View Full Version : Urban Sprawl

09-01-2004, 12:37 PM
Well, looks like Yukon/Mustang are going to have to build more schools and add onto existing ones because they're busting at the seems. Sounds very similar to what Edmond went through just a few years ago. Although many think this is good for those communities, I personally think it's bad for our metro area because it just highlights the continued problem with Urban Sprawl. Urban Sprawl is taking away needed money in our inner city areas. While these suburbs are growing, our inner city areas are crumbling.


"School population booms

By Sarah Kahne
The Oklahoman

With some elementary schools "popping at the seams," Yukon and Mustang school officials are looking at adding classroom wings, building new elementary schools or starting the tedious process of redistricting school boundaries.
While final enrollment figures will not be available for several weeks, preliminary checks by school officials showed healthy enrollment increases in both Canadian County school districts.

An additional 210 students enrolled in Yukon Public Schools for the 2004-05 school year, bringing the district population up to 6,379. Of the 210 new students, 133 are prekindergarten students. Classes started Aug. 19 in Yukon.

In Mustang, even faster growth is occurring. Superintendent Karl Springer said enrollment is up 300 students this fall, repeating a trend of recent years. The district population totals 7,419 students. Mustang classes have been in session since Aug. 25.

Yukon Superintendent Bill Spaeth said a record 742 students are attending Skyview Elementary. Surrey Hills, Parkland and Ranchwood elementaries are rapidly approaching capacity as well, he said.

Spaeth said redistricting is unpopular, but it may be necessary to accommodate Yukon students.

Spaeth said the surge in growth the past two years was because of the new prekindergarten program introduced in 2003-04.

Springer said Mustang enrollment has been going up about 300 students a year the past few years. He said prekindergarten population remained stable, but growth in kindergarten through fifth grade has skyrocketed.

Portable classrooms will be added at Lakehoma Elementary this year. School officials said some of the portables would be moved from other school sites and an additional two buildings would be bought to prepare for growth.

Springer said a $10 million bond issue will be considered by the school board in October and put before voters by December. "

09-01-2004, 12:54 PM
Yeah, Okla. City is also busting at the seems. Between SW.134 and SW.164, from Santa-Fe to Western, there are neighborhoods going up left and right. OKC has even extended water mains down to that area so that we can service them. We actually have water lines that run parralel(sp) of Moore's water lines.

I am sure with all the building that is going on, new schools will have to be built. I'm sure they will be Moore Public Schools. I have nothing against growth, however, as Patrick mentioned, growth in urban areas has caused the inner city areas to crumble.

Even the radio equipment that we use at work isn't up to date anymore. The City has had this same radio system for 25 years, and although a new radio system is coming, it will be at least 2-4 years before it is implemented. Right now we can't communicate up north past Lake Hefner, or to the south past SW.119th st. I know that fire and police have occasional problems with their radios.

The thing is, if they are going to keep building around the City, they should have all the utilities, radio communications, and other things already in place before they start building.

09-01-2004, 01:23 PM
At least we're better off than Tulsa. We annexed much of the land that's being developed on, so we're getting the tax revenue from it. But, it's also costing us tons in infrastructure. I bet infrastructure costs more than what we're maknig off of the increased tax revenue.

I'd really like to see some money be poured into the inner city areas, and I don't just mean downtown either. I'd really like to see the Paseo area becoming an upscale neighborhood once again.
I'm tired of all of the money moving to Edmond. It's hurting our city.

Although I like to see development, I haven't been much of a fan of the poorly planned development going on along Memorial Road, especially at the corner of Memorial Rd and Penn. I know many people are just thrilled about the PF Chang's moving to that area. But personally, I would've rather seen them move to Bricktown.
All the Memorial Road development projects are doing is continuing to encourage urban sprawl to the north and west, which is costing us a bundle in infrastructure costs and ruining our once vibrtant inner city areas.
I'll most more on my opinions of the Memorial Road development later in another thread.

09-01-2004, 01:55 PM
It takes a development and real estate community uncommonly devoted to the inner city to revitalize the inner city neighborhoods. As long as it remains cheaper and easier to develop on the outskirts, we'll have to deal with sprawl.

We can try to offset this with incentive programs, but we need more and it's not enough to convince developers to redevelop. We have the EZ program, but across the country, it's been an ineffective to so-so tool for inner city redevelopment. It's combination of red tape, unqualified workers, insufficient publicity, and coordination problems. We have grants (even historic preservation grants are available to homeowners), but what would you rather do: buy a new home and walk in, or buy an older home and go through the red tape and work of fixing it up? Housing developers face the same choice.

But as Patrick says, it could be a whole lot worse. Oklahoma City isn't suffocated by borders with other cities; we're capturing the tax revenue. Cleveland suffered a collective groan last Friday, when the local daily splashed that the Census bureau found it was #1 in poverty among big cities. Much of this is because it is completely surrounded by suburbs that capture new housing developments. It's what's called an inelastic city.

OKC is very elastic, but it still must find ways to make inner city development easier and cheaper. As I'm sure Keith can account for, the infrastructure required to service pocket exurban communities doesn't make sense for city government. My socialist attitude towards this is: if you want to separate yourself from the rest of the city, you better be willing to pay for it.