WESTLAKE TOWN COUNCIL ADOPTS UPDATED COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
After more than a year’s worth of meetings, workshops, and public hearings, Westlake Town Council adopted a new Comprehensive Plan this week. The updated plan realistically addresses inevitable growth associated with the Highway 114 Corridor, focusing on Land Use, Thoroughfares, Open Space/Parks/Trails, Town Design, Emergency Facilities/Town Hall, Water Conservation, Housing, and Economic Development.
Residents packed Westlake Town Hall Monday night, with the majority speaking in favor of the plan, which had been amended in response to concerns of the Thoroughfare element. The amendments included deleting the connection of east Dove Road to Solana Boulevard, and reflecting east Dove Road as a “roadway of special consideration,” meaning it has the potential to be perceived as having an adverse effect on adjacent properties. Therefore, serious consideration regarding design, along with public hearings, should be held prior to final approval.
Preserving rural landscape and tranquility, promoting education and conservationism, offering distinctive recreation opportunities, preventing traffic congestion, and providing sufficient emergency services and infrastructure to serve future growth are number one priorities for Westlake residents. Those concerns were expressed by residents and stakeholders throughout the year during Public Input Workshops, Public Hearings, Town Council and Planning & Zoning meetings, as well as at Coffee and Conversation with the Mayor.
Mayor Laura Wheat shared with attendees at a workshop some of the challenges Westlake is faced with going forward, considering the Town used to be on the very far edge of urban growth. “There are those here who remember 114 as a two lane road and the pie lady who sold homemade pies along Dove Road once a week,” she said. “But we’re not on the edge anymore. We are in the center. And we have all the problems that all of the suburbs in the metroplex have faced or are facing.”
Even though Westlake is facing similar problems that other suburbs face, Mayor Wheat made it clear that Westlake is very different, which is the real challenge. “Westlake does not want to be anyone’s suburb. The word alone makes me cringe, and I am betting that the same is true for each of you. Simply put, we do not want to suburbanize our Town,” she said. “And the Comprehensive Plan is being designed to help us avoid that fate. It is being designed so that Westlake is Westlake, with its own unique sense of place – a true oasis in an ever-expanding urban landscape.”