Ardmore has plan to encourage new housing - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ardmore has plan to encourage new housing

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Ardmore hopes that changes to the city's development code will encourage new housing on now-vacant lots. (KTEN) Ardmore hopes that changes to the city's development code will encourage new housing on now-vacant lots. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- The City of Ardmore is getting a helping hand as it rewrites its development code.

The city's Board of Commissioners approved a proposal to hire an outside firm to help revise the code, which will make it easier for vacant lots to be developed.

"Our codes are really old," said Development Services Director Jessica Scott. "The last big revision we had was in 1998."

With the old code in place, it has been impossible to build on smaller vacant lots in some of the city's older neighborhoods. To solve the problem, Chicago-based firm Houseal Lavigne Associates was hired to rewrite the code so smaller houses can be built.

Scott said filling those lots can bring a much better look to a neighborhood.

"When you have that missing tooth, it's not that cute; but once you have a house there, you have that complete smile and it rebuilds neighborhoods," she said. "We're really excited for that."

According to Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright, this should not only boost new homeowners, but existing ones as well.

"Most people know that their property values will be better if there's a nice home there versus just having a vacant lot next to their house," he said. 

Scott adds that city officials are excited to bring their development code into the 21st century.

"Times have changed, and we need to just change with it," she said. "We want Ardmore to be better, and in order to get there, we need the tools to get there."

Scott says updating the city's development code will take up to 18 months.

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