Inside Business: Bismarck Plans for Growth | VideoJim Christianson | 10/9/2012
"Planning is important because it gives us an idea of where we`re going in the future, rather than just responding to requests to do things, we actually have a plan in place."
But this is no rubber stamp operation. Lee and her staff have to consider future roads and land uses as permit requests pile up.
"Last year, we had issued a total of 398 permits for single family residential within the city. This year, through the end of September, we`re at 444 units within the city."
In just one year, construction has doubled, with nearly 1,200 new housing units permitted. Lee says the majority of that growth is on the north end of town.
"Once you go to the east end of town, you run into obstacles with Apple Creek. So, that`s why most of the development is going to the north."
Lee admits, there are a limited number of open spaces on the map, which are filling in quickly.
"One of the things we`ve had issues with is development moving forward when you have someone who owns the land between the corporate limits and the area someone wants to develop that isn`t annexed."
A continuing challenge in a growing city ripe with new and expanding homes and businesses. In commercial construction, eight new restaurants have opened in Bismarck in the past two years, five more are currently in the works. There are also seven new hotels under review.