Sustainability involves ensuring that projects and programs are socially, fiscally, and environmentally responsible. All of the previously stated goals involve sustainability at some level. The following goals are intended to promote general best practices from the standpoint of administration, customer service, and the environment.
- Align with changes to comprehensive plan
- Address tasks listed in the diagnostic report
- Change based on staff needs and Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council feedback
A comprehensive plan should be updated every 5 to 10 years to ensure that it is maintaining relevance for the community. However, for a fast-growing community such as Burleson, plans should be updated more frequently. A strategy should be developed to review portions of the plan annually and systematically update portions each year so that the updates are not overwhelming and daunting tasks.
The zoning ordinance has not been updated comprehensively for 10 years. The following updates/modifications are needed:
The Subdivision and Development Ordinance provides regulations for platting and infrastructure construction for development projects. Upon completion of updates to the Master Mobility Plan and the rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance, changes to the Subdivision and Development Ordinance will be required.
The landscape ordinance and sign ordinance each require changes for clarity and modernization. Recommended modifications to the landscape ordinance include clarification on tree and shrub species and determining how water-wise landscaping may be incorporated. The sign ordinance should be updated to clarify design standards and to reduce visual clutter associated with signs.
City staff currently has somewhat standardized templates for staff reports that provide an analysis of varying types of development cases. The reporting format of the analysis can be a bit wordy and cumbersome at times. Standard templates should be developed to ensure consistency between developments.
Currently, City staff evaluates zoning cases based on general compliance with the comprehensive plan and overlay standards. While this is effective, there also could be more information allowing a more objective evaluation of cases, based on criteria such as impacts to traffic, connectivity, floodplain, parkland, environmental sustainability, etc.
Goal 18. Develop and Refine Programs and Policies to Promote Environmental Sustainability[Show][Hide]
Action 18.c. Update the design criteria manual to require and encourage more realistic permanent best management practices (BMPs), Low Impact Development (LID) and green building strategies [Show] [Hide]
There are multiple committees within the City with varying degrees of environmental focus. Such committees should be defined and identified in a comprehensive list. To maximize resources, it is important to ensure that there are not overlapping efforts and identify potential partnerships. It may be necessary to develop a steering committee of members from each committee to meet annually or semi-annually to discuss activities of each group.
This action is in tandem with Action 16.d. Water-wise landscaping requires less water/irrigation and provides more chance for long-term success. A review of the landscape ordinance should be conducted to identify ways to encourage xeriscaping and native plantings.
Many of the current stormwater best management practices within the City's design standards are ineffective and written such that the standards are not clear. Alternatives to these methods should be evaluated and integrated stormwater management (iSWM) techniques considered, including possible adoption of the NCTCOG iSWM tiered implementation plan where the City's ordinances may be used to achieve iSWM goals without actually adopting the full iSWM manual.
The Engineering Division has a current, ongoing plan for studying a grouping of watersheds each year. Each watershed study evaluates opportunities for regional or shared detention rather than smaller, individual detention ponds which have a tendency to be poorly maintained. This practice should be continued to ensure that floodplain maps are accurate and flood hazards are identified.
As a community of choice, Burleson seeks to provide the highest level of customer service to its citizens and the development community. The City should consider conducting annual surveys of its residents and applicants to gauge satisfaction and identify areas for potential improvement.
Ensuring transparency and accuracy of information are critical for the City to maintain a trusting relationship with the community. Technology provides opportunities to increase communications through live-streaming meetings and providing previously recorded meetings on-demand. An expanded social media presence providing up-to-date information on proposed developments and upcoming decisions can also help to build rapport and combat misinformation. In addition, in-person office hours or City staff representatives speaking to community groups can help with offline outreach.
The City strives to be responsible stewards of the community's tax dollars. Fiscal responsibility should be supported by supporting the diversification of the City's tax base and by utilizing partnerships when possible to maximize resources. The City should also consider fiscal impacts of development decisions, which can be quantified through the use of a fiscal impact model or other analytical tool to identify cost/benefit of a proposed development.