New Braunfels City Council and other city commissions will meet in joint session Tuesday to discuss future plans for the downtown area.

The workshop, held in association with the Historic Landmark Commission, Downtown Board and Planning Commission, will hear from New Braunfels Utilities CEO Ian Taylor on future use for NBU’s downtown properties after the utility establishes a new campus (when).

City officials said Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center, would be the first addressing stakeholders on what overlay districts are and how they can be used.

Overlay districts are tools local governments use to regulate and/or promote development. They define certain geographical areas and impose restrictions above and beyond what underlying zoning require and control the look and feel of area development.

Restrictions can be specific or general on designs and materials used to for new buildings and street and landscape requirements. They would not apply to existing buildings, only those that are modified, or torn down and replaced.

In November, NBU completed a $3.64 million purchase of 50 acres, off Loop 337 adjacent to the utility’s well field and treatment plant, from the New Braunfels Independent School District and plans to move its downtown and FM 306 service center operations into a single campus. 

In February, NBU plans to seek City Council approval to create an overlay district protecting the “historical integrity” of its old downtown facility after it is sold to a new owner.

NBU’s 263 Main Plaza location has three buildings and adjacent parking lot. The utility has been at the location since 1942. Taylor said the sale of the property would parallel construction of its new facility, which would be designed and constructed within three years.

No action is expected during Tuesday’s meeting, which will be held in the ballroom of the Civic Center, 373 S. Castell Avenue in New Braunfels.

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