Owasso gaining residents' views on the city's future
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Monday, December 24, 2012
12/24/12 at 7:59 AM
OWASSO - The city is using an online questionnaire to frame a new land plan that is expected to carry it through the next 18 years.
Entitled GrOwasso 2030, the update will be used as a tool to guide growth and development, said Karl Fritschen, community development director.
"We're trying to learn from people. ... their chief concerns in the community," Fritschen said. "One is growth. Another one is how they feel about the parks in the community, the recreational opportunities. Also, we want to know how they feel about roads and transportation and about what is lacking in the community."
Owasso's Land Use and Comprehensive plan is updated to reflect current trends and changes in zoning or land use. It also helps the municipality set policy and shape its budget and expansion of infrastructure. The city's last reworking of the plan was in 2007, Fritschen said.
About 360 people have responded to the 39-question survey, which was placed online Dec. 7, he said. The city's goal is to reach about 1,000 people during a six-month data-gathering period.
"At this point, most people feel that it needs to be a document that establishes goals and policies for future growth and development," Fritschen said. "In the second place, they want it to provide input on capital planning for such things as roads, fire stations, sewer systems."
About 90 percent of respondents have said they would like to see the city continue to grow. And 83 percent want more "professional" jobs in the city. Roughly 90 percent want a more developed downtown area, with amenities such as outdoor cafes, Fritschen said.
Public input is the first component of the plan. The second will be a 28-member steering committee featuring representatives from a cross-section of the community, Fritschen said.
The entire process is expected to take 12 to 14 months.
"We're doing this in-house," Fritschen said. "As a result, we're saving the city about $120,000 to $150,000 in consulting costs."
Fritschen previously had worked on land plans while serving in similar capacities in Broken Arrow, Concord, N.C., and Oklahoma City (Association of Central Oklahoma Governments). He was Owasso's city planner from 1997-99.
"This one is overdue," he said. "We do hope to be a little more comprehensive with this effort than the plan that's presently in place. I would like to show more emphasis on multi-modal transportation opportunities.
"There have been a lot of good responses so far. I'm pretty pleased with what we're hearing."
Original Print Headline: Residents aid Owasso planning
Rhett Morgan 918-581-8395