The City's preparation plans for the 1.1 million people expected to move to the San Antonio area by 2040 are continuing to develop and take on a more solid form by way of the three-tiered initiative SA Tomorrow. But there is still more work to be done before the drafts of the plans are presented to City Council for adoption in June.
The most critical piece, according to officials, is public input. One way citizens can participate is through online surveys and the Comprehensive Plan survey is now live. To take the survey in English, click here. For the Spanish survey, click here.
"(The initiative) basically provides the criteria so that the decision making bodies have a standard to go by to make those decisions," said John Dugan, director of the City Department of Planning and Community Development.
The SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan is made up of the Sustainability Plan, which focuses on managing environmental, economic, and social resources, and the Multimodal Transportation Plan, which determines how to develop effective, city-wide transportation methods.
The final draft of the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan – which will also include concrete plans concerning areas such as residential development and health and wellness, among other things – will serve as the model for City leaders to go by when adjusting to accommodate the city's future widespread growth. To see the current draft goals, policies, and neighborhood place types, click here.
With public engagement as a key effort in the drafting process, SA Tomorrow organizers will continue to seek community input in April with "educational meetings and working groups," Dugan said, as well as a community-wide open house in May, the date of which will be announced at a later date, to gather last minute feedback on the initiative before the final draft is published.
They are also seeking the public's participation in several online surveys. San Antonio residents have the opportunity to voice their opinions on a range of topics including the city's future residential development practices and how to maintain its economic competitiveness.
A recently-released transportation survey, created by SA Tomorrow in collaboration with VIA Metropolitan Transit, is also available, and seeks community input regarding the shaping of the regional transportation system. Especially with the current debate concerning a potential light rail to relieve worsening traffic congestion in the city, citizens are encouraged to share their opinions. To take the transportation survey, click here.
"There's been a lot of planning here, about three years worth, and it's finally coming together with thousands of people involved, hundreds of volunteers and organizations involved," Dugan said. "We're coming down to the home stretch."
*CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that SA Tomorrow would present the final draft of plans to City Council in May, but SA Tomorrow confirmed that it is anticipating presenting the final draft in June.
*Top image: A sign displaying SA Tomorrow near the grotto. Photo by Scott Ball.