Welcome to the Round Rock Comprehensive Plan
Welcome to the web-based version of Round Rock 2030, the Comprehensive Plan for the City for Round Rock. Here you can find an overview of Round Rock, a land use vision for the next decade, policies and implementation strategies to achieve the vision, and criteria for future development. The intent of this website is to ensure that the most-used information in the Plan is easily accessible. You can also download Round Rock 2030 and the Future Land Use Map (FLUM). Round Rock 2030 was adopted on June 25, 2020 (O-2020-0175).
About the Comprehensive Plan
Round Rock 2030, adopted in 2020, is the official policy document guiding long-range planning and community development in the City of Round Rock. The Comprehensive Plan is updated every ten years. Round Rock continues its rapid population growth and development, as well as its transition from a suburb of Austin to a vibrant and prosperous mid-sized city. With Round Rock’s dramatic growth has come a new series of challenges to ensure continued success. The new Comprehensive Plan highlights how Round Rock has changed over the past decade and create a vision for the next decade.
The Round Rock 2030 vision is a concise, future-oriented statement that provides a clear picture of what Round Rock will be like in 2030. The vision statement was drafted based on public input, current planning trends, and other City of Round Rock plans.
Round Rock is a safe, desirable, family-oriented community that balances progress and prosperity with its history, by prioritizing quality of life, mobility, economic development and thoughtful land use planning.
Round Rock 2030 Policies
Twelve policies form the basis of Round Rock 2030. Each of the twelve policies pertains to a specific planning topic and include actions that can be taken to implement the Round Rock 2030 vision. More information about the twelve policies, and their associated implementation strategies, can be found on the Policies and Implementation page.
- Quality of Life: Focus economic development initiatives on those that improve quality of life while remaining fiscally responsible. Invest in community gathering spaces for all ages that support the arts, culture, recreation and entertainment.
- Economic Development: Continue to be the “City of Choice” for new and existing businesses by focusing on quality development standards that promote and sustain economic growth while providing sufficient infrastructure and services.
- Downtown: Manage and guide the revitalization of downtown as a safe and pedestrian-friendly community destination for all.
- Commercial Centers: Foster maintenance, reuse, or redevelopment of aging commercial centers while adapting to shifts in consumer preferences.
- Neighborhoods: Maintain older neighborhoods to ensure longevity and desirability.
- Historic Preservation: Preserve buildings and sites that contribute to Round Rock’s history.
- Roadway Function: Enhance the function and appearance of transportation corridors while accommodating safe pedestrian and bicycle travel where feasible.
- Mobility: Develop transportation options within and between neighborhoods and local destinations.
- Housing: Enable a mixture of housing types within the city to meet all residents’ needs and preferences through all stages of life.
- Mixed-Use: Encourage mixed-use development in locations that are compatible with the surrounding area and supported by employment and transportation infrastructure.
- Adapting to Change: Adapt development codes to reflect transportation innovations, evolving technology, and changing consumer preferences.
- Sustainability: Promote environmental sustainability by facilitating energy-efficient development that conserves natural resources and open space.
What is a comprehensive plan?
A comprehensive plan is critical for sustainable growth. It serves as a guide for city leaders to decide “what goes where.” A comprehensive plan is used by city staff to make policy decisions about transportation, parks, utilities, economic development, and land use. It should reflect the needs and wants of businesses and residents.
Who uses a comprehensive plan?
- Citizens (residents, business owners, developers) use the Plan to submit development and zoning proposals to the city.
- City staff (Planning and Development Services) use the Plan to provide land use and zoning recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
- Planning and Zoning Commission (citizens appointed by City Council) use the Plan to provide policy recommendations to the City Council.
- City Council (elected by citizens) use the Plan to guide policy decisions regarding land use and zoning, and to develop regulations.
Planning for future growth is a vital endeavor for any community to undertake. A comprehensive plan provides the opportunity to guide this growth in a manner that provides lasting value. As years pass, such an effort is critical to achieve and maintain a desirable community character. However, certain challenges exist that go beyond the ability of this plan alone to resolve. These challenges include:
- The explosive growth of Central Texas. Increased growth beyond Round Rock’s planning area will impact the transportation network within the community, which means increased traffic on city roads including major roads leading into the community. While transportation improvements will lessen the impact, increased congestion is an ever-present reality. This challenge is compounded by the fact that a mass transit system has not been identified nor planned for the region.
- Limitations on local control. During this comprehensive planning process, the Texas State Legislature eliminated the ability for cities to regulate exterior building materials for all types of construction. During the prior legislative session, the State eliminated the ability for cities like Round Rock to involuntary annex properties in the ETJ. As more tools are removed from the city’s planning toolbox, our ability to manage growth in a way that is conducive to achieving our desired community character becomes severely strained.
- Market forces. Round Rock, like Central Texas in general, is a highly desirable area with a thriving economy and good public schools. Round Rock is also ideally situated thereby increasing the community’s desirability. As a result, people will continue to move to the city, which in turn decreases housing supply and increases demand. While planning tools exist to increase the supply of affordable housing, the cost of housing will continue to rise overall in Round Rock.
- Suburban form. The majority of the city’s housing stock exists in a conventional suburban form with separate residential subdivisions mostly made up of curvilinear streets and many have limited street connectivity. These low-density, single-use neighborhoods take up significant amounts of land in the city and require the use of a vehicle to access employment and services. While opportunities exist for new land use patterns to develop in the future in other areas of the city, the layout and land uses in existing subdivisions is unlikely to change. This conventional suburban form contributes significantly to the traffic and congestion challenges mentioned above.
- Timing of plan cycles. The Comprehensive Plan is developed by PDS. Other plans, such as the Transportation Master Plan, are related to Round Rock 2030 but are created by their respective departments. This often means that the timing of plan cycles does not align. This affects the Comprehensive Plan’s ability to directly inform these plans at the start of the Round Rock 2030 Plan Cycle.
- Introduction: This section provides information about Round Rock, including a demographic profile, a housing profile, and an economic profile. This section also lists other city plans that are adopted as a part of Round Rock 2030.
- Public Input: This section summarizes the six phases of the public input process conducted for Round Rock 2030. The Public Input Report appendix includes more in-depth information.
- Vision and policies: This section includes the Round Rock 2030 vision and the twelve associated policies. For each policy there is a policy description, a summary of accomplishments of the past decade, and implementation background.
- Infrastructure: This section includes summaries of the adopted plans from the Utilities and Environmental Services, Transportation, and Parks and Recreation Departments. It also includes information about how infrastructure relates to land use.
- Land Use: This section provides a summary of current development patterns in Round Rock, including a land use inventory and zoning inventory. It also includes information about future land use, including areas of regional interest, the Future Land Use Map (FLUM), and associated location criteria.
- Historic Preservation: This section provides a summary of the city’s historic preservation program, including a brief architectural history and accomplishments of the last decade. It also lists the implementation strategies for the historic preservation policy. This section is also intended to serve as the city’s Historic Preservation Plan.
- Community Facilities and Services: This section provides summaries of community facilities and services in Round Rock including Arts and Culture, the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Library, and Sports Management and Tourism. It also summarizes the functions of the Planning and Development Services (PDS) Department.
- Implementation: This section lists all of the Round Rock 2030 implementation strategies by policy.
- Appendices: Round Rock 2030 includes a glossary and a public input report as appendices.
Water System Master Plan (adopted 2014; update in progress)
The purpose of this plan is to evaluate the future needs of the city’s water system and update the city’s 2011 Water Master Plan.
Wastewater System Master Plan (adopted 2014; update in progress)
The purpose of the Wastewater System Master Plan revision is to update projected future wastewater flows using the latest land use and population growth planning and Census data, update the SewerGEMS hydraulic model to reflect new data on facilities and demands, analyze modeling results to identify the location and timing of capital improvements projects, and develop budget costs for each capital improvement program (CIP) project.
Stormwater Master Plan (adopted 2014; update in progress)
The purpose of the Stormwater Master Plan is to manage the quality of discharge from the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) and ultimately reduce pollutants in the city’s stormwater system and to improve the water quality in the local lakes, creeks, and rivers.
Utility Profile and Water Conservation Plan for Municipal and Wholesale Water Use (adopted 2019)
The purpose of the Water Conservation Plan is to establish short and long-term consumption goals and develop implementation strategies and processes for achieving these goals.
Transportation Master Plan (update adopted 2017)
The goals of the update are to ensure the citizens of Round Rock an adequate future transportation system, ensure the efficient utilization of the 1997 one-half cent sales tax dedicated to roadway improvement, identify major deficiencies in the existing transportation network, and maintain the quality of life enjoyed by the citizens of Round Rock.
Transit Master Plan (adopted 2015)
The primary purpose of the Round Rock Transit Plan is to serve the transit needs of Round Rock residents. The plan serves as a blueprint for implementing new transit services within the City of Round Rock and
connections to regional destinations in a logical and cost-effective manner.
Playbook 2030: Building a Connected Community (adopted 2018)
The parks and recreation planning process allows the citizens of Round Rock to determine their preferred park and recreation priorities. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan identifies deficiencies in the existing parks system, looks at potential growth of the city over the next five-to-ten years to assess where additional facilities will be needed, guides the acquisition of land to meet current and future open space needs, prioritizes recommendations so the most significant deficiencies are addressed as quickly as possible, and guides city leaders in determining where and how parks and recreation funding should be allocated over the next five years.
Historic Preservation Plan
Historic assets play an essential role in shaping the identity of a place. Historic buildings, streets, parks, and other important vestiges of the past define a unique and special sense of character in a community. As Round Rock continues to grow and mature as a mid-sized city, its historic resources are an important part of the community’s identity. This section of Round Rock 2030 was developed so it can serve both as a part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and as a standalone historic preservation plan.
Downtown Master Plan (adopted 2010)
The primary goal of the Master Plan is to describe how downtown Round Rock can become a thriving town center featuring a viable mix of residential, commercial, retail, dining, entertainment and public space uses in a walkable and historically-sensitive environment to enhance Round Rock’s economy, quality of life, and sense of place.