The Woodward News

Local News

August 7, 2012

City looking to encourage development

Woodward, Okla. — Woodward city leaders are taking steps to encourage housing and other development in the community.

During their regular meeting Monday evening, city commissioners accepted a 10-foot by 107-foot easement from the Lucas Family Trust to allow for the construction of a water line for two 10-acre lots on Summit Ridge.

"This is to serve properties that are being constructed there," City Manager Alan Riffel said.

Later during his brief report to the city commission, Riffel alluded to other efforts by the city to address the need for development that has been spurred by recent growth.

"We are dealing with several issues on the developing aspects of the community and the growth situation we find ourselves in and dealing with," he said.

Riffel added that city administrators are working on "providing developers those situations and circumstances so that they come in here and benefit the community."

"That is (happening) on many fronts at this point," he said.

The News spoke with Riffel on Tuesday to learn more about how the city is to working these development and growth issues.

First, the city manager clarified that he was referencing development issues which range "from business to residential to industry."

To promote industrial development, which is mostly located west of the city, Riffel said the city continues to look at "infrastructure extensions in terms of water and sewer lines to help establish industry close to the city."

For residential development, he said city leaders are meeting with developers locally and from out-of-state about opportunities to build both multi-family and single-family dwellings within the city.

He said the focus residentially is to encourage development in areas on the south side of the city and pre-existing but incomplete subdivisions "because the infrastructure is already there" to support new home construction.  He referenced a sewer-line extension project a couple of years ago that extended service south along 8th St. and then west along Hanks Trail.

Retail development is expected to come right along the heels of residential development, Riffel said, noting that retail growth will be addressed in a similar manner as residential.

"We're looking at what potentially could be done to fill up those areas that are ripe for development," he said.

This includes re-examining "former options" such as street development between Hanks Trail and 8th Street on the back side of Wal-Mart, he said.

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