident volunteers who are joining the Master Plan project. Residents have been divided into 10 focus groups and tasked with studying the following areas:

  • Big Bets: Looking to the Future

  • City Character and Aesthetics

  • Financial Sustainability

  • General Quality of Life

  • Parks, Trails, and Green Space

  • Public Safety

  • Public Works and Infrastructure

  • SMU/HPISD Relationship

  • Utilities and Community Connectivity

  • Zoning, Development and Land Use

 
Over the next several months, groups will meet to discuss these overarching topics in detail and develop numerous recommendations for each. This summer, as the focus group work concludes, our consultant will collect the entire batch of recommendations and begin assembling a draft Master Plan. This draft plan will then be presented to the community through a Town Hall for additional feedback and direction. After additional revisions, the plan will ultimately be presented to City Council for adoption by year-end. As always, we’ll continue to report on the progress of the plan in the coming months.
                                  


Focus Group Work Concludes
October 2021
 
Recently, the Master Plan focus groups concluded their independent work. From April to July, these groups met regularly to study and discuss various topics ranging from city character to zoning and land use. More than 100 residents participated in this collaborative effort.
 
Through this process, each group has developed a number of recommendations for the City’s long-term Master Plan. The City’s consultant Gap Strategies has taken these recommendations and organized them into five primary themes:
  1.  
  • Affirming Sense of Place
  • Assuring Connectivity
  • Innovative Governance
  • Preparing for the Future
  • Technological Integration


These themes will become the foundation of the plan. The recommendations will continue to be refined by undergoing a review by the City’s Leadership Team. Then, later this month, the Master Plan Steering Committee will meet to give another assessment of the goals and recommendations.

After the steering committee weighs in, Gap Strategies will compile the work into a draft plan. As the draft plan develops, the community will once again be asked to give input through a Town Hall format later this fall. We hope to have adoption of the final plan sometime in early spring 2022.    


Background - 1989 Master Plan

The last such effort, that took place more than 30 years ago, resulted from one of the most extensive community planning processes ever undertaken. More than 400 residents, as well as City staff, technical consultants, SMU faculty and staff, and other subject matter experts were involved in the development of that plan.
 
The 1989 Master Plan helped shape the allocation of resources for operational and capital needs, with nearly 200 objectives to accomplish. Of those, a substantial number are ongoing programs that are still in practice today.  One example is the City’s mile-per-year replacement of water and sewer mains, which has resulted in the complete replacement of nearly a third of the City’s aging water and sewer mains.
 
The 1989 Master Plan was formulated with  considerable input from residents through use of a steering committee, community surveys, and public listening sessions. An outside consultant supported staff, and the entire process took approximately 18 months to complete. To replicate this success, a similar public engagement process will be used for our Centennial Master Plan.
 
The 1989 Master Plan keyed on six overall principles:

  • Promote individual initiative in forging the community’s future;
  • Continue to operate the City on a sound, fiscally conservative basis;
  • Preserve and enhance neighborhood character;
  • Maintain and improve safety and security;
  • Rejuvenate aging streets and utilities;
  • Expand two-way communication.