A survey and study of existing land use patterns and characteristics must be completed to prepare a plan for future land use. During the fall of 2008 field surveys of the city and the unincorporated urban growth boundary were completed. The utilization of each parcel of land was determined. The land use was divided into broad categories of developed and vacant land. Of the approximately 20,850 acres within the city at the time of the inventory an estimated 57% was classified as developed. This is a significant change from 1999 when 68% of the city land area was classified as developed and this can be attributed to the annexation of approximately 6,800 acres since 1999. In the unincorporated urban growth boundary only 37% of the land is developed.
The developed land was assigned to more specific land use categories which included:
Commercial / private services
Analyses were first completed to determine acreage by general land use category. Next specific analyses by individual land use category were prepared and compared to the findings from 1999. The land use categories increasing by the largest percentage from 1999 to 2008 were multi-family residential and commercial, both increasing by approximately 34%.
Land Use Inventory
13,003 housing units were identified in the land use inventory, which is an increase of approximately 3,000 units since 1999. Of the 13,000 housing units identified in the inventory:
56 % were traditional single family homes
37% were multi-family housing units
4% were mobile homes
3% were public housing units
Construction history was also examined. One significant finding in this analysis was that multi-family construction has out paced single-family construction over the past 25 years. From 2000 to 2008 multi-family units exceeded the construction of single family units by 203 units.
Determine Available Land
To determine where and how much land is available for future development vacant land was examined. Of the 9,024 acres in city classified as vacant, 30% is encumbered with physical constraint limiting development potential. Of the remaining approximately 6,400 acres, an estimated 75% does not have access to public sewer. This leaves about 1,600 acres of vacant land in the city with access to sewer and having no significant constraints to development.
Impact of Zoning
The impact of zoning on land use was also examined. Approximately 63 % of the land area in the city is zoned for single family residential use, with 52% of the residentially zoned properties being zoned as RS-20.
Neighborhoods Growth Trend
In the 1999 Plan the city was divided into 9 Planning Neighborhoods for the purpose of tracking and examining land use trends. Building permit data indicates that:
Neighborhoods 4, 5 and 6 experienced the greatest amount of development from 1999 through 2007.
The neighborhoods with the most residential growth from 1999 to 2008 were 1, 4, 3, and 6, in that order.
Neighborhoods 3 and 1 had the most multi-family residential development.