Building a better city doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Good planning is essential. In order to build a better and improved Mesquite, the Planning Division has been involved in developing numerous current and long-range planning projects over the last two years that have all been recently adopted by the Mesquite City Council. These include the development of Traditional Neighborhood Districts, the Community Appearance Manual v. 1.0, the Comprehensive Plan Element for the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, and the Kaufman-Interstate 20 District.
In order to implement the City’s vision of an attractive, livable community, the Planning Division and the Planning and Zoning Commission crafted the Community Appearance Manual v. 1.0 which addresses the architectural design of development. Further, in an attempt to transform the visual image of the City and create sustainable, vibrant communities, the Planning Division has developed the Comprehensive Plan Element for the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). In its development of the ETJ Plan, the City’s Planning Department is on the cutting-edge of city planning, utilizing SmartCode® principles to achieve growth patterns that radically depart from the homogenous types of development that are so often associated with suburban sprawl. The study area includes 2.2 square miles of non-urbanized land within the City Limits, as well as 19 square miles within the ETJ. Finally, the Kaufman-Interstate 20 District was adopted by the Council as the first of the regulatory controls needed to implement the Comprehensive Plan Element for the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction.
The Planning Division is also working on developing the City’s first Unified Development Code (UDC) that will combine various development ordinances, including zoning, subdivision and sign ordinances into one code. A unified code will help assure that these ordinances work together and are consistent with one-another. This is especially important for form-based codes. The proposed UDC will emphasize the physical form of development, with less focus on land use.
With respect to neighborhood revitalization, Mesquite’s Planning Division has identified four targeted neighborhoods for revitalization: Truman Heights, Casa View Heights, Sherwood Forest and Mesquite Park. Each of these targeted neighborhoods worked with City staff to develop unique revitalization plans, with strategies for improving walkability, reconnecting the residential core to nearby services and preserving character through traditional neighborhood design standards. These four targeted neighborhoods are offered revitalization tools such as the Façade Improvement Program, Neighborhood Economic Development, Public-Private Partnerships, etc. Moreover, where applicable, the Planning Division has created Traditional Neighborhood Districts to help comprehensively revitalize these neighborhoods through form-based coding. These form-based development codes are specifically designed and calibrated to achieve the vision of the neighborhood residents. Each Traditional Neighborhood District is designed to include a network of well-connected streets and blocks, civic spaces, civic buildings, and have amenities such as stores, schools, offices, and places of worship within walking distance of residences. And further, each of the above-targeted neighborhoods have 5-year, major public works projects associated with them, focusing on either installing or replacing major neighborhood infrastructure like sidewalks, curbs and gutters, driveways and alleys, fire hydrants and street lights, water and sewer lines, or improving drainage. Combined, these revitalization projects contain more than $24 million worth of improvements to benefit residents.
To learn more about these projects, or the City’s development ordinances, please go to the Planning Division website or contact them by phone at 972-216-8109.