Focus and Vision Statement
We commit to adopt policies that preserve and enhance the unique qualities of life in Port Aransas*:
- Providing proportional balance between resort and community.
- Fostering smart growth through incentive development that is measured against economic benefit.
- Contributing to the long-term sustainability of our community.
- Remaining consistent with the qualities of life we value.
A Vision of the City of Port Aransas, Texas in the year 2025
This Vision Statement reflects the Port Aransas community's views on:
This Vision Statement reflects the Port Aransas community's views on:
- The City's current strengths and the assets which they desire to maintain and enhance,
- The weaknesses that they intend to overcome or eliminate.
- The opportunities they wish to take advantage of in order to achieve the sort of city they would hope to be in the future; and
- The threats or vulnerabilities that they perceive need to be mitigated or averted
- The themes that make up the Vision Statement have been separated for clarity and emphasis but are, in fact, closely interrelated. Together, these themes describe the community's vision for the future of the City.
Community Character, Physical Structure and Scale of Development In the year 2025...
- Port Aransas has consolidated its special image as a South Texas small island community reflecting its current and historic links to a barrier island environment.
- The city is clearly defined within its city limits including Harbor Island in terms of its character, use, and recognition of the City's rich history and environmental quality. It is pedestrian-friendly and easily accessible, with adequate parking, bike routes/trails and public transportation for residents and tourists, to its diverse array of shops, restaurants, and waterfront facilities.
- The City's buildings, streets and public spaces, whether catering to commercial interests or serving the residents, reflect this small seaside town image in terms of both scale and the use of materials. This is further reinforced by attractive but discreet signage, lighting and landscaping compatible with this small town seaside character and the special climatic conditions of a barrier island.
- The City's beaches are easily accessible and provide adequate parking. They are clean, well maintained, and protected through federal, state, and local laws.
- Waterfront facilities providing fishing, docking, launching and marina facilities are linked to the core of the city and are an integral element of the City's structure and character.
- New neighborhoods have been built. While their individual character may differentiate them, they too, reflect the desired small town scale. They are linked to the City and to the waterfront by pedestrian-friendly roads, bike routes/trails and accessible public transportation.
- The City's park system, nature trails and preserved habitat areas are integral to the structure of the City and have been located where they are conveniently accessible to residents and tourists of all ages.
- The City's buildings and amenities are ADA compliant.
- Port Aransas is a community of eating people of diverse interests and ages, known for their tolerance of differing views and opinions, their acceptance of individuality and their solidarity in supporting their fellow citizens and the community endeavors.
- The citizens have a laid-back and comfortable lifestyle contributing to the Island's ambiance, and enjoy the superior quality of the community's amenities and services.
- The diversity of the community is reflected in its full time residents, second homeowners, tourists, and workforce.
- The community has diverse religious affiliations.
- People display a strong commitment to community service and tourism, as reflected by the countless hours volunteered by the citizenry.
- A year round economy has helped the City's resident community become more diverse in terms of age and interests, and be well served by local schools, commerce, entertainment and recreational facilities.
The Management of Growth and Change
- Through long-range planning and the implementation of short term and immediate actions, the City has achieved a pattern of land uses and density that is both complementary and sustainable to the overall ambiance of the community.
- The City has maintained its fiscal responsibility and continues to provide quality services. This has been accomplished by balancing the small town character of the community with the inevitable growth of a tourist destination by the thoughtful management of the population density and the intensity of building development.
- The City has attracted desirable and compatible types of development, industry, and businesses, which have enhanced community character.
- The City is active in building and maintaining roads, community facilities, and providing public services ahead of, or concurrent with, new development.
- The City works closely with the Regional Transportation Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation to develop and improve public transportation.
- The community continues to expand its eco-tourism opportunities by protecting and maintaining its beaches, fisheries, wildlife habitat, natural resources, and environmentally sensitive areas. These areas are readily accessible to the public.
- The City is a leader in aggressively protecting the beaches and channels from erosion and other degradation.
- A variety of housing types for different income groups has been built. More families are able to live and work locally.
- Through good use of design and material technology, new buildings and cityscapes enhance the City's character by producing permanence while, respecting and blending with surrounding urban character.
Transportation and Mobility
- Traffic congestion, particularly in peak periods associated with seasonal traffic, has been reduced. The city is pedestrian-friendly with well marked street crossings, sidewalks, bike routes/trails, and access spots for public transportation. Traffic calming measures are in place.
- The community and its tourists have embraced additional modes of transportation throughout the town, including both sides of the ferry landing.
- The airport has been expanded and equipped to service increased demand.
Infrastructure and Utilities
- Drainage problems, associated with development on a barrier island, i.e. lack of elevation or fall and a high ground water table because of the proximity of sea level, have been improved by application of a comprehensive storm water master plan and the application of the best management practices through emerging technology for both existing and new development.
- The City is supplied with an adequate and reliable supply and distribution of potable water and an efficient system of wastewater collection, treatment and disposal. Water conservation is encouraged and practiced by the community.
- The City is supplied by a reliable source of electric power.
- The City has excellent telecommunication services.
- An efficient system for the collection and disposal of solid waste is in place. Recycle programs are in place.
- The community takes advantage, where applicable, of alternative methods of providing energy and water.
- All utilities are underground. Public Facilities and Services.
- The community enjoys attractive civic and community buildings, parks, recreation facilities, and libraries.
- Municipal Court, police, fire protection and EMS are well organized, and have well trained personnel and state-of-the art equipment to deal with the full range of potential emergencies.
- The community maintains and nurtures its excellent public school system serving pre-school through twelfth grade.
- The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, located in Port Aransas, is an internationally recognized graduate and research facility specializing in the fields of marine sciences, fisheries, and mariculture.
- There is a junior college and four year university within forty (40) miles of the city and these institutes of higher learning offer some off campus courses.
Economy and Business
- The community has a diverse year round economy and a healthy mix of businesses.
- Port Aransas is recognized as a national and regional attraction for its beaches, fishing and eco- and heritage tourism.
- Lodging, restaurants, retail and other businesses provide a wide range and high quality of commercial and professional services, allowing both tourist and resident to meet more needs locally.
- The community has excellent health care.
History/Cultural Assets and the Arts
- The community enjoys an active and rich cultural life. It has historical museums that celebrate local history and display local artifacts. It is host to performing and visual art events as well as a variety of festivals.
- The city supports preservation of historical buildings and sites as well as historical education efforts.
- Associations and clubs continue to impact a wide range of social, recreational, educational and business interests. These are a source of community pride.
- The City is well managed and has an active and participatory local government structure with excellent communication and collaboration between citizens and their elected representatives.
- The City Staff is well trained, well compensated, well equipped and responsive to the community.
- The city has consistent enforcement of codes and ordinances.
- The City has strengthened its political standing at the federal, state and regional levels, and has been able to leverage tax dollars from those sources.
- The City has financial reserves to deal with natural disasters or economic downturns.
- The City has local environmental policies that are compatible with development and the preservation of our barrier island ecology. These policies remain a model for coastal communities throughout the state.