— By BRIAN SMITH
HUDSON OAKS — The City of Hudson Oaks announced its 2012 Comprehensive Plan has earned a distinct honor.
The city was named the winner of the 2012 Project Planning Award given by the Midwest Section of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association. On Friday, Mayor Pat Deen attended the section’s award banquet in Arlington to accept the award on the city’s behalf.
Assistant City Administrator Patrick Lawler said the city felt very proud to have the plan recognized so quickly after implementation.
“It’s been a great plan for us because of the amount of resident input we received in getting it done,” Lawler said. “The association established an annual awards program several years ago to recognize students, individuals, and projects making significant contributions to planning. The award “recognizes an outstanding plan, study or project that may be specific or comprehensive in nature and addresses development issues of an area, city, county, or region.”
Award winners are selected by city planning professionals who are members of the Texas APA’s Midwest section.
In 2012, the City of Hudson Oaks worked with planning consultants at Freese and Nichols Inc. in Fort Worth over the course of several months to develop the city’s first comprehensive plan. This planning document was developed with input from the community.
The process was led by the Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee, comprised of residents, business owners and other community stakeholders. Multiple town hall meetings were held to solicit input from the community-at-large regarding residents’ vision for Hudson Oaks’s future.
The final Comprehensive Plan was recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission and adopted by the city council in February 2012. In just the first few months, a number of the plan’s recommendations have been put into action in the community. The plan calls for the creation of new large-scale community events. This was the genesis of the Boomin’ 4th Independence Day celebration that the city and East Parker County Chamber of Commerce hosted in July. The event brought more than 6,000 people to the city.
The plan also recommends programs to “make Hudson Oaks distinguishable from adjacent communities.”
The city has already taken steps in this regard with the Middle Median Beautification project, which will include entry signage and landscaping. The community has also undertaken design of a new city logo, both of which will be finalized this spring.
Accepting the award on the city’s behalf, Deen thanked the planners at Freese and Nichols for their work and the high-quality plan they produced. He also said the city was very proud of the fact that so many people turned out to participate in the town hall meetings, making the plan truly meaningful for the community. The full plan may be viewed by visiting www.hudsonoaks.com/business/planning/development.