Nacogdoches reviewing business landscaping policies

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Cities spend way more time and money on sewer and water provisions, but what's above ground generates more citizen input.  Lately, commercial landscaping is creating the discussion in Nacogdoches.

Business and parking lot landscaping are what meets the eye of customers and visitors.

The landscaping standard shows a vested interest in how the community looks says Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful chair Jamie Bouldin.

"Everybody wants Nacogdoches to look beautiful and live up to that Garden Capital of Texas name," Bouldin said.

As well as a Tree City USA community. Holding onto a reputation and resident input are considered as city planners revise an 18-year-old commercial landscaping ordinance.

"What we would like to do in this first public meeting is have the citizens take a look at it, tell us what they think," said Larissa Philpot, the director of municipal services. "If there are things they might want to add or things that they think are excessive or not strong enough. We want to hear about those suggestions."

Proposed revisions include the call for more street trees. Garden Capital has suggested a list of native trees which require less upkeep and watering. Another proposed requirement is for interior parking lot landscaping. The goal is to encourage beautification, but stay within reason, particularly with existing businesses

"Some of these items could be very very expensive to retrofit a parking lot with," Philpot said. "It could be very expensive to require these landscaped islands."

"It's hard to balance the needs of a business with the nature that surrounds it," Bouldin said. "Hopefully, revising the landscape ordinance can help with that."

As stated in the ordinance, commercial landscaping's purpose is to enhance the view and image of the community, while protecting public and private investments.

The first face-to-face discussion on the proposed revision to the commercial landscaping ordinance is next week.

It will be Wednesday, May 4, at 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Judy McDonald Public Library.

More discussion gatherings at a later date will focus on commercial signage, sidewalks and the parks master plan.

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