Planning

GrantWorks is committed to helping Texas communities preserve their heritage, improve their economic vitality and maintain their livability.  

The Planning Services we provide are tailored to fit the capabilities of residents and officials in small towns while taking their specific challenges of location, size and staffing into account:

Comprehensive Planning

GrantWorks has created more than 150 comprehensive plans for Texas communities.  We employ our experience in leading citizens, staff, and elected officials through Needs Assessment and Community Visioning.  The planning process yields studies that consider population, housing, recreation, land use, and economic development.  Major emphasis is placed on water, sewer, streets, and drainage infrastructure analysis and project cost estimates.  Clients find that the planning process provides them with clear and useful updated and digitized maps; a system for gathering input from residents and businesses; a prioritized list of improvement projects, their costs, and suggestions for financing them; and a fresh look at ways to resolve long-running community problems.

Colonia Planning

GrantWorks staff has offered colonia planning services since 1995, creating maps of the identified neighborhoods and assisting counties with addressing infrastructure and housing needs.  GrantWorks has completed 32 Colonia Plans.  They are used to help counties within 150 miles of the Texas-Mexico border obtain grant funds to improve the colonias in their jurisdiction.  Our experience in this type of work is unmatched by any planning firm in the state

Planning Grants

The Texas Department of Agriculture, through its Community Development Block Grant program, offers grant funding for Small Town Comprehensive Planning every two years through a statewide competition.  GrantWorks staff assists communities with writing competitive applications for the available funds and administering the planning grants once awarded.  In 2013, 13 of the 15 total Planning Grants awarded statewide went to GrantWorks’ clients.  Grant amounts range from $20,000 to $55,000 and require a small cash match from the community.

Hazard Mitigation Plans

Applicants to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) are required to have a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan in place before submitting an application for a construction project. GrantWorks planning staff can assist with writing a grant application for the creation or update of a Hazard Mitigation Plan, write the Hazard Mitigation Plan or plan update to qualify your city for Hazard Mitigation Grant applications, shepherd the plan through FEMA approval, and assist with subsequent grant applications through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Other Planning Services

The Planning department also works with communities to provide focused studies on single planning elements, or a variety of specific elements.  GIS Mapping is a part of all of these projects.  Types of studies include:

  • Capital Improvements Plans (5-year infrastructure plans looking at water, wastewater, drainage and street facilities)
  • Economic Development Plans
  • Downtown Revitalization Plans
  • Ordinance Reviews (Zoning and Subdivision)
  • Housing Plans

GIS Mapping

GrantWorks creates maps of city limits, land uses, zoning, and infrastructure using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.  We conduct on-site fieldwork in your community, digitize and update existing paper maps, and create databases that put all of the city’s spatial information into one system.  GIS maps and databases can be easily converted into AutoCAD format for use by your city’s engineers.

Team Work

At GrantWorks, planning is a core service.  Our Planning team includes four full-time planners and two GIS specialists.  The team is augmented by GrantWorks staff in other company divisions, including six additional AICP certified planners.  The Division has also established a relationship with the University of Texas School of Architecture Community and Regional Planning program to employ student interns on an as-needed basis.

See our staff page to learn more about our specialists.