By David Tuma
The City of Belton is planning to expand their sewer line network along IH-35 to the Lampasas River. Earlier this year Belton’s city staff attended a Texas Municipal League Annexation Conference in May. It was recommended that each city identify a growth management framework.
Growth management strategies help a community in the annexation process and can be used as a tool for guiding development in a city’s Extra Territorial Jurisdiction. The Growth Management Framework is a plan for long range development.
Policies are to include evaluation of areas for annexation based on existing or planned development. There will be needs for services, public health, protection, safety and welfare in these proposed areas.
The plan gives the city the ability to make decisions to determine areas of annexation. It will look at the right choice for the City of Belton and affected property owners.
Belton adopted an annexation policy in 1999. The current city limits contain 20.06 square miles.
By developing a plan the city is trying to promote economic growth through long range planning. The city will use areas in the ETJ primarily consisting of raw land and accessible to public utilities and services provided by the City of Belton.
The Growth Management plan will be used to identify growth centers that may be up for possible annexation. Through subsequent application of City zoning standards, annexation prevents the establishment of incompatible development patterns, while protecting existing and future land uses. Annexation can be used as a growth management tool by promoting orderly development patterns which serve to maintain and possible enhance property values.
With the growth of area it is also is a tool to protect the city’s ability to expand in the future. It gives ground work on the rules to look at the fiscal impact to extend police, fire, street maintenance, city code enforcement and building inspections. The plan is more than just annexation to annex plan in terms of rules and regulations. It gives an overview for the council to consider from all angles. There is an area for agreements for non-annexation agreements.
“We want to make sure growth in our area is properly managed. The intent isn’t to slow growth it is to guide it. This is the type of document used in an annexation study. When you invest the kind of money we investing you want to manage growth in that area,” said Belton Public Information Officer Paul Romer.
The Growth Management Framework plan was adopted June 28.