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Sat, Feb. 22

Council considers city's general plan as population's growth speeds up

Rapid growth is one of the eight elements in Kingman General Plan 2020 that the Kingman City Council considered during a recent work session.

During the past two years, Kingman has grown more than the long-term average of five percent per year, said Tom Duranceau, city planning director.

"We can handle continued growth at 5 percent," City Manager Roger Swenson said.

"If growth keeps accelerating much beyond that, keeping pace with infrastructure and services will become a challenge."

Mayor Les Byram said city government coped with steady growth in past years because of state funding, which has decreased, and increasing local sales tax revenue.

Building streets, railroad underpasses and water and sewer lines and adding police and fire staff would be difficult with the current tax base if growth exceeds 5 percent per year, Byram added.

The previous general plan was adopted in 1992, when Kingman had 13,769 residents.

The 2000 census put the city's population at 20,069, or growth of a little more than 5 percent per year.

During the previous 40 years, Kingman grew at a 4.5 percent rate.

A 4-percent growth rate would increase the Kingman population to 29,821 by 2010 and 43,975 by 2020.

The growth element of Kingman General Plan 2020 has three goals:

• Promote public and private construction of infrastructure that is timely and financially sound.

• Conserve natural resources and open space within the city and coordinate with growth areas outside the city limits.

• Make transportation circulation more efficient and infrastructure expansion more economical and provide for a rational pattern of land development.

A key, the plan states, is where development occurs.

The most rational and economic development for any city is infill rather than edge development.

Infill development occurs close to areas that have streets, water and sewer service and police and fire protection.

Edge development occurs where sewer and water lines and streets are not all in.

The general plan identifies six residential subdivisions that had most of the growth during recent years.

Infill residential development occurred at Walleck Ranch and the Kingman Airport Tract between Airway Avenue and Gordon Drive.

Rancho Santa Fe is an edge development at the east city limits with water but no sewer service and more than a mile from commercial, park and schools.

Access is limited to Louise and Southern avenues.

Vista Bella is a second-tier edge development even more remote than Rancho Santa Fe with more limited access, where residents are in the flight path of Kingman Airport.

Growth patterns depend on geography, land ownership patterns, accessibility and distance from roads and utilities, the general plan states.

Growth in Kingman has been progressing north and east.

Other elements in Kingman General Plan 2020 are redevelopment, traffic circulation, parks and open space, water resources, environment and cost of development.

Each will be discussed during public hearings that the City Council must hold.

The council must complete hearings and adopt a plan by Dec.

31 and schedule an election for voter approval, likely in May.

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