Georgetown is a city in and the county seat of suburban Williamson County, Texas, United States, with a population of 47,400 at the 2010 census. Southwestern University, the oldest university in Texas, was founded in 1840 and is located in Georgetown about one-half mile from the historic square. Sun City Texas is a large retirement-oriented and age-restricted development that constitutes more than one-third of Georgetown's population.
Georgetown has a notable range of Victorian commercial and residential architecture. In 1976, a local historic ordinance was passed to recognize and protect the significance of the historic central business district, and in 1977, the Williamson County Courthouse Historical District, containing some 46 contributing structures, was listed on theNational Register of Historic Places. Georgetown is also known as the "Red Poppy" Capital of Texas for the red poppy (Papaver rhoeas) wildflowers planted throughout the city. Georgetown's Red Poppy Festival, which attracts up to 30,000 visitors annually, is held in April each year on the historic square.
Georgetown is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by the Republican Larry Gonzales of Round Rock.
|Nickname(s): Red Poppy Capital of Texas, Retirement Capital of Texas, Gtown|
|Motto: "Sincerely Yours"|
Location of Georgetown, Texas
Without question the single most important issue relating to economic development was the location ofInterstate 35 through Georgetown. Originally, when first conceived, a Georgetown route was very much in doubt as most alignments had the road going through or near Taylor. At the time, Taylor was the economic hub of Williamson County as the center for cotton and cattle. While the Taylor leadership supported the Taylor route, local farmers opposed it. The interstate required a then-unheard-of 300 feet of Right of way across the entire county and through nearby Taylor farms, and many farmers worried that their homes might get cut off from their field. There were also concerns about noise relating to cattle and other farm animals. Meanwhile, Round Rock and Georgetown leadership strongly lobbied for a route along the Balcones Escarpment fault line, a line which would later become U.S. Highway 81 and then eventually Interstate 35.
The second largest economic development activity in Georgetown history was the selection in 1995 of Georgetown as the site for the first-ever Sun City location in Texas. Originally called Sun City Georgetown, the project today is called Sun City Texas due to its size and the fact that it draws residents from all over the state. As of 2010, approximately 11,500 people live in the massive 5,300-acre (and expanding) community, with an average net worth of over $1,000,000 per person. The economic stimulus, creation of sales tax, banking and investment, and the high rate of community support and volunteerism has had an enormous effect on Georgetown according to recent studies.
(Redirected from Sun City Georgetown)
Opened in June 1995, Sun City Texas is a 5,300-acre (21 km2) age-restricted community located in Georgetown, approximately 10 miles west of IH-35 on Williams Drive (RM 2338). It is part of the chain of Sun City communities started by the Del Webb Corporation (now a division of Pulte Homes). Residency is restricted to persons over age 55 (at least one person in a couple has to be 55 or older). Sun City Texas is made up mostly of single-family dwellings, but also has duplexes. It is legal to drive golf cars on the streets in the development (under a special Texas license exemption with help from Del Webb), and most shopping and the community facilities all have special parking slots for same.
There has been vocal opposition to the project at times, especially at the start during the zoning process, with arguments against the size of the community, its effect on Georgetown as a family-oriented town, concerns about the costs of providing city utilities, and concern about lowered property taxes fixed for retirees under Texas law, and the disproportionate effect of City voting.
Georgetown is considered to be one of the best places to retire in the nation because of its fairly warm climate year round, close proximity to both the countryside and Austin, excellent medical care including Alzheimer's care, and its increasing population of retirees. In 2007, Georgetown was named by Retirement Places Rated (Seventh Edition) as the Best Place in America to Retire. Part of this is because Sun City Texas,a large master-planned community for "active adults 55 and over," calls Georgetown home. Fifteen years after the project groundbreaking, Sun City is now home to nearly 11,000 residents—nearly 70 percent retired with a median age of 65—and has been a driving force behind growth, development and the very shape of Georgetown since its inception. Numerous other active adult communities are also found in Georgetown, including the well-respected Wesleyan at Estrella, the Oaks at Wildwood, Heritage Oaks and many others. Various projects offer differing levels of care including assisted living. The city, county, and churches also maintain compassionate care facilities for the elderly at the Bluebonnet Community Residence.