The role of a city planner often goes unnoticed, but they play an important role in helping provide the layout for Baytown now and into the future.
The City of Baytown proudly honors our City’s Planning and Development Services Department as we recognize National Community Planning Month. The goal of planning is to improve communities through health, safety, and the economy. Planners put every resident’s well-being into decisions they make every day as they develop the big picture for Baytown.
Chris Chavis, Assistant Director for Baytown’s Planning and Development Services, said, “Our planners primarily are looking to help the actual development or proposals of development get to the building permit phase.”
He added, “We facilitate that to make sure whoever’s interested in doing something in Baytown, that they do it in an organized fashion and that they are meeting a certain level of quality, whether it’s a business or resident.”
Helping with the layout of the community is like working on a puzzle. All of the pieces, like buildings, roads, and parks, have to fit just right.
Chris said, “Baytown is a mix of residential and then you have the industrial area to work with. That’s a different mix than what other communities deal with. So, we have to be reasonable in figuring out our expectations with businesses and citizens.”
Also, every community needs a team that isn’t just looking at today, but is also focusing on what Baytown will look like in 10-20 years. That’s where the Comprehensive Plan comes in.
Chris said, “As Baytown develops, the Comprehensive Plan is supposed to be a living document. It’s kind of like the Super Bowl for planning. It allows us to pursue new regulations while understanding things are going to change and evolve a little bit. You’re not changing the rails of the railway. You’re just changing the railcars.”
While Baytown’s Planners are constantly at work looking at ways to enhance the community, they are always looking for your input. Our Planning and Development Services Department hosts events throughout the year in order to get the voice of the people. You can also take part in the Planning and Zoning Commission, whether it’s attending meetings or serving on the commission.