By the year 2040, El Reno’s population will grow by about 9,000 people.
That's the estimate from City Planner Dustin Downey.
Downey was addressing members of the Municipal Planning Commission as well as members of a steering committee working on plans to help El Reno grow in an orderly fashion. That growth, Downey said, will be assisted by the creation of a comprehensive plan.
Downey and other city officials have been working to survey residents about what El Reno needs in terms of growth and development. The most recent focus has been on housing.
A session last week included looking at an oversized map of El Reno made up of multiple colors, each representing a different zoning. Discussion focused on where various types of housing would best be suited.
For example, participants saw larger homes being built south of I-40 in the southwest part of town, while smaller homes and duplexes might be more suited in areas on the east side of El Reno.
Downey said responses to surveys have indicated a high interest in residential development in the downtown area. He said the survey responses are beginning to show some trends, but said he did not want to go into detail as to what those might show at this time.
Several participants disagreed with the population growth estimate of about 9,000 over the next 20 years. Planning Commission member Nancy Wise said El Reno would grow by that much in the next decade.
Mike Murray agreed. He said El Reno’s growth will rival that of Yukon and Mustang over the next two decades.
Downey called the estimate “conservative” and Assistant City Manager Matt Sandidge said the comprehensive plan would need to be updated every 10 years.
What the exercise is intended to do, Downey said, is help build “future land use maps.”
These maps will help determine proper land uses when development proposals are made, he said.
Some areas of town will need infrastructure developed before housing or commercial development can take place, Downey said. Several participants said the city should develop infrastructure in these areas now with the expectation growth is coming.
One area that has drawn support from those responding to surveys is the desire for sidewalks, Downey said. Surveys have been conducted at Burger Day and other events and Downey said the effort to gain more community input will continue.
El Reno’s most recent comprehensive plan was developed in 2003.
Members of the steering committee include Paul Patel, Chris Bromlow, Terry Small, Mike Freeman, Heather Brothers, Frank Becktol, Fred Koebrick, Clara Bushyhead, Matt Goucher, Jason Nix, Roman Bugaj, Holly Eaton and Miranda Davis.
Representatives from MPC are Gerardo Troncoso and Vicki Proctor.
Representative from city council is Tracey Rider.