OUR HOMETOWN VISION 2040
At a population of 42,120 and a total area of 29.82-square miles (with another 22.79-square miles in extraterritorial jurisdiction), the City of Rockwall is the largest city in Rockwall County. It is the county seat of Rockwall County, which -- at 149-square miles -- is geographically the smallest county in the State of Texas. Lake Ray Hubbard -- which consumes 22-square miles of the County -- is situated along the western corporate limits of the City, and separates both the City and County from the larger metroplex. The City and County are accessible by IH-30, which acts as the major east/west entry portal for both entities. The major north/south entry portal for both the City and County is SH-205.
The City is approximately 30-minutes (24.9-miles) from downtown Dallas via IH-30. This proximity has greatly influenced the composition and growth of the community, and has firmly established the city as a suburban bedroom community of Dallas; however, in Rockwall County, the City of Rockwall is a job creator with an E-R Ratio of 1.08 (North Central Texas Council of Governments). This means that after the morning commute, the City of Rockwall has eight (8) percent more persons working in the city than currently live in the city limits. This can be attributed to  a successful effort by the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation (REDC) to build an industrial base for the community, and  the City of Rockwall’s position as a major commercial center for the region.
Rockwall County is currently the 6th wealthiest county in the State of Texas, with a per capita income of $33,274.00 and a median household income of $78,032.00. The City of Rockwall has a slightly higher per capita income of ~$35,100.00 and a slightly higher median income of ~$86,597.00. In addition, as of 2018 the City of Rockwall was ranked as having the 3rd highest purchasing power index score of all cities in the United States (i.e. a score of 96.79), and consistently has a high per capita sales tax compared to other cities in the region estimated to be $380.00 per person in 2017.
Looking forward, the City of Rockwall will continue to be the largest commercial and residential center in Rockwall County. This means that the City will need to take a lead role in regional planning initiatives that deal with natural resources, transportation, and the regional economy. Through its strategic planning and partnerships, the City of Rockwall can ensure the prosperity of Rockwall citizens and residents in the Rockwall County area.
 : As of 2017; North Central Texas Council of Governments.: A “Metroplex” is a contiguous metropolitan area that typically has two (2) larger cities that are of equal population and geographic area. This phrase is commonly associated with the Dallas/Fort Worth area. : An E-R Ration is a measure of the total number of workers working in a place relative to the total number of workers living in the place.: Places with the Most Favorable Cost of Living (2018). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from https://smartasset.com/mortgage/cost-of-living-calculator.
Prior to commencing with the Comprehensive Plan Update, City staff assembled the 2017 Existing Conditions Report and the Tapestry Segmentation Report. These two documents were intended to provide detailed demographic data that could be used to assist the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) in making policy recommendations for the OURHometown Vision 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The following is a summary of the findings from these documents.
POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS
As of 2016, the City of Rockwall had 41,370 residents living in its corporate boundaries. This population represents a 143% growth since 2000 when the population was 17,050 residents. The majority of the City’s current population is primarily between the ages of 35-54 (i.e. 30.85%), with the fastest growing age cohort being people between the ages of 45-54 (i.e. growing at a rate of 102% from 2000-2010). There has also been rapid increase in the number of children between 0-19 years of age, which represents 31.64% of the total population.
From a gender standpoint, the City is almost equally divided between its male and female residents with 49% of the population being male and 51% of the population being female. The median age by gender is 35.3 years old for males and 37.3 years old for females. From an ethnicity standpoint, the City of Rockwall is primarily Caucasian at 82.4%; however, this has been changing in recent years with all other ethnicities growing at rates that range from 219% - 364% compared to the Caucasian cohort, which has grown at a rate of 88%.
From a cost of living and income basis, the City of Rockwall is relatively affluent with a high per capita income of ~$35,100.00 and an average household income of $78,032.00. These numbers are higher than both the state and national averages. As was stated previously, the City of Rockwall was ranked as having one of the highest purchasing powers in the country, which indicates an affordable cost of living with regard to the City’s median income. In addition, the City of Rockwall has a high level of educational attainment with 91.70% of its residents having at least a high school diploma. This is more than 10% higher than the state average (i.e. 81.60%) and 3% higher than the national average (i.e. 88.40%). The Rockwall Independent School District (RISD) also has a 98% graduation rate, which is 15% higher than the State of Texas average (83%). In addition, 40% of the population has a Bachelor’s Degree with another 33% having an Associate’s Degree or some college.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION
The City of Rockwall contracts with the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) to provide treated water and treatment of wastewater services. The City’s responsibility is water distribution and wastewater collection, while the NTMWD is responsible for the provision of treated water and the treatment of wastewater.
The majority of the City’s infrastructure is relatively new with only an estimated 25%-30% being installed prior to 1990. This is reflective of the growth experienced by the community over the last 20+ years. Currently, in the City’s corporate limits there are approximately 322.95-linear miles of water lines (308.76-linear miles of City owned water lines), 406.95-linear miles of wastewater lines (244.35-linear miles of City owned wastewater lines), and 143.58-linear miles of City maintained stormwater lines. In addition, the City has 287.21-miles of roadways consisting of 59.90-miles of State Highways, 209.51-miles of City streets, and 17.81-miles of private streets. The City also owns and maintains 61.16-miles of alleyways.
LAND USE AND ZONING
The City of Rockwall’s corporate limits consist of 19,087.63-acres or 29.81-square miles that can be broken down into 17,622 parcels of land. The Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) of the City adds another 14,583.55-acres or 22.79-square miles. Of the incorporated land area, approximately 46.55% (i.e. ~7,884.84-acres; excluding right-of-way) is developed and approximately 53.45% (i.e. ~9,053.73-acres; excluding right-of-way) is vacant. The majority of the developed land is consumed with single-family housing (i.e. 25.94%), with the next highest use being commercial land uses (i.e. 7.38%).
Based on this Comprehensive Plan Update, the City is anticipated to be ~62.42% single-family at buildout with a population of 146,321 residents. The remaining future land use breakdown is as follows: High Density Residential (HDR): 0.87%; Non-Residential land uses (i.e. Commercial, Industrial and Office): 15.21%; Public and Quasi-Public land uses: 3.04%; Mixed-Use Districts: 1.53%; and Parks, Open Space and Cemeteries: 16.93%. Aggregating these land use categories in only commercial and residential (i.e. removing public, quasi-public, parks and open space and cemeteries) yields a 79.09% residential versus 20.91% commercial/mixed-use breakdown, which is consistent with the land use and growth policies contained in this document and in the City’s Strategic Plan.
HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOODS
The existing housing stock in the City of Rockwall is primarily single-family homes, which make up an estimated 82.54% of the current housing composition. Multi-family is the next largest category of housing, making up another estimated 12.38%. Assisted living at 4.54% and government housing at 0.55% complete the housing breakdown.
The majority of the City’s single-family homes were built after 1990 (i.e. ~76.34%), which is consistent with the City’s population growth. In addition, the City has seen large reinvestment in the housing stock that was constructed prior to 2000. This reinvestment is particularly noticeable in the Old Town Rockwall (OTR) Historic District, Lake Rockwall Estates Subdivision, Chandler’s Landing Subdivision, and portions of the Shores Subdivision. In addition, the City has seen a growth of single-family housing starts with the number of building permits steadily increasing every year from 2008. This coupled with a low homeowner vacancy rate of 2.1% (2010 US Census) indicates an overall strong and sustainable housing market for new and pre-owned homes.
As of January 1, 2017, there were approximately 1,006 vacant single-family lots within 27 active subdivisions across the City. Under the City’s current permitting trends, this equates to a 2½-year lot inventory. Additionally, the City had an estimated 2,786 single-family lot entitlements between various planned development districts.
On the multi-family side of City’s housing entitlements, the City had a total of 1,324 entitled multi-family units. This equates to a single-family to multi-family entitlement ratio of 68% single-family to 32% multi-family. If all entitlements were constructed and no additional entitlements were granted the City’s housing mix as of January 1, 2017 would be 80.42% single-family, 15.40% multi-family, 3.73% assisted living, and 0.45% government housing.
Since 2012, the City of Rockwall has experienced rapid growth in non-residential development adding an estimated 2,353,533 SF of building area. This translates to an estimated value of $225,394,713.79. A large part of this growth -- on the commercial/non-retail side of development -- can be attributed to the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation’s (REDC’s) ability to successfully recruit industrial businesses to the City’s Technology Park. Over the last 5 years, the REDC has successfully recruited Channell Commercial Corporation, Pratt Industries, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Lollicup USA and Pegasus Foods.
On the commercial/retail side of development, the City has proven to be an attractive market due to its expanded trade area, and its residents’ high level of purchasing power. These aspects have allowed Rockwall to emerge as a regional commercial center. Moving forward, the City will continue to look to expand its current employment centers and preserve its strategic retail centers.
The City of Rockwall has 8 general service buildings, totaling 63,548 SF of building area, on 130.656-acres of land; 4 fire stations with a total building area of 41,030 SF on 5.946-acres of land; and 3 police facilities, totaling 38,341 SF of building area on ~11.048-acres of land. These 15 buildings total 142,919 SF of building area, on 147.65-acres of land. Currently, the City does not have any plans to expand any of the existing facilities or build any new administrative or support facilities in the near future.
PARKS, TRAIL AND OPEN SPACE
Currently, there are 280.16-acres of community parks, 90.09-acres of neighborhood parks, 26.29-acres of sports complexes, and approximately 24.27-acres of specialty parks (i.e. school parks, mini-parks and special-use parks) situated within the City. In addition, Rockwall has another 95.29-acres of greenbelts/greenways that help connect the 25.35-linear miles of neighborhood and park trails to the larger 216.36-linear miles of on-street sidewalks.