CS Council Talks Preservation, Transportation

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Neighborhood protection standards were the subject of a lengthy discussion at Thursday afternoon's College Station city council meeting.

The council and staff are going through possible standards to lay out in order to best develop the neighborhoods. Some on the council leaned towards a model like the one used by Dallas, while others believed a hybrid plan would be best.

Most seemed to favor flexibility for neighborhoods to develop themselves as much as possible.

"We have to maintain flexibility," said Councilmember Ron Gay. "One size does not fit all in the city of College Station, and at the end of the day, we cannot force all of our neighbors to live their lives the way we live ours. There's got to be some individual freedoms for people to do with what they want with their properties."

A loop around Bryan-College Station could be a reality in the future, but the route it takes is in question.

According to College Station transportation planners Thursday, the new Highway 40 is an option for the south end of the loop, though some council members expressed concern that 40's use might stunt growth to the south.

Though planning is still in the early stages, funding of such a loop could come by way of toll roads due to shortages in TxDOT funding.

Also on the transportation front, the council heard about TxDOT's search for the right route for the Trans Texas Corridor.

Local leaders have continually pushed for the future I-69 to come near Brazos County. Transportation officials told the council TxDOT has been looking at Walker County, but an inability to find a route through the Sam Houston Forest could mean South Brazos County could be an option.

A four-mile-wide corridor could be narrowed down for I-69 by the fall.

A communications agreement between three cities, two counties and one university is counting down.

The College Station council received a briefing Thursday concerning a wide area communications agreement between Brazos and Washington Counties which would include Bryan, College Station, Brenham and Texas A&M.

Fire, EMS and public service entities would be able to communicate with each other through the system. Some funding has been made available for the project, which could be put in place in the next few months.

Bryan and Texas A&M have already expressed their approval for the plan.