Need for growth limits questioned

by Dorothy markulis | reporter Published:

Hudson -- The city's annual growth management report was approved by the planning commission at its April 14 meeting, but not before a discussion on whether growth management is still necessary.

Interim city manager Scott Schroyer presented the annual report which recommended an increase in housing allocations from 100 new housing starts to 125. He cited declining population -- a 1.7 percent decrease over the last 10 years -- and declining school enrollment -- 16.4 decrease over the last 10 years -- as contributing factors in allowing the increase.

"What's striking to me are the statistics," commission member Rob Kagler said. "We actually have less population than we had 10 years ago and less school enrollment than we had 20 years ago."

Kagler said he did not have a problem with the recommendation to increase the housing starts but he questioned why allocations were still in place.

"Why are we doing this? We're spending staff time on growth management when we have no growth," Kagler said. "It appears to be an incredible waste of time."

Commission member Tom Harvie agreed with Kagler.

"Statistics are useful to have but maybe we could have the report every two years," Harvie said.

Mike Chuparkhoff, another commission member, said he agreed with Harvie that it would be good to have the report every two years.

Commission member Paul Wolenski said he was surprised to hear that growth in Hudson was stagnant.

The city's 2004 comprehensive plan established the growth management allocation system to control the rate of residential development, allowing the city's infrastructure to catch up with the city's growth in the 80s and 90s, according to the staff report.

Schroyer said an update to the comprehensive plan is slated for this year.

The commission voted unanimously to pass the report to City Council with the commission's comments.

Email: dmarkulis@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9436

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