The City of North Branch has released its updated Comprehensive Plan for 2018.
A study done by the Chisago County HRA and EDA found that the city will need approximately 1000 new homes of all styles, sizes and price points by the year 2030. The relationship between housing developments will be important. The plan says, "Much like a jigsaw puzzle, the true picture comes from how each piece fits together into a whole. These relationships will determine how North Branch will look, function and feel."
Mayor Kirsten Kennedy said, "We're kind of going to look at 'house and all' policies. If you're a developer and you come into the community, I want to make sure the walkways are paved and meet the next one." Mayor Kennedy explained that it was not always the case that developers would do that. She said, "You could be on a walk and the trail just ends." There was not a thought in place to make sure routes connected with each other.
Proper housing for North Branch affects more than just the residents. Better housing options will provide the city's various employers with workers and schools with students. The city wants to provide options that will best suit their commuting residents.
Ahead of the projected growth, the city is looking at their services to make sure they can handle what future residents will need. With an aging population and an incoming housing development with senior housing, Mayor Kennedy wants to make sure the city has proper healthcare for those individuals.
"We are looking at it (the community) as a comprehensive whole," said Mayor Kennedy. The city wants to provide the best access to healthcare they possibly can for members of the community. That could mean nurse practitioners on site so aging residents don't have to travel for preventative care. North Branch hopes that looking at health care options early will make it easier for residents stay in the city and still get the care they need in the future.
This photo is taken from the City of North Branch website.