Photo: Irving residents work in groups to lay out gaming chips across a large map of Irving at the Imagine Irving Comprehensive City Plan workshop on Tuesday, March 3. / Photo by Nick Kammerer
Dozens of Irving citizens gathered for two interactive public workshops to discuss the future of Irving on the third floor of the Irving Convention Center on Tuesday, March 3. Participants were able to collaborate with city officials and discuss the city’s comprehensive plan as a part of “Imagine Irving.”
“We did an update to the [comprehensive] plan nine years ago, and it is absolutely amazing to me how much our city has changed,” said Mayor Beth Van Duyne. “We have been looking to define what our vision is going to be in the future. We need all of your help. We know what we want right now, but we haven’t really planned long-term how we are going to get there.
“How many people want to have more shopping in Irving? How many people want more restaurants, entertainment options, more single-family homes, more school choices, more options for growth and more jobs? All of those things play a part, from our libraries to our recreation centers and roads.
“I will tell you, some of it is not sexy when we start talking about sewer systems and where we are going to get our water in 10-15 years. These might not be things you are thinking about right now, but all of this takes long term planning. Our staff is dedicated to getting there,” she said.
John Fregonese with Fregonese Associates, a team of nationally recognized, leading experts on long-range community planning and visioning, delivered a presentation to the attendees entitled, “Irving of the Future: The Choice is Yours!”
Residents worked in groups and utilized a large map of the city and gaming chips to outline future development strategies, including potential parks, roads, housing, hospitality, entertainment and more. Attendees also participated in a real-time survey using remotes to cast their vote. Many discussed the future of Irving schools, entertainment, restaurants, the Irving senior center and more.
Currently, Irving is home to over 229,000 residents, according to Fregonese’ presentation. By 2040, the population is projected to grow 27-percent to approximately 290,000. In addition, Fregonese found more residents would rather rent than own.
In February, the Imagine Irving comprehensive plan update was initiated, and the Imagine Irving team began gathering data and interviewing elected officials and city stakeholders.
In March and April, the city will hold a number of citywide workshops, similar to the initial meeting, and gather ideas and input from Irving residents. In May, the ‘Scenario Development’ phase begins, and the Imagine Irving Team will evaluate future growth scenarios and strategies based on the ideas of the public workshops. These strategies will be shared with the public.
In August, Imagine Irving will update Irving’s Comprehensive Plan Chapters in the ‘Plan Development’ stage. Finally, in early 2016 the City will begin the ‘Plan Adoption and Implementation’ stage.
For more information about upcoming workshops, visit www.imagineirving.org.
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