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Broken Arrow is continuing its trajectory of growth, and the Community Development Department’s 31 employees helped keep the momentum going in 2019.
It was a record year for residential development as our Permitting and Licensing Division issued more than 575 permits. The Planning and Development Division processed 239 Planning and Zoning applications, 44 Engineering Plan submittals, and 26 Earth Change Permits. As for the Placemaking Division, they have been on top of things with the completion and adoption of the new Broken Arrow NEXT Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that serves as Broken Arrow’s vision to guide future growth and development. The plan is comprehensive because it includes many aspects of the City, such as land use, transportation, infrastructure, parks, housing, health, and economic development.
Also, the Placemaking Division has been working on the Elm and New Orleans Small Area Plan. This initiative presents a road map for the Elm and New Orleans area to evolve into a new urban district. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for residents, attract visitors, and cater to the local workforce. Presented with a draft plan of the report, the City Council decided to create a committee to review the document and have it provide comments back to City Council. Comprised of two City Council members and 10 citizens from around the area, the committee has been working hard to gain input from property owners, business owners, and citizens. They recently worked on a survey seeking community feedback on a suggested name for the area. The committee plans to send a report back to the City Council by the end of May.
Now looking ahead at 2020, it seems that it will be just as busy as last year. In January, we issued more than 60 new residential building permits.
Going forward, some of the initiatives we are looking to start or accomplish in 2020 are:1. Updating the zoning ordinance.We are looking to update our 12-year-old zoning ordinance to bring it up-to-date with the current standards.2. We are looking to implement a new software package. This new technology will enable our citizens to obtain permits online. And, it will also allow our contractors to submit applications and monitor them throughout the review process. It will also reduce wait time, automate the process of applications, and reduce the need for additional staff.3. Our department is also looking to implement other community outreach initiatives to area schools to help educate our young citizens on community development.It’s a great time to live and work in Broken Arrow!