Sprawl To Become Unaffordable For Waco's Future

Growth rates in Waco, Texas, have planners concerned that the region won't be able to afford the necessary roads and services the new sprawl will require.
January 21, 2009, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"Local planners say that if current growth patterns continue over the next 25 years, it will cost $3 billion to build roads to new growth areas. And they can no longer depend on state and federal governments to do the heavy lifting."

"In recent years, Greater Waco has seen an unprecedented amount of scattered low-density development, known as urban sprawl. Between 1995 and 2005, 72 percent of development acreage in McLennan County was outside the recognized urban boundaries of Waco and its suburbs, according to the Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization."

"The county's population grew 11 percent during those 10 years, but developed acreage increased by 22 percent, suggesting a pattern of growth that is half as dense as the historic norm."

"A December 2007 study commissioned by the Waco MPO predicted that if current growth patterns continue, 45.7 square miles of land would be consumed by 2030, based on a population increase conservatively estimated at 45,319."

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Published on Monday, January 19, 2009 in Waco Tribune-Herald
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