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Bethany Looking For Ways To Grow Population

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BETHANY, Oklahoma -

Bethany voters may be deciding on changing a city law to allow more people to move into town. City leaders would like to see the city grow but the city is essentially landlocked with other municipalities on every side.

So the only way for them to grow is within city limits but the current charter limits that as well.

Monday was moving day for Brenda Pemberton.

“I wanted to get out of the apartment living and I found this place come up and decided it worked for my needs and it’s closer to work and it’s affordable,” she said.

Brenda was fortunate to find a duplex that meets her needs but Bethany City leaders say for folks like her, it's not always easy.

“People want to live here, there’s a big demand and there’s a shortage of supply,” says council member Arlita Harris.

Right now the city charter only allows 12 units per acre outside of the central business district. As the council begins to implement a comprehensive plan they are considering asking voters to change the charter to allow multi-unit developments such as condos, garden homes, and mixed use buildings with businesses below and housing above.

“A lot of professionals are moving in and want to live in this area but the housing was maybe built in the 1960’s and its two bedrooms, one bath, one car garage on small lots and it just doesn’t meet the needs of today’s families,” said Harris.

A citizens committee is now considering what steps to take next. The committee will then come back with recommendations. Changing the charter would be put up to a city-wide vote.

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