Proposed updates to Downtown Strategic Action Plan and Urban Design Standards

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Tuesday, December 10, an updated Downtown Strategic Action Plan and recommended changes to the downtown Amarillo Urban Design Standards were presented to the Amarillo City Council.

The previous action plan included major projects like Hodgetown and the Embassy Suites.

Going forward, one of the biggest updates to the action plan includes the expansion of the Civic Center.

But in order to make sure developers know exactly what they’re getting into, an update to design standards was also presented.

This included adding language to light pole requirements and sidewalk improvements. Those might sound minor, but Planning and Development Services Manager Emily Koller says these things are necessary to make downtown Amarillo a more walkable urban area.

“So that’s one of our goals for downtown…Is that it is just a really nice place to be, you don’t want to be in your car when you come downtown, you want to walk around enjoy the restaurants enjoy the experience on the street…And that’s really the intent of these standards,” Koller explained.

Another big focus going forward is to increase the residential population.

This includes providing amenities that residents will need directly downtown, like a grocery store.

“There’s a downtown grocery store [in the plan]…Which the community may find interesting, but there’s a strong desire to increase the residential population in downtown, and in order to do that, we need to be able to offer amenities to serve residents,” Koller explained.

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