County Tools for Managing Growth
Growth and Conservation in Texas: A Primer on County Tools and Paths Forward
The Texas Hill Country is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Much of the region’s growth is happening in unincorporated areas, where there are fewer tools to manage growth and development. To manage growth and natural resources in unincorporated areas, counties must weave together a patchwork of small authorities. The tools that counties have to manage growth and conservation are far from perfect; yet, they can be effective – and there are innovative ideas already available for local leaders to adapt and apply.
In 2022, a coalition of partners hired Gap Strategies to conduct a survey to understand how counties in Texas are using their existing regulatory authorities to manage growth and steward natural resources in their communities. The survey results and subsequent report show that all counties in Texas could be doing more with their existing authorities to manage growth and development. Different counties are using their authorities in different ways, and this presents opportunities to learn from and draw inspiration from one another.
The results of this survey, as well as examples of innovation and ideas for the future, are published in a full report linked below.