Wednesday, April 14, 2021

City Boasts Award Winning Planning Department

For decades city planners in Southlake have worked behind the scenes to ensure that the City of Southlake developed to its best potential, but in recent years their work has begun to be noticed as the department has received numerous awards for their work.

“They are the best of the best,” says city manager Shana Yelverton.  “It has become a common occurrence to highlight their work with a public presentation of this award or that recognition.  But the real proof of their excellence is the way the city has grown up to be a thriving and beautiful place.”

Under the leadership of Ken Baker, a 11-year veteran of the City, the 21 member department has accepted awards for general planning excellence, comprehensive planning (Southlake 2025),  project planning (wayfinding sign system) and tree preservation regulations, just to name a few.  This is no small feat for a department who has also juggled the responsibility of development review in a rapidly growing community with rigorous standards.

“Our department has the flexibility to address a broad range of assignments and the camaraderieit takes to function as a great team,” said Baker.  “We understand the expectations of the community and work hard to bring creative ideas to the table.”

“Ken Baker’s group is carrying the torch now,” said Yelverton.  “Southlake’s first comprehensive plan was developed in 1969, and it shows.  We have placed a high premium on good planning throughout the years and our current team continues to lead Southlake toward the future by developing a good blueprint to follow.”

The department recently took on a new challenge, the development of Southlake 2030 Plan, the update to the city’s comprehensive plan that will guide the city’s development for the foreseeable future.  The Southlake 2030 Plan will ultimately include nine plan elements to guide Southlake’s land use, park development, mobility and infrastructure systems, among others.  The plan is linked to the city’s overall strategic direction and will ultimately be tied to departmental work plans and the city budget.

“Southlake 2030 is the ultimate test,” said Baker.  “At the end of the day you are judged by the results you achieve, not by the quality of your plans.”