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Como/Sunset Heights Neighborhood Empowerment Zone

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The Como neighborhood was once a thriving working class neighborhood with several small “mom and pop” businesses to serve the nearby households. However, over the past several decades, minimal new investment has occurred in the Como neighborhood, due in part to a high poverty level and related challenges that have contributed to a diminished quality of life in Como.

Today, the Como neighborhood is poised for revitalization. The Como neighborhood has several attributes that can contribute to its revitalization, including its close proximity to major employment centers and cultural attractions, numerous vacant lots that are suitable for quality affordable and market rate infill housing and new commercial development, and an active and engaged neighborhood association. These attributes will help position the Como neighborhood to capitalize on the growing Fort Worth economy to bring new investment and renewal to Como.

Planning Process

Since late 2014, Como stakeholders have participated in a planning process that included two workshops, seven public meetings, surveys and polling, and over 12 advisory committee meetings. An advisory committee comprised of Como residents helped identify and refine the goals and recommendations of the plan. The Como community desires revitalization that protects and enhances the character and cultural heritage of Como. Because the Como neighborhood is located in a designated Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ), the plan was developed under the City’s NEZ program.

The Plan

The Como/Sunset Heights NEZ Strategic Plan proposes a comprehensive, holistic approach intended to revitalize the Como neighborhood. The plan builds on existing assets and strengths in the Como neighborhood and outlines a vision, goals, plan framework, and implementation strategies to achieve the aspirations of residents and stakeholders of the Como neighborhood. Additionally, the Como/Sunset Heights NEZ Strategic Plan is intended to serve as a guiding document that provides general direction to Como stakeholders, developers, and investors.

Implementation of the Como/Sunset Heights NEZ Strategic Plan will be guided by benchmarks and measures to track the progress and effectiveness of the proposed strategies. An implementation matrix is provided as a scheduling and tracking tool.

Goals and Strategies

The five goals and associated strategies below provide a framework intended to achieve revitalization of the Como neighborhood.

Development

Goal: Amend the City’s Future Land Use map to apply the recommended designations in order to guide future development. Adopt and apply NEZ Design Guidelines (Appendix A) to ensure that NEZ benefits support projects that improve the community.

Strategies:

  • Apply the Urban Residential Future Land Use designation in target locations to facilitate walkable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed density residential development that provides a range of housing choices.
  • Expand the Mixed-Use Future Land Use designation to facilitate higher density, mixed-use development along the northern section of Horne Street.
  • Expand the Neighborhood Commercial Future Land Use designation to accommodate additional neighborhood-serving retail and commercial businesses along the northern to mid-section of Horne Street.
  • Apply design guidelines for new development and substantial redevelopment projects that address the following categories:
    • Setbacks and yards
    • Building massing and scale
    • Site design and landscaping
    • Driveways and garages
    • Roofs and windows
    • Porches and entries

Housing

Goal: Improve the housing stock in the Como neighborhood by developing quality new affordable and market rate single-family infill housing, as well as limited higher density mixed-income housing in target locations; stabilize and rehabilitate the existing housing stock.

Strategies:

  • Build quality new affordable and market rate single-family infill housing on vacant lots.
  • Provide housing choice opportunities with higher density well-designed townhomes, apartments, and condominiums in target locations.
  • Provide housing support (rehabilitation and foreclosure prevention) to existing homeowners.
  • Establish public/private partnerships to achieve housing production and intervention targets over the next twenty years.

Neighborhood-Focused Economic Development

Goal: Develop Horne Street into a vibrant business district with new neighborhood-serving retail and commercial businesses, and strengthen existing businesses.

Strategies:

  • Redevelop and revitalize the Horne Street corridor by implementing infrastructure improvements within the public right-of-way and stimulating land use changes and building redevelopment.
  • Develop a small business recruitment and support program.
  • Develop an entrepreneurial development and support program.
  • Establish a business/merchant association.

Livability Enhancements

Goal: Establish comprehensive programs and initiatives for livability enhancements in the Como neighborhood.

Strategies:

  • Enhance public parkland.
  • Promote transportation connectivity, safety, and mobility choice.
  • Undertake public infrastructure investments in a timely manner.
  • Utilize research-based public safety prevention strategies to reduce crime and code violations.
  • Establish an adult job training and workforce development program.
  • Establish a coalition of appropriate organizations/agencies to focus on poverty reduction.
  • Undertake programs and initiatives to protect, capture, and showcase the heritage of the Como neighborhood.

Capacity Building

Goal: The Como community will have the capacity to be an engaged and effective partner in its revitalization, which shall be supported and guided by benchmarks, measures, and an implementation schedule.

Strategies:

  • Expand the committee structure of the Como NAC to work directly on revitalization goals.
  • Develop public/private partnerships between the Como NAC and public and private organizations to assist with selected revitalization strategies.
  • Establish a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit Community-Based Organization (CBO) to undertake fund raising, etc. for revitalization projects and programs.

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Contact

Physical Address
908 Monroe Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102

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Housing Services & Information, Directions Home, Management & Budget, Home Improvement & Construction
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