Community Planning Month recognizes the vital role we all play in shaping our city’s future

By Michael Ostrowski, Director of Planning & Development Services

October is National Community Planning Month, a time to reflect on and celebrate the critical role community planning plays nationally and locally.

Community planning helps manage the constant changes affecting all cities, towns, and places and harnesses that change to provide better choices for people living, working, playing, and attending school. It also presents a way for residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine our community’s future.

Community Planning Month helps publicly recognizes the participation and dedication of residents, planning and zoning commission members, city council members, and our professional planning staff. They contribute time, enthusiasm, and innovative ideas for the betterment of College Station, and we offer our heartfelt thanks for their continued commitment to public service. 

This year, in conjunction with Community Planning Month, we are incredibly honored that the City of College Station has been awarded the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Award from the American Planning Association’s Texas Chapter. The annual chapter’s Planning Awards Program recognizes individuals, organizations, and communities for exemplary Texas planning contributions.

The College Station Comprehensive Plan was evaluated for its originality, innovation, quality, public engagement, implementation, effectiveness, and for promoting the importance of planning in guiding our community. Planning and Development Services staff members will accept the award on the city’s behalf at an awards ceremony later this month.  

We sincerely appreciate the staff members from across the city organization who participated in the Comprehensive Plan evaluation and update. Foremost among them were the Planning and Development Services team for its leadership, the Public Communications team for creating a graphically stunning plan, and the Comprehensive Plan Evaluation Committee for guiding and shaping the update. In addition, the planning and zoning commission and city council were instrumental in their guidance and stewardship, along with the countless residents who participated in the process.

Creating and implementing a Comprehensive Plan is truly a holistic effort that embodies our core value of One City, One Team

Last month, the city was also awarded the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Award in our 33-county region by the Central Texas APA. Meanwhile, Long Range Planning Administrator Alyssa Halle-Schramm received well-deserved recognition as the regional planner of the year.

Alyssa demonstrates energy, commitment, and professionalism in every aspect of her service to our community. For example, she created a renewed and robust internship program, expertly navigated a contentious neighborhood overlay ordinance, and managed the comprehensive plan update. She effectively engages and communicates with all stakeholders, leading to greater visibility and appreciation of local planning. Alyssa’s spirit and optimism are unmatched. 

<strong><em>About the Blogger</em></strong>
About the Blogger

Michael Ostrowski has served as director of Planning and Development Services since 2020 after one year as the assistant director in San Marcos. He previously worked as a professional planner for several years in Wisconsin. A certified planner and economic developer, Ostrowski earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, political science, and public administration from Wisconsin-Stevens Point and master’s degrees in public administration and urban planning from Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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