By David Tuma, Publisher
The City of Belton is working on developing a comprehensive plan for land use called the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Department and the Parks and Recreation Department have been working together to develop a plan dealing with high growth. In a recent survey, quality of life was listed number one by those responding.
It is a detailed plan including the current government, government facilities and services to historical preservation. It is a guide for growth and developments in order to create an overall vision of the future.
This is the second part of the series.
The Miller Heights Truck Sewer is at capacity and will need to be expanded as development occurs. Belton owns 25 percent of the Temple-Belton Wastewater Treatment Plant. This facility serves the entire community. Drinking water for Belton comes from Lake Belton. Belton developed a water master plan in 2008.
The future growth area of I-14 and I-35 is served by Dog Ridge WSC. There are issues involved with growth and dealing with four different water districts in that area including Salado WSC, Central Texas WSC and WSC.
There have been issues in the past with internet service providers not serving new subdivision with fiber optic service.
The plan gets into detail on each area the city covers including annexation, design standards, planning and zoning, building codes and the council itself.
Belton’s population is estimated to be around 32,000 by 2035. Near 80,000 in 58 years.
Killeen is by far the largest community in the area with a population of 127,000 dwarfing Temple’s 2010 population of 66,000. The development of I-14, the growth of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Belton’s school district will contribute to this growth.
Belton borders an interstate, which is positive. This gives Belton and advantage of being detached from the interstate from a visual perspective. The open space downtown and Nolan Creek are the centerpiece. There are good retail and dining places available. There are extensive trails that is a major asset. Future development of the trail system is encouraged.
The façade grants program for downtown is a positive asset in the development of downtown. The encouragement of incoming restaurants and retail shops is encouraged. Experiencing a district with a strong emphasis on the arts is a very powerful driver of commercial activity. Creating an arts district will be a powerful force making Belton more a destination place.
The UMHB Performing Arts Center will be a huge asset to the community. The 546- seat theatre is a $20-million investment on Main Street. Crusader Stadium for the 2016 National Champion Crusaders is also a draw for Belton.
Entrance corridors are important to any community. The enhancement of 6th Street is planned. South Main is noted in the plan as a gateway that needs developing.
Belton has five designated areas that have been called out as historical districts. The Lower West Belton Historical District built between 1870 and 1935. The majority of these are fine homes. South Main Historical District contains ten structures built from the 1880’s to 1935. Downtown contains 120 properties. Several of these buildings were constructed in the 1870’s. There are also the Central Belton and North Central Historic Districts.
Preservation efforts in Belton have been ongoing for years. Developing a walking tour is encouraged. Revitalizing the Belton Standpipe and create a public park around this structure is encouraged.
Some of the key roads planed are the extension of Spring Canyon Road to I-14. Connecting Digby Drive to George Wilson Road. Dillard Road will connect Smith Dairy Road with I-35. SW Parkway will connect Avenue O with Loop 121. Park Ave will connect with Guthrie Drive to 13th Ave.
Shanklin Road to Three Creeks and Witter Lane. This will create a greater outer loop for South Belton. If completed this will connect the Three Creeks subdivision with Old Waco Road well past 6th Avenue. Connecting Three Creeks with 6th Street is huge for Belton’s development.