In view of significant economic
expansion and limited opportunities for available housing, the
City of Rock Springs, Wyoming retained Pedersen Planning
Consultants to prepare a housing master plan. Preparation of
the master plan required an initial evaluation of changing
demographic and economic trends, as well as a forecast of the
anticipated resident population for a 10-year period. Available
data was supplemented by discussions with some 20 to 30
community leaders and business representatives.
In order to better evaluate
housing conditions and potential areas for future residential
expansion, PPC inventoried all housing units in the city. The
inventory was performed via a drive-through survey along every
residential street, the related use of ArcView GIS software, and
the establishment of land use and building attribute tables.
Housing inventory information was correlated with available
building permit information to examine the type and location of
residential growth between 2000 and 2006.
Recent real property sales were
also analyzed to identify more specific residential trends that
were associated with both improved and unimproved residential
properties. Recent sales were reviewed to consider recent sale
prices, the size and type of residential housing sold, and other
relevant housing characteristics. This evaluation was based
upon a review of information that was made available by the
Sweetwater County Board of Realtors.
The affordability of housing was
reviewed in the context of income levels associated with various
market groups, e.g., natural gas exploration and production
workforce. Income levels with potential market groups were
correlated with desired income and debt levels associated with
conventional residential loans. The affordability of rental
housing and fee simple housing purchases for lower income
households and retirees were also examined.
Future housing needs and demands
were calculated by PPC for detached and attached single-family
housing, as well as multi-family housing. Statistical outputs
from the model were used by PPC to help determine a housing mix
that would best satisfy anticipated housing demands, as well as
the annual absorption of existing housing inventories and new
PPC finally prepared a set of
housing strategies aimed at encouraging increased residential
development by both private residential developers and some
public agencies. These were closely coordinated with a local
steering committee, as well as presented to and discussed with
the general public.