Welcome to Cedar Park, Texas!

Welcome to Cedar Park, Texas!  My family and I hope you soon come to love it as much as we do. As you’ll learn in the pages of this edition of BeLocal magazine, our city has a wonderful variety of engaging activities, parks,  restaurants, and just about everything else you could want within your reach.  Cedar Park is the marquee suburb of one of America’s fastest-growing major cities. In this article I’ll discuss why that is and how our city council and staff are working hard to keep and enhance the many things that  give Cedar Park that small town connectedness while sowing the seeds for innovation at an international scale.
Our city’s success starts with our sense of welcome and inclusivity.  If you’re like me and not originally from Texas, you may not know that our state’s name originates in a Native-American word for “friendly,” which is the basis for our official state motto: “The Friendly State!”  I hope you find our community as inviting as my family did when we moved here in 2014.    That genuine sense of welcome is extended to people of all backgrounds, as our city celebrates the rich diversity of our long-term residents and new arrivals alike.  For example, if you’re looking to dine out, you’ll find options ranging from truly international to the local classics, from classic Tex-Mex to Nepali, from Central Texas BBQ to Detroit-style pizza.  We are proud to have places of worship for people of almost every faith tradition, including most Christian denominations, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam (both Sunni and Shia).  We all find that we have so much in common, especially the desire to live in a community that is vibrant, beautiful, safe, thriving and connected.
With so many intelligent, hard-working and community-minded people moving to Cedar Park, our city is able to attract a wide variety of companies and watch them thrive as well.  Home-grown entrepreneurial ventures like RedHorn Coffee House and Brewing Company, national brands such as ShopLC, Perfect Game and James Avery Artisan Jewelry, technology and clean energy leaders like Hyliion, and even space exploration company Firefly Aerospace have their headquarters here in Cedar Park.  
Not only do they employ our residents, but our thriving businesses enable us to have one of the lowest residential property tax rates in the region while still fully funding our excellent city services, including our first-class police and fire departments.  Cedar Park has more than 1,000 acres of City owned parkland and approximately 31 miles of trails, with more under development now!  Our City Council decisions are guided by strategic goals of enhancing livability, economic vitality, service and fiscal excellence, mobility and connectivity.  Our city staff works carefully to use your tax dollars wisely while thoroughly maintaining our infrastructure and caring for our natural beauty and resources.   Moreover, in our fast-growing region, we know that our city needs to continue to evolve and grow in order to maintain our position as one of the region’s most desirable places to live.  We believe our city government should be as innovative as our residents!
One innovation that my family and I are especially excited about is the Bell District, a unique public-private partnership sponsored by the City of Cedar Park.  It’s currently under construction and soon will be Cedar Park’s newest destination, offering a fresh take on a walkable, mixed-use development inviting visitors to explore modern amenities in an environment that preserves the natural beauty of a Central Texas creekside.  The neighborhood will be anchored by our all-new Cedar Park Public Library.  The Bell District will feature ground level retail, restaurants, and offices- all along the natural beauty of Cluck Creek and Bell Park, a gorgeous public space for everyone to enjoy.  
What will the next phase of our city’s growth look like? How will Cedar Park maintain that small town connectedness within a truly international range of opportunities? You tell us!  Our community has long kept an eye towards the future without forgetting our roots and core values.  Our residents and business stakeholders have engaged with us to provide input that informs our master plans.  Strategic and Comprehensive Master Plans are crafted and updated with public engagement and input from our residents; therefore, please do not be shy about reaching out to my fellow councilmembers and me about concerns or new ideas you may have for our city.  I also invite you to attend our City Council meetings, generally held on the second and fourth Thursday evenings each month.  
I’m so happy to be here, and want you to be happy too.   Please reach out to me by e-mail at mayor.jim@cedarparktexas.gov or social media @jpmforcp over Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Whether you are a resident, a business stakeholder, or both, thank you for making Cedar Park your home.  We’re glad you’re here in Cedar Park, where the sky is no longer the limit.
Welcome home,
Jim Penniman-Morin
Mayor of Cedar Park, Texas
450 Cypress Creek Rd., Bldg. 1
Cedar Park, TX  78613