City Looks At Growth And Management Plan For Improvement - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

City Looks At Growth And Management Plan For Improvement

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Bismarck's dramatic population growth in the past five-years has pressured the city to update the way it regulates expansion. The 2014 Growth Management Plan has been in the works for more than a year, and just has one more stop, the City Commission.

The population of Bismarck is expected to double from 61,000 to more than 110,000 by the year 2040. The updated plan focuses on future land use and new infrastructure and has both supporters and skeptics.

Sounds of construction ring through Bismarck on a daily basis, and it is just one indication of the aggressive growth pushing towards the city limits.

City employees, sub-committees and consultants revamped the 2003 Growth Management Plan to better fit the changing city.

Mayor Warford essentially blue printed a master plan.

"I think that it brings an orderly growth potential for our city so that those that replace us will have a legacy of a city that's well planned and traffic that flows right," says Mayor Warford.

Homebuilders in the area say that with the booming housing market, updated guidelines are needed.

"All cities need a plan to develop properly, and Bismarck really hasn't had that. We've done the Highway 83 corridor and other studies and different subsets of the city but not a comprehensive long-term plan," says Red Door Homes CEO Art Goldammer.

But some residents that live in townships bordering Bismarck say they are worried that the plan may allow changes to their rural residential properties.

"Those of us who are more worried about that say no, no, no. We don't want that because we don't want smaller lots. We're not ready to pay for the sewer and electrical. We've got the amenities that we like and that's the dynamic tension that exists," says Dave Pearce of Hay Creek Township.

Pearce says although he understands his neighbors concerns, he is supportive of the plan.

"That's why this plan, even if it's a bit threatening as it is, is being shepherded through because we want to think proactive instead of reactive," says Pearce.

"The real key to it is as the city grows and the city grows out to agricultural areas that we have that balance in the future so that Bismarck's a great community," says Warford.

Warford also says he wants residents to understand that the plan is a set of guidelines and not rules.
   

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