Katy considers future land use, continued development ahead of finalized comprehensive plan

29 Jan 2023

By: Asia Armour - Community Impact

The city of Katy is in the final stages of creating a guideline for the next 20 years of its continued development with its 2040 comprehensive plan.

At a Jan. 24 special meeting, the Katy City Council and the Katy Planning and Zoning Commission heard a presentation from Gary Mitchell—president of the planning firm Kendig Keast—on 19 action items, a thoroughfare plan and future land use generated from the future city phase of the plan.

The entirety of the comprehensive plan is set to finalize in March, but Mitchell said his team would take a document containing around 150 action items to the planning and zoning commission in late February. These items will address focus areas determined between January and April 2022, including the city’s growth capacity, land use, transportation, capital investments, economic development and recreation over the next 10-20 years.

Each item falls within a specified timeline of completion, ranging from 1-2 years, 1-5 years, 1-10 years, 4-10 years, and ongoing.

Some strategic actions include public safety improvements, such as facility upgrades funded through the $6 million 2021 bond package and a fire station in the western portion of Katy near Pederson Road and I-10. These, Mitchell said, could be implemented within a five-year timeline.

“[These actions are necessary] partly due to growth, response times and a need to be able to extend service more effectively in that area,” Mitchell said.

Future land use

Mitchell presented a future land use map drafted Jan. 17, which highlights the potential for incoming business and new developments. Mitchell said there is a distinction between zoning, which is a legal ordinance, and the map, which is more of a guiding document.

“The comprehensive plan is more of an advisory and guidance document, but it is what backs up your zoning,” Mitchell said. “So you will see some interrelation between land use and zoning.”

What the planning team considered most, Mitchell said, was an unrealized entertainment district located near the rice dryers along Hwy. 90. The area is currently zoned for industrial use but could transform if new owners came in with a shared vision to renovate older, agricultural structures for mixed-use entertainment, walkability, activities and events, he said.

“[Future businesses] could take advantage of that identity, that heritage of the community, and make more of this space in terms of event space,” Mitchell said. “A lot of [other Texas cities] have an outdoor space for music and concerts, for example.”

The other areas of land use included on the map encompass:

  • parks, recreation and open space;
  • estate residential;
  • suburban residential;
  • general residential;
  • attached residential;
  • neighborhood conservation;
  • neighborhood commercial;
  • general commercial;
  • corridor mixed-use;
  • Boardwalk District mixed-use;
  • Downtown mixed-use;
  • KT Entertainment District mixed-use;
  • Main Street mixed-use;
  • industrial; and
  • public/institutional.

Gary Mitchel, president of planning firm Kendig Keast Collaborative, presented this map of future land use—highlighting the potential for an entertainment district near the Katy Silos along Hwy. 90. (Courtesy City of Katy)

Increasing connection

Mitchell also discussed a thoroughfare plan, which examines opportunities for collaboration along major roadways shared with the cities of Houston and Fulshear, and Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties. The plan would look to preserve connectivity for traffic circulation, he said.

"Katy is mostly built out,” Mitchell said. “In growing cities that have a lot of raw land that hasn't been platted yet, these maps are essential to preserving right of way to make sure that roadways are connected and that there's a good grid system. Katy has that in most places.”

Mitchell identified four areas—Bartlett Road to Cane Island, Kingsland Boulevard, Nelson Way, and Crossover Road to Gaston Road—as the potential areas for increased connection.

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