WAITE PARK -- Waite Park is exploring ways to better utilize the undeveloped areas of the city at they look towards the future.

The city last updated their comprehensive plan back in 2006, and felt with the change in development and growth of the city, the ideas planned for those areas do not fit the mold for today.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says Waite Park has been trying to put more focus into economic development over the last few years.

"In Waite Park we've been very fortunate to have economic development happen on it's own. As we continue to look at development we feel we need to take a step back and evaluate where our needs are and how we fit into the overall larger St. Cloud region," says Johnson.

This (Tuesday) morning city staff and council members sat down with SCSU economic professors King Banian and Rich MacDonald to hear a proposal they have been working on to help evaluate the areas effectively.

Banian says the proposed plan would look at the city over the next 10-15 years and see where the major development needs and growth are.

"We're going to be looking at land use patterns, the economy of Waite Park, the education system, the transportation system and basically try to give them a vision of where this community is going to move over the next 10 to 15 years," says Banian.

Over the next year, many departments at SCSU will work on a draft which will include surveys, graphics, data and research on how to best use the undeveloped areas and how they should be used in the future.

Johnson says by working with SCSU it gives a third party perspective and insight on where the gaps are and how certain developments can fit in the larger picture.

"What it really is doing is allowing experts to do some projections for us, get some input from those that live, work and visit our community. Once we get a better perspective of those opportunities we're really going to put our city on the map," says Johnson.

The land use study proposal will be broken down into three phases between now and April 30th 2016, which is when a final draft will be presented to the council.

Funding for the study would cost the city about $25,000 which has already been budgeted for 2015.

Johnson says the study will be brought to the council for approval at Monday's meeting.