New Comprehensive Plan Will Help City Prepare for Massive Growth

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City Officials say they expect the population of Grand Junction to double in the next ten years. They say the time to prepare for that growth is now.

Officials estimate by the year 2035, more than 240,000 people will be living in Grand Junction, and for many long time residents, that's a scary thought.

"It's frightening to think of Grand Junction being that big," said long time resident Kathleen McGinley. "If the roads, the infrastructure and everything could keep up with it, it would be nice."

McGinley has lived in Grand Junction since 1955, and in her 47 years here she says she hasn't seen anything like the growth over the last few years.

"Over the last two years, I would say, the town has just boomed tremendously," said McGinley. "Traffic has gotten progressively worse and worse and worse."

More traffic is just one of the many concerns for city officials. They say the City Growth Plan that has been in place for the last ten years worked for a while, but missed several key factors needed to keep up.

"We recognize that we didn't really do a good job of integrating transportation, sewers, and other utilities in that first effort," said Tim Moore, Director of Grand Junction Public Works. "This comprehensive plan will do just that."

The new Comprehensive Growth Plan will set standards and regulations for City Growth through 2035. Like the previous City Growth Plan, it will set parameters for building and zoning, but it will also incorporate things like improving roads and highways, building more drainage systems, and finding new, more spread out locations for shopping centers.

City Public Works has held several open houses to find out what people would like to see happen with city growth, but says more input is needed to do the job right.

"It's important for the public to participate now because out of this effort will come some policies, some regulations, and some standards that are going to shape the way we grow over the next couple of decades," said Moore.

For residents like McGinley, that's good news.

"I think as long as those problems are being addressed, then yes, the growth will be manageable," said McGinley.

City Public Works will hold another open house on this issue during the first week of December.

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