How Your Voice Matters
Establishing Vision and Goals
The success of the SA Tomorrow Sub-Area Plans depends on broad participation from area stakeholders. To ensure this success, City Staff worked with a wide range of community members throughout the planning process. These include neighborhood associations, business and property owners, residents, employers, educational and cultural institutions, public and nonprofit organizations, and other City departments to create a realistic and implementable plan for the Brooks Area.
The planning process was designed to be iterative, creating a “feedback loop” between the City and the community as the plan was developed. This approach ensures that the Sub-Area Plan reflects community values and priorities. A variety of tools and tactics were used to ensure that those interested were well-informed about the SA Tomorrow Area Plans; encouraged to participate in a range of stimulating events and activities; and engaged in providing constructive feedback on a preferred future.
For each public input exercise, this document describes what was asked, how the input was presented back to the stakeholders, and carried forward in further engagement exercises and eventually incorporated into the plan.
Results from the exercises and surveys are available in the website Documents Library and as an appendix to the Plan. In some cases, results have been summarized. Throughout the process, complete raw results from exercises have been posted on the plan webpage.
To facilitate public information and community participation, the Brooks Area Regional Center website was created and made available to the general public on (insert date). The website includes a section for leaving comments which are sent directly to the project manager. These comments can be viewed here.
An initial Planning Team kick-off meeting was held at San Antonio College, Nursing & Allied Health Complex. At the kick off meeting, the Planning Team discussed assets, challenges, and opportunities in the Brooks Area as well as strategies for outreach efforts. Results of Exercise 1 were posted to the website’s Documents Library. This information helped inform draft plan vision elements, priorities & goals.
The second Planning Team meeting was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in the Brooks Area. Planning Team members started to develop a vision and goals for the Brooks Area Regional Center through an exercise in which the group was presented with a large wall map of the Brooks Area and asked to identify and discuss areas experiencing change, areas with opportunity for positive change, and areas to protect. These preliminary areas of opportunity led into a discussion on how to ensure that growth aligns with SA Tomorrow’s vision and guiding principles and how those Comprehensive Plan themes can be applied to the Brooks Area.
The Planning Team also broke into small groups to work on a visioning exercise for the Brooks Area. Planning Team members were asked to brainstorm their vision for the future of the area and to complete the sentence “Brooks is…”. Following these group discussions, the large group reconvened for reports from each group. Highlights of these visions were recorded on the large wallgraphic.
Results of Exercise 2 were posted to the plan website and presented to the Planning Team at the next meeting. This exercise helped inform the draft plan vision and goals statements.
The first Brooks Area Community Meeting was held at the Kennedy Apartments. Spanish interpreters were available. One of the objectives of this meeting was to develop a draft vision and goals for the Brooks Area Regional Center. Community members participated in several facilitated small group exercises. The vision and goals exercise asked community members to write a statement describing how they envision the future of the Brooks Area. Facilitators encouraged community members to think about elements such as housing, connectivity, mobility, parks and open space, shops, restaurants, employment, and other amenities. Small group members identified common themes and words amongst the group’s individual vision statements. From these common themes, each group completed a summary of their ideas which was then read aloud by one spokesperson from each group to the entire audience. All group summary images can be seen here. Results of Exercise 3 were posted to the plan website. These results directly informed the draft vision and goals statement.
During Planning Team Meeting #3, Planning Team members were presented with a summary of the community feedback received to date which formed the basis of the draft vision statement. The initial draft vision statement and goals were presented for discussion and comments. Each Planning Team member was asked to take home printed paper versions in order to make specific edits and additional comments. Results of Exercise 4 were discussed at the Planning Team Meeting #4 and incorporated into the revised draft vision and goals statement. Results were included in the meeting summary posted to the plan website. These results further refined the Brooks Area’s vision and goals statements for the draft plan.
A public community meeting was held and participants were asked to comment and vote for their preferred draft Brooks Area vision and goals statement. The exercise asked participants to use colored markers to highlight (or add comments) words or statements of interest to them: Green= Like, Blue = Add, Red = Dislike. Results of Exercise 6 were posted to the plan website via the Community Meeting #2 Summary. These results finalized refinement of the Brooks Area vision and goals statements for the draft plan unless further public input is received requesting additional changes.
Establishing the Plan Framework and Recommendations
The Plan Framework map includes key physical improvements and strategic concepts that will influence development in the Brooks Area Regional Center. These include priority focus areas for (re)development; pedestrian, bicycle, and street improvements; parks and open space recommendations; and priority areas to encourage mixed-use development.
The Brooks Area Regional Center Plan Framework was developed through a combination of technical analysis and community input. The Framework illustrates and outlines the overall long-term vision for the Brooks Area Regional Center, including areas where new development will be focused, key mobility improvements, opportunities for more parks and open space, and other “big moves” that will shape the future of the area.
At the beginning of the planning process, the project team developed an in-depth study and analysis of the Brooks Area Regional Center to understand the history and development of the area as well as existing conditions. The Planning Team shared their input regarding area assets, opportunities, and challenges to develop a more nuanced undestanding of the Regional Center and the community’s values and priorites. City staff also conducted additional stakeholder and public outreach to capture input from a broad range of Brooks Area residents. Through a series of facilitated work sessions and interactive exercises, the Planning Team provided input and direction that is reflected in the Plan Framework.
Over several months, project staff and Planning Team worked collaboratively to build upon the Framework to identify the key priorities, improvements and strategies that will shape the Sub-Area Plan and guide growth, development and investment in the Brooks Area Regional Center. A series of Draft recommendations on several topics were developed for stakeholder feedback and are reflected in the Sub-Area Plan.
The Planning Team met for their third meeting on September 13, 2017 to develop key plan concepts such as focus areas, mixed use corridors, parks, open space, and recreation, trails, priority transit routes, priority bicycle routes, and priority streetscape improvements. Meeting attendees split into groups to create their own framework diagrams which were then synthesized by City Staff to create the base for the plan framework diagram.
At the first community meeting, community members participated in small group exercises to map strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats which were described verbally and then symbolized on a map. This feedback was also incorporated into the framework diagrams.
At Planning Team Meeting #6, the Planing Team discussed several catalytic sites which also became part of the plan framework diagram. The catalytic sites were chosen from the Focus Areas identified at previous meetings.
At Planning Team Meeting #3 held on September 13, 2017, the Planning Team completed an exercise to identify areas within the Brooks Area that they would like to see improvements, additional parks, plazas, corridors, and streetscape improvements among other items. These elements were drawn on trace paper over transportation and amenity maps. The Planning Team members worked in small groups to complete and present these maps.
The Planning Team identified multiple areas and streets in need of improvements. These were then mapped on the plan framework diagram.
At Planning Team #4 on October 26, 2017, the Planning Team further refined the focus areas. For the selected focus areas, the Planning Team identified purpose, future character, appropriate building heights and areas of transition. This exercise was also completed at Community Meeting #2 on November 18, 2017.
Mobility was discussed at Planning Team #3 as part of drafting the plan framework. A variety of transportation options were considered when planning for the Brooks Area. Trails, transit routes, bicycle routes, streetscape improvements, pedestrian safety, and traffic congestion were discussed in order to create layered multimodal transportation network.
At Community Meeting #2, participants were asked to complete two activities to help City Staff prioritize different routes for different types of transit, and to see what type of street features are desired by the community.
Major corridors were identified on the mobility framework diagram. Participants then voted using stickers with bus, car, and bicycle icons to symbolize what mode of travel they thought needed to be prioritized on each street. The other activity featured two major thoroughfares in the area. Participants then chose elements such as bike lanes, turn lanes, and medians to design streets for their preferred modes of transportation.
The Planning Team discussed amenities and infrastructure on February 21, 2018 at Planning Team Meeting #7. Meeting participants were first briefed by city staff on what elements make up a complete neighborhood such as active recreation opportunities, natural features, social spaces, and stormwater management, among other things.
After seeing examples of the elements that create complete neighborhoods, Planning Team Members discussed which elements were most critical and should be prioritized to create complete neighborhoods in the Brooks Area. After thoroughly discussing and prioritizing amenities, Planning Team members worked together to create an amenities and infrastructure framework diagram.
After thoroughly discussing and prioritizing amenities, Planning Team members worked together to create an amenities and infrastructure framework diagram.
The Planning Team met for Meeting #6 on February 5, 2018 to discuss future land use. The meeting began with an overview of the proposed land use classifications to be used throughout San Antonio, the methodology behind the draft maps, and then a presentation of the draft land use map created by city staff. The topic of future land use was discussed again at Planning Team Meeting # 7 on February 21st.
On January 4, 2018, the Planning Team met for Meeting #5 to discuss preliminary housing concepts and strategies. During a robust discussion, Planning Team members explored key issues and potential strategies such as affordability, opportunity, safety, sustainability, and quality of life. Notes from the discussion were recorded on flip charts.
At meeting #8 on April 12, 2018, the Planning Team revisted housing with a stronger focus on strategies. Planning Team members were asked to review the proposed recommendations and then provide suggestions on how to strengthen the recommendations and identify strategies and partnerships to help implement the recommendations.
On January 4, 2018, the Planning Team met for Meeting #5 to discuss preliminary economic development policies and implementation. Planning Team members explored key issues and potential strategies such as key industries, tourism, small businesses, and education. The notes from this discussion were recorded on flip charts for future reference.
The project team conducted over 100 engagement activities such as interviews, intercept events, and focus groups with stakeholders from the following groups, in addition to conversations with community leaders, small business owners, and individuals not listed below.
Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG)
Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO)
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
Brooks City Base Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) Board of Directors
Brooks Development Authority
Calumet Specialty Products
City Council District 3
City of San Antonio Aviation Department
City of San Antonio Center City Development and Operations
City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture
City of San Antonio Development Services Department
City of San Antonio Economic Development Department
City of San Antonio Fire Department, Station 3529
City of San Antonio Neighborhood and Housing Services Department
City of San Antonio Transportation and Capital Improvements Department
City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation
City of San Antonio Office of Innovation
City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability
City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation
City of San Antonio Police Department
City of San Antonio Public Library, McCreless Library
City of San Antonio Center World Heritage Office
East Central Independent School District
Highland Forest Neighborhood Association
Highland Hills Neighborhood Association
Holy Name Catholic School
Hot Wells Conservancy
Hot Wells Mission Reach Neighborhood Association
Joint Commission on Elderly Affairs
Los Vecinos de los Misiones
Met Health Environmental Health & Safety
National Park Service
Parents as Partners
Pecan Valley Neighborhood Association
Pre-K for SA, South
San Antonio Independent School District
Successfully Again and Living in San Antonio (SALSA) – San Antonio Area Foundation
San Antonio Food Bank
San Antonio State Hospital
San Antonio River Authority (SARA)
San Antonio Water System (SAWS)
South Central Alliance of Neighborhoods (SCAN)
Southeast Community Outreach for Older People
South Central Good Neighborhood Crime Watch Group
Southside First Economic Development Council
South Side Lions Senior Center
University of Incarnate Word (UIW)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
VIA Metropolitan Transit
Southside Chamber of Commerce
Woodbridge at Monte Viejo