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Monmouth looks at housing needs

City: 2,233 more homes by 2035

December 10, 2013

MONMOUTH — If Mon-mouth's population continues to grow at its current 2 percent rate per year, the city will need another 2,233 homes to accommodate the estimated 15,383 residents in 2035, said Mark Fancey, community development director.

Fancey has been working with the Monmouth Planning Commission for more than a year to put together a buildable lands inventory as part of the city's 20-year comprehensive plan.

"I believe you don't let a 20-year plan sit on the shelf for 20 years," Fancey said.

And so the commission is re-evaluating it now.

"We're still updating it," he said. "After 2020, you'll have new census figures. We'll look at the projection. The crystal ball gets cloudy at that point."

Right now, Monmouth has 408 acres of land theoretically available for housing, although not all of the landowners would be open to development, Fancey said. And not all of the land is ideally zoned.

The city does not have enough high density acres, Fancey said.

The city does have enough low- and medium-density land zoned to meet projections, he added.

But to keep the face of Monmouth similar to what it is now and accommodate nearly twice the population and housing, the zoning matters.

"It may mean redesignating low-density land to high-density, but now we're cutting into low-density (by doing that)," Fancey said.

Monmouth currently has 40 percent of homes in low density, 25 percent in medium density and 35 percent in high density. Moving forward, Fancey would like to keep it that way.

"We're looking at a 150-year trend here," he said. "There's no reason to change that."

But where would the growth occur?

"That's the $64,000 question," Fancey said. "Where it is we see growth occurring is near the university."

It may mean expanding Monmouth's urban growth boundaries, which isn't something to take lightly in Oregon, he said.

By the Numbers:

Monmouth has 3,609 units in residential zones, plus some residences in non-residential zones, such as downtown.

• 24.3 percent of Mon-mouth's homes were built in the 1990s.

• 59.4 percent of those are single-family homes, or "Leave it to Beaver" style homes.

• 40.6 percent are multi-family homes, which include and apartments.

Monmouth's current population is 9,755, with 4,011 households. The average household size is 2.43. Average family size: 3.01. -- Source 2010 Census

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