MCALLEN, Texas – Friday, May 12, is the last day for the general public to weigh in on Envision McAllen, the City of McAllen’s 144-page comprehensive plan.

The plan is designed to guide the City of McAllen’s policy positions from now until 2040.

The draft document explains what a comprehensive plan is.

A comprehensive plan is a long-range planning tool intended to be used by decision-makers, City staff, and local residents. Comprehensive plans are important because they direct the growth and physical development of a community for the next 10 to 20 years. 

The State of Texas has established laws with regard to the way in which incorporated communities can ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their residents through a comprehensive plan. A comprehensive plan is not a zoning ordinance, but rather a high-level tool for the City to guide future policy and development decisions. 

The Plan should ultimately be used as a guide for daily and long-term decision making. 

The primary objectives of a comprehensive plan are to accomplish the following:

  • Efficient delivery of public services 
  • Coordination of public and private investment 
  • Minimization of potential conflicts between land uses 
  • Management of growth in an orderly manner 
  • Cost-effective public investments 
  • Promote health, safety and welfare

To learn more about the comprehensive plan, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service interviewed McAllen’s director of planning, Edgar Garcia. He was involved in developing the plan from the beginning. 

Asked for a highlight from the document, Garcia said:

“I think the big departure is a focus on mixed use zones. That is something that we currently do not have and so being able to have commercial on the street level, and then some residential some lofts or some condos on the second and third floors. That’s something that again, is not very common here in McAllen if at all, and it was a real big push not just from commissioners but also from the development community. They do want to make that mixed use where you could just go down to the street level, have a cup of coffee and then go straight up to your apartment.”

In the interview, Garcia explains why the document is important and why it will not gather dust on the shelves at city hall. He also discusses the focus on McAllen’s plans for land to the north of the city limits, why broadband is not included in the document, and why land developer Mike Rhodes deserves a shoutout.

Here is the interview:


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