On Wednesday, November 15th, at 6:30 p.m. the public is invited to attend a meeting where the South Castell Visioning Plan will be presented and discussed. This is the fifth in a series of planned public meetings to involve the community in the visioning process that is underway for the South Castell area in downtown New Braunfels. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at New Braunfels City Hall, 550 Landa Street.
Previously, on July 17th, the public had its fourth opportunity to provide their input and suggestions on the City’s South Castell Avenue Visioning Plan project during a televised joint meeting of the New Braunfels City Council and Industrial Development Corporation (NBIDC). As in the preceding four public meetings, this gave residents, and property and business owners another opportunity to see the progression of the plan since the prior meeting and to provide their input. The November 15th meeting will continue this progression. Additional public meetings are anticipated as the vision continues to evolve.
“Preceding the November 15th public meeting, we will offer tours of the site,” said City Manager Robert Camareno. “Being able to see the site in its current condition, and then working with our consultants Douglas Architects to visualize what could be is an important part of this process. The visioning process is very visual, and we think this will be a good opportunity to communicate the work that has been done, and how we have utilized the feedback we have received through this public process so far. We hope everyone will mark their calendars now to reserve time that afternoon for participation in a site visit.”
Tours will be available at 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – at 424 S. Castell Avenue. More information will be provided prior to the tours about parking, meeting locations, etc.
“This is an historic opportunity for our community. Developing a vision and discovery document that helps guide the development is the most responsible way to approach this project. It communicates to the development community what is important to the citizens of New Braunfels and our expectations for the area,” said Mayor Barron Casteel. “This is a true citizen-led process, unlike traditional development, and a way for the City to emphasize what is important to us as a community.”
“This plan will help to advance the goals of a citizen-led process from the 2012 Economic Development Strategic plan, which recommended the city facilitate the development of a large downtown investment to support recreational, cultural, and tourism amenities in New Braunfels. This is a lengthy process that will go on for a number of years,” added Camareno.
There are several more years of work to complete the project. Next steps include: a sixth public input meeting in January of 2018, finalizing the plan and adoption by the City Council, creating a new zoning district, constructing a public works facility to house City operations and equipment still at the Castell Avenue location, qualifying development groups that would be a good fit for New Braunfels, establishing a Design Review Committee, soliciting requests for proposal for construction and negotiating a final development agreement.
“We have received a lot of good feedback in the previous public meetings and we’re excited about the community engagement this project has generated,” Camareno said. “It is important for everyone to remember that this is a visioning plan and that even after this effort is over and the plan is adopted by City Council, there will still be public involvement in this process. When the City is ready to move forward, we will be prepared to secure a developer who will be committed to the vision of the community.”