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Consultants find city needs more room

GULFPORT — Planning consultants say the City of Gulfport should consider annexing more land because it will run out of room to grow over the next 20 years.

HDR Engineering Inc. says Gulfport especially needs more room for projected residential and industrial growth. The Florida company was hired to update the city’s comprehensive plan through year 2030. Suggested areas for expanding city boundaries are to the north and west.

Steve Schukraft, a planning and urban design manager at HDR, tells The Sun Herald that his company has tried to craft a plan that will serve as a reference guide for future decisions rather than be shelved. The plan indicates the city can support only 7,300 new housing units, while market potential indicates the need for 19,500 units by 2030.

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