Managing growth in Liberty Hill

Planning for the future, protecting the past

By Rachel Madison Liberty Hill Independent Staff Writer

Liberty Hill is growing—and fast. While a lack of practical planning in the past left a void on City resources and infrastructure, City officials in recent years have resolved to be proactive and strategic in managing growth.

From adopting a new comprehensive plan that will guide the City through 2040, to updating the master plan for the City’s parks, officials are working to make sure every department has what it needs to be proactive with current and future growth, said City Administrator Paul Brandenburg.

“All this work has been building the foundation for our organization and the community to control growth and our destiny for what we want Liberty Hill to be,” he said. “Over the next 10 months, you will start to see external projects across Liberty Hill being constructed.”

Comprehensive Plan/Unified Development Code

The biggest initiative the City is currently working on is the update of the comprehensive plan and the unified development code. This plan, last updated in 2014, serves as the road map for every aspect of the City’s future.

“The comprehensive plan shows how we, not just staff, council or citizens, but the City as a whole, want to develop moving forward,” said Jerry Millard, director of planning.

“Citizen input throughout these phases is very important,” Millard said. “We encourage citizens to come out and get involved.”

Residents can easily find ways to get involved and learn more about the comprehensive plan update at The update began in fall 2022 and will be adopted and implemented in early 2024.


The City Council recently approved the use of its street maintenance tax funds to make improvements to City streets over the next three years. Brandenburg said the tax generates about $500,000 annually, but currently, the fund has an influx of approximately $900,000 which will be used for pothole filling, crack sealing, seal coating, and curb and gutter improvements, particularly in downtown Liberty Hill.

“This is not a total redo of the streets, but instead a true maintenance of the City’s older streets,” he said.

Additionally, the Council recently approved an updated transportation improvement plan to guide the City’s growth in the future.

Water and Wastewater

Currently, the City is expanding the South Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant from 2 million gallons per day of capacity to 4 million gallons per day. Other projects the City has planned for the plant over the next few years include the interior finish out of the administration building on the site, concrete paving around the site’s various buildings, and the installation of control valves, drain piping and a centrifuge unit.

A wastewater interceptor line is also being designed, Brandenburg said, which will connect through State Highway 29 to the Fort Tumbleweed development and head north, creating a line that can serve the entire west side of Liberty Hill. He estimated construction will take about 18 months.

In early 2023, City Council also created a seven-member community task force, called LH2O, which consists of members of City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission and Liberty Hill residents. That group’s purpose is to assist the Council with vetting various options for more water to be brought into the City.

In the past, the City has never had a water and wastewater master plan. Brandenburg said as of spring 2023, the City will have chosen a firm to help create that plan, which will be the guiding document for growth in those departments for the next several years.

Parks and Recreation

In 2022, the City created its first Parks and Recreation department, which is heading up the Memorial Day opening of the City’s pool at City Park.

The swim center will include a pavilion, restrooms, vending and storage spaces, as well as a tanning shelf, a beach entry and a “kiddie cove” for children with splash-pad style amenities. The pool will also have two 25-meter swim lanes.

Another major focus of the new department is on City Park as a whole. The consulting firm Kimley-Horn has been hired to work on a mini-master plan for the park which will be completed by Aug. 1.

“The new department is very enthusiastic about working with the parks and rec board to enhance our existing facilities and seek opportunities to develop future parks and activities,” said Katie Amsler, director of community engagement and communications. “Not only are we in the process of opening the City’s first swimming pool, but we are also planning for a $1.5 million renovation to City Park.”

Amsler added that in October 2023, the City will also begin creating a parks master plan for future parkland and amenities to better serve Liberty Hill.

Economic Development Corporation

The Economic Development Corp., with the aid of an outside third party, has embarked on a thorough and forward-moving strategic plan that is very near completion, said Mary Poche, economic development director.

“Many city staff, community leaders and existing business people were interviewed for their input and the outcome is thorough and well thought out,” Poche said. “For the next two to five years this plan will be the marching orders for the organization.”

Downtown Development

Creating a downtown strategic plan is another priority. In early 2023, requests for proposal were sent out searching for firms to assist the City with this plan. Brandenburg estimates a plan will be completed by fall 2023.

City Facilities

One of the biggest future goals is the construction of a Public Safety facility.

“We did an internal study on what the major pressing issues are when it comes to facilities, and that is the police department,” he said. “There is no room for IT, evidence storage or any privacy for interviews and interrogation.”

Brandenburg said the building will also house the Municipal Court and City Council chamber. That opens up the current Municipal Court building on RM 1869, where he hopes to move the planning, code enforcement and building inspection departments.

The tentative location for the new building will be on RM 1869, across the street from the Over the Hill Gang building. Currently, that City-owned property is used for vehicle storage.

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