UDC Amendments take effect April 1

Changes to the Unified Development Code that were approved by City Council on February 28, 2017, will take effect on April 1, 2017.  After numerous public meetings over the past year, Council approved several amendments to the code.  Most of these changes were based on previous updates to the City’s Comprehensive (2030) Plan and Elements in prior years.

The newly amended code is now published and available for download. The Development Manual will be updated to reflect those changes.  The red-lined chapters, as part of the Ordinance, will remain on the website so the changes can be seen. The primary changes made to the Unified Development Code from the existing regulations include:

  • Chapter 3 – Development Applications
    • Development Application Order
    • Plat Extensions
    • Establishing a Subdivision Variance process
  • Chapters 6 and 7 – Development Standards
    • Clarified setback requirements
    • Applicability of Chapters
  • Chapter 12 – Pedestrian and Vehicle Circulation
    • Pedestrian and Bicycle mobility
    • Streets
    • Driveways and Easement
    • Road Adequacy Standards
    • Established a formula for existing and future connectivity
    • Intersection spacing
    • Cul-de-sac- protection
  • Chapter 13 – Public Improvements
    • Codification of current practice for requesting voluntary annexation
  • Chapter 16 – Definitions
    • Modified definitions for transportation related items

To view the new UDC in its entirety, please go to the website: https://udc.georgetown.org/unified-development-code/ .

Questions can be directed to planning@georgetown.org.

Unified Development Code Amendments Office Hours

The City of Georgetown Planning Department will be hosting office visiting hours for anybody interested in learning more about the amendments, running through specific development examples, and addressing any questions you may have. Dedicated office hours will be held Wednesday, January 4 from  4 to 6 p.m.

To sign up for a specific appointment please email planning@georgetown.org. If a different time or day works better for you please do not hesitate to email us so we can arrange a separate time. UDC proposed changes can be found at udc.georgetown.org/udc-amendments.

Unified Development Code Amendments Proposed

Newspaper AdThe Unified Development Code (UDC) Advisory Committee will hold a public hearing and consider proposed amendments to the UDC on Wednesday, October 12th at 3:00. The proposed amendments primarily pertain to the transportation, utility, and subdivision provisions of the code. The UDC Advisory Committee and City staff have worked throughout the year discussing and refining draft language with the intent to improve City street and sidewalk design and ensure adequate public improvements through development. The draft proposals are now ready for further public discussion and input. The meeting on October 12th will be held at the Historic Light and Water Works Building at 406 W. 8th Street and will be followed by additional public meetings at dates to be determined. The proposed amendments can be found here.


Downtown Retail Workshop on June 16

A downtown workshop to focus on the commercial downtown area for the Retail Strategy and Recruitment Plan for Georgetown will be hosted by the City of Georgetown and Catalyst Commercial on June 16.

The City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Economic Development Corporation (GEDCO) have partnered with Catalyst Commercial, a leading expert in retail recruitment, marketing, and strategy to conduct a retail market analysis and create a Retail Strategy and Recruitment Plan customized for Georgetown.  This project will measure the current retail environment, address the types and locations of retail outlets that will be most beneficial for the citizens and successful for businesses, and create a more diversified retail environment in our community.

The workshop on June 16 will be a venue for downtown stakeholders to share their thoughts about Georgetown’s opportunities to attract and retain retail establishments in downtown.

The event is on Thursday, June 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street. A light breakfast will be provided.

Walk-ins are welcome. Help us prepare by RSVP to Andreina Davila-Quintero, City of Georgetown Project Coordinator, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14 at Andreina.Davila@georgetown.org or (512) 931-7686.  If you would like to learn more about this project, please visit https://invest.georgetown.org/retail-strategy-and-recruitment-plan/.

Historic Resource Survey Kickoff Meeting Feb. 4

The City of Georgetown is conducting an update of the Historic Resource Survey this year. A kickoff meeting to provide information on the update process will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 4 in the historic Light and Waterworks Building at 406 W. Eighth Street. (This is the east entrance to the red brick former power plant building with the smokestack.)

The Historic Resource Survey documents historic resources such as houses and other structures through fieldwork and research. Each historic resource is documented with photographs, maps, and a written description on a form. Structures in the city limits or extra-territorial jurisdiction that extends 3.5 miles beyond city limits are included in the survey.

The first Historic Resource Survey in Georgetown was conducted in 1984. It was updated in 2007. The current survey map can be seen online at historic.georgetown.org/historic-resource-survey.

Undertaking a survey to identify historic resources acknowledges that these resources have value to the community and future generations. Historic resources provide character, continuity and a sense of uniqueness to the community. The survey project is an opportunity to capture and preserve the stories of Georgetown’s unique and vibrant history.

If you have questions about the meeting or the overall project, contact Matt Synatschk, historic planner for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930‐3581 or matt.synatschk@georgetown.org.

Assistant City Manager to Lead Development for Georgetown

Wayne Reed webA deputy city manager from Centennial, Colorado, has been chosen as the new assistant city manager for the City of Georgetown. Wayne Reed will lead development-related departments in his new position with the City, which he will start on January 25. Reed was the top choice from a pool of 130 applicants from 27 states and Puerto Rico.

“Wayne has an extensive background in planning and community development that makes him an exceptional choice to help manage the tremendous growth that Georgetown is expected to experience over the next several years,” says City Manager David Morgan. “His innovative experience and leadership qualities will be instrumental in helping to guide and promote quality development as well as making Georgetown a smart place to invest.”

With more than 19 years of local government experience in both Colorado and Texas, Reed currently serves as the deputy city manager for the City of Centennial, Colorado. In that role, Reed oversees Community Development, Public Works, and the Office of Innovation for the growing Denver suburb with 107,000 residents. He previously served as Centennial’s community development director. Reed previously held the position of planning director for the Town of Berthoud, Colorado, and also served as a planner for the city of Arvada, Colorado, and Denton, Texas.

A graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design, Reed also served as a sergeant with the U.S. Army Reserve. Reed is a certified planning professional and a member of the International City/County Management Association, American Public Works Association, American Institute of Certified Planners, and the American Planning Association.

After he starts in Georgetown, one of Reed’s first projects will be to hire a new person to lead economic development efforts for the City. Reed joins two incumbent assistant city managers for Georgetown: Laurie Brewer and Jim Briggs.

Council to Consider Voluntary Annexations

The City Council is holding public hearings for four voluntary annexations at the January 12th and January 26th meetings. Council will consider action on these items on February 9th and a second reading to be determined. Most of the described properties below are being annexed in anticipation of future development.

Below are the properties with a location map of each:

  • Public Hearing for the voluntary annexation of 17.81 acres in the LJ Dyches Survey, located at 1000 FM 1460. Location Map
  • Public Hearing for the voluntary annexation of various additions to the Williams Drive right-of-way as conveyed to the City from Williamson County, from DB Wood through the Jim Hogg intersection.  Williams Dr ROW
  • Public Hearing for the voluntary annexation of 207.147 acres in the Addison Survey, located at 2750 County Road 110.  Location Map
  • Public Hearing for the voluntary annexation of 10.058 acres in the Francis Hudson Survey, located at 555 Rabbit Hill Road. Location Map

For questions about these annexation proposals, please contact Jordan Maddox at 512-930-3575 or the Planning Department front desk. Service Plans for each area are available online and at the Planning Department office at 406 W. 8th Street.

Georgetown Re-certified a Scenic City

Scenic City gold logo For the second time in five years, Georgetown was recently certified as a gold-level Scenic City by Scenic Texas. Georgetown was initially certified as a gold-level Scenic City in 2010 and was one of 20 cities to be certified or re-certified this summer.

Georgetown is one of 58 cities in Texas to be certified as a Scenic City. Georgetown was presented with its Gold Scenic City Certification on September 24 at the Texas Municipal League annual conference in San Antonio.

The Scenic City Certification Program incorporates a comprehensive set of model standards for design and development of public roadways and public spaces into a cohesive assessment program. The program draws a direct correlation between the success of a city’s economic development efforts and the visual appearance of its public spaces and recognizes municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards.

The Scenic City program includes a variety of criteria such as parkland designation, landscaping, historic preservation, sign restrictions, litter prevention, and other standards for public places. Achieving the Scenic City certification recognizes regulations and programs that improve property values and help to attract new businesses. Cities that qualify earn a five-year certification.

“Georgetown’s Scenic City Certification demonstrates its commitment to high-quality standards for public roadways and public spaces,” said Anne Culver, executive director of the Scenic City Certification Program. “This enhances Georgetown’s image which in turn drives economic development.”

Scenic City group 1b web

City employees who contributed to the Scenic City certification effort are (pictured left to right): Laurie Brewer, Kimberly Garrett, Jackson Daly, Nat Waggoner, Julie Dominguez, Karen Frost, and Mike Stasny.

Scenic Texas, the sponsor of the certification program, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the visual character of Texas by promoting enhanced design standards for public projects, sign regulation, freeway landscaping, and scenic byway development. Find out more at www.scenictexas.org.

Sidewalk Master Plan Receives Two Awards

The Sidewalk Master Plan will receive an award from the Central Texas American Planning Association. The award for Best Long Range Plan of 2015 will be presented at the association’s annual awards event on September 26 in Bastrop.

In October, the plan will be recognized during the annual conference of the American Planning Association Texas Chapter in Galveston.

“This plan includes a comprehensive assessment of our 144-mile sidewalk network,” says Ed Polasek, transportation services director for the City of Georgetown. “It prioritizes community-voiced needs and emphasizes collaboration with our school district, county, and regional transportation partners.”

The Sidewalk Master Plan, which was finalized last year, includes sidewalk projects for the next 10 years. Transportation bonds approved by Georgetown voters in May authorize $10 million for pedestrian accessibility in the next 10 years.

To view the interactive Sidewalk Master Plan or nominate sidewalk network issues in Georgetown city limits, please visit SidewalksAndFacilities.Georgetown.org.

Street Resurfacing August 6 – 21

Street resurfacing with a chip seal treatment on several Georgetown roads is scheduled for August 6 – 21 in the area south of University Ave as shown in the map.

Chip seal resurfacing involves applying a layer of emulsion to the roadway followed by a layer of small-sized gravel. Unless otherwise noted, the entire length of the roadway will be resurfaced.  The chip seal wear surface will extend the life span of the asphalt on the street by slowing oxidation and sealing cracks in the asphalt. This will also help defer costly street reconstruction.

Chip sealing operations will begin after 7:30 a.m. and will end by 5 p.m. each day. Look for electronic message boards or door flyers in the neighborhood with information about the resurfacing schedule.

This schedule is weather-dependent and could be changed if there is rain.

Drivers should expect delays and look for flaggers in a moving work area. Drivers should reduce their speed and increase the spacing distance between vehicles to reduce problems with loose rock on roadway.

Following the application of the chip seal, street sweeping will occur within 24 to 48 hours to sweep up any loose chips. Once the sweeping operation has been completed a sealing material called Fast Set will be applied to the chip seal surface. The Fast Set sealant will require a drying time of 20 to 30 minutes prior to being open to traffic.

The sealant will improve the driving surface and increase protection from the weather. Public notification about the street sealant work will be done before work starts.