Council to Meet Friday on Master Plan

December 16, 2014

The West University Place City Council will hold a special meeting at 1 p.m. Friday, to discuss public communications regarding the city’s Long Range Facilities Master Plan.

The unusual afternoon session also will deal with “matters related to the West University Baptist Church properties, and other properties in the 3800 blocks of University and Amherst.”

The agenda for the meeting includes a notice that parts of the agenda may be discussed in executive session.

The agenda also says that the council will “discuss and take any desired action.”

The city’s long range master plan for city facilities has been the key issue of discussion for the West U City Council since it was unveiled in mid-October. The council initially approved the long-range master plan, which called for the creation of a Super Block to house municipal facilities on the block bordered by University, Auden, Amherst and College Streets.

A part of the master plan included real estate transactions, or land swaps with the West U Baptist Church. The church had been planning to build a new Youth Center on Amherst, to serve middle-school and high school students as a part of its youth ministry.

The long range plan had also proposed the eventual relocation of the library and civic center to the Super Block, but the council scrapped that idea.

After two town hall meetings in November, the council scaled back the master plan to provide for a possible real estate transaction between the city and the church, which would involve the transfer of the church property on Amherst to the city. The city would then transfer its property on Milton that houses the Public Works maintenance facility to the church, where the new Youth Center might be located.

The city council directed City Manager Michael Ross to proceed with a request for proposals, or bids, on the city property. The council also decided that the city need professional public relations advice on how to best explain the proposed long-range master plan to residents.