COMMENTARY, MOSTLY ABOUT PFLUGERVILLE

Smart Growth: Early History in Pflugerville

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The minutes of the Pflugerville City Council meeting of March 25, 2003, includes as an attachment (located at the end of the minutes) an open letter to the mayor from one of the City Council members. The content of the letter indicates that smart growth and traditional neighborhood design were controversial issues in Pflugerville in 2003.

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Some Additional Items and References Relevant to the History of Smart Growth and New Urbanism in Pflugerville

PCDC: In a Web page for the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, it is stated: "Our city leaders are dedicated to facilitating smart growth while diversifying the tax base, and to providing strong support to both commerce and community."

Highland Park: The homes in the Highland Park subdivision have some features such as back alleys, front porches, and relatively short setbacks that are typical of New Urbanist developments. Highland Park is a fairly new development. Preliminary plans for Phase A and Phase B were approved by the City Council in April of 2003.

Claude's Corner: A small mixed-use development was proposed for some land located at the intersection of Pfennig Lane and East Black Locust Drive a few years ago. It never materialized. Some reactions to the proposal can be found here.

SH 130 and SH 45 Corridor Development Strategy: An introduction and the final report for this study can be accessed at this page within the official City of Pflugerville Website. The corridor zoning regulations are based in part on the SmartCode. An IPS Group Web page provides information about how this came to be.

Smart-Growth Video: A video promoting smart growth began making appearances on TV Channel 10 in late 2006 and is still accessible here from the City of Pflugerville website. When the smart growth video is accessed, it is preceded by an introduction that was not a part of the original production.

The original smart growth video was produced by the Smart Growth Network with sponsorship by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA catalog number is 231-V-98-001. The V stands for video and the 98 indicates the year (1998). More information about the video can be found on page 234 of Urban Sprawl: A Reference Book by Donald C. Williams. This book is available at the Round Rock Public Library (catalog number 307.76 WIL).

Peter Calthorpe, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and James Howard Kunstler are among those prominent in the New Urbanism and smart growth movements who appear in the video.

For a critical assessment, see "Smart Growth at the Federal Trough: EPA's Financing of the Anti-Sprawl Movement" by Peter Samuel and Randal O'Toole (November 24, 1999).

In addition to the smart growth video, there are links to two articles very strongly promoting smart growth that have recently been posted on a City of Pflugerville Web page. These are

"Higher-Density Development: Myth and Fact"

"Ten Principles for Smart Growth on the Suburban Fringe"

The same criticism that was applied to EPA sponsorship of the smart growth video also applies to the second article, which also apparently had EPA sponsorship.

Apparently, no links to any literature critical of smart growth are now posted on any of the City of Pflugerville Web pages. The same kind of criticism of the promotion of smart growth by a government agency can also be applied to the uncritical promotion of smart growth by the City of Pflugerville.

Pacana

A mixed-use development named Pacana in a triangular tract of land facing West Pecan Street in Pflugerville is being planned.

An article about Pacana entitled "Plans begin for mixed-use center" by Kristen McLaughlin appeared in the July 31, 2008, issue of The Pflugerville Pflag.
Relevant links for Pacana
Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative, LLC. - TPUDC
1. First click on "portfolio"
2. Then click on the map location of Pflugerville
Go Global Properties
Click on "Acquisition & Development" and then find "Pecan St. Plaza"
Also see "Pacana - Pflugerville: A Mixed-Use Development Is Planned for the South Side of Pecan Street in Pflugerville" by Amy Stansbury (Community Impact, September 5, 2008).

More about Pacana

"Pacana * Mixed-Use District"

"Marketing Packet"

"Charrette Book"

About The Rise of the Creative Class

Photograph: Taken in November 2007 on East Main Street outside of the Pflugerville City Hall buildings.


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