Guiding future growth of community

In 2016, Hull city leaders understood that a comprehensive plan was necessary to guide future growth and development.

They invited community members to provide input with ideas for the future of Hull through three opportunities. There was a community online survey, perspective group discussions and a comprehensive planning workshop.

Getting input from the citizens of Hull was a key step in developing a plan. It gave organizers a guide as to what residents think the council, city and Hull Industrial Development Corp. should be working toward.

The information was shared with Lisa Briscoe, owner/principle of Vireo, who created Hull’s comprehensive plan. The results are available at the Hull City Office.

The issues which were most important to residents included economic development and job growth, adequate housing and infrastructure, safe, friendly and connected community and parks and recreational opportunities.

“Developing a comprehensive plan is encouraged by the state of Iowa,” said city administrator Aaron Kooiker. “It is a draft that sets up a framework for managing future growth and changes, and determines how best to move forward with new growth over time. The plan received is an affirmation that the city is going in the right direction.”

The plan created goals for the areas of urban growth, land use and development, neighborhoods, parks, trails and open spaces, transportation and infrastructure and services.

Some of the top answers given by community members, which helped shape the plan are below.

What factors influenced your decision to live, or locate your business, in Hull? Family/to raise a family/family connection, Job opportunity, Schools, Christian values and churches, Small town

Other factors that would encourage others to move their home or business to Hull? Schools and churches, Work ethic, Jobs/employment opportunity

Additional strengths that Hull offers? Library, parks, pool, churches, Professional services, People/service minded/involvement/cooperation

What is Hull known for? Athletics, schools, churches, Pizza Ranch birth place, Foreign Candy Company, Building construction contractors

In the future, what would you like Hull to be known for? Athletics, Schools, Churches, Quality of Life, Businesses/business opportunities

If you could live in another city in the area, where would it be? Sioux Center, Rock Valley, Orange City

Top growth issues? Economic development and job creation, More rental housing, Finding quality employees

What should be the focus of economic development activities? Training future workers, Creating more and better-paying jobs, Helping small businesses open, Attracting larger businesses and industries, Developing business leaders, Promoting what Hull has to offer

What is the single most pressing issue Hull must address in the next five years? Housing, Job opportunity/workforce development, Retail/commercial needs, Infrastructure, facilities and city services, Coordination and cooperation

What should not change in Hull? Safety, Faith, family, morals, values, Schools and education, Coordination and cooperation, Retention of existing businesses — no Wal-Mart

Top growth issues from survey: Housing choices, City’s image, Importance of retail, quality jobs, commercial growth

Housing goals: Create more owner-occupied “moderate” housing, Revitalize housing in older neighborhoods, Ensure housing options for older residents and youth

Park priorities: Additional enhancements for city parks, Take care of what we have and keep the golf course, Support was divided over the addition of an indoor rec facility, Improve park maintenance

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