The plans for city development in Canyon, TX


Future land use map hung on the office wall of Lucas Raley, Director of Planning and Development. (Photo/Victoria Fatiregun)

Lucas Raley, director of planning and development at the city of Canyon, spoke of the current developments and also future developments for the city. The city is growing and is home to West Texas A&M University, which is an interesting part of the city’s landscape.

The City of Canyon has a comprehensive plan for the city. The purpose of the plan is defined as “a rational and reasonable basis for making development decisions about the community.”

“What that document does is basically set a 10 to 15-year plan for the city of Canyon,” Raley said. “Where are we now? Where are we trying to move to? [The document] is good for community members and business owners. It takes a year or two to produce that kind of document.”

In addition to the comprehensive plan, the city of Canyon also holds regular public meetings that are scheduled to discuss planning and zoning development as well as parks and recreation, amongst other things.

Future land use map hung on the office wall of Lucas Raley, Director of Planning and Development.

“The future land use map shows what our current zoning is,” Raley said. “Zoning is a regulatory tool that says, okay, you have a piece of property; here are the specific things you can build on that property.”

The future land use map is useful for the public advisory committee because they are able to see and ask questions about future and current developments in a visual format.

“[The map] splits it up into many categories, residential, medium density, downtown, retail and commercial industry,” Raley said. “We look at the community as a whole and say, where do we feel like it’s appropriate to have businesses? Where do we think schools should go?”

WT is an important part of the city of Canyon, but as a state college, it has its own zoning rules and regulations that it follows aside from the city. Despite this, the planning and development of the city of Canyon will affect WT students, staff and faculty, as well as community members.

“Around WT, there’s a lot of high-density residential zones,” Raley said. “Or medium density zones, because it makes sense to have higher density there for students or faculty. It’s our job to look at [our plan] or use the future land map to determine whether or not an amendment is needed.”

The development side of the city of Canyon involves talking with contractors who would like to build residential apartments or commercial developments for the city. While it goes hand in hand with planning, it has more to do with the contract agreements between the city of Canyon and the developer.

“We look at new developments, [developers] coming in and proposing houses and we have to go through the process with them,” Raley said. “We have our code officials and inspectors. There are a lot of rules and regulations [developers] need to follow to adhere to safety.”

It is important to note that housing development pricing is done by the contractors and not the city. Different developers have different aims for their commercial or residential buildings and it is all for the overall current and future development of the city.

“Right now, we have a lot of houses slated for development,” Raley said. “We’ve been building about 100 houses a year for the last several years. Wendy’s is about to take their building to the ground and rebuild; there’s a tea place across from Wendy’s that is getting ready to open soon.”

With building houses and incoming commercial development, the city is steadily growing and it highlights the importance of residential and commercial development for city growth.

“Just outside the city limits, there’s a developer working on what’s called a municipal utility district,” Raley said. “[There’ll be] a water system and sewage system out there. There’s a proposal for 1000 houses to go out there. That’ll have a significant impact on the city of Canyon; those [residents] will shop here and eat here.”

If you are interested in learning more about the planning and development of the city of Canyon, the comprehensive plan is available for access online, and you can also fill out the form to join the public advisory committee.