A reading comprehension test for the City Council

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One of the irksome things about the Council's discussion of the zoning protest process -- the ability of neighboring property owners to force a Council supermajority requirement to enact a zoning change -- is the insistence that the law is vague or unclear, which was unfortunate for the neighbors, but them's the breaks. Part of the confusion claim regards the deadline by which petitions must be submitted for consideration -- three days before the planning commission hearing, or three days before the City Council hearing. There's talk of rewriting the ordinance to clarify the issue.

This is a crucial issue, because in their evaluation of the petitions submitted in the F&M Bank / 71st & Harvard protest, INCOG planning staff rejected anything submitted after three days before the planning commission hearing. The neighborhood submitted amended petitions at least three days prior to the City Council hearing.

Here is a reading comprehension test.

Below is the text of Title 42, Section 1703, paragraph E of Tulsa Revised Ordinances. (To read it in it's full context, click here.)

E. City Council Action on Zoning Map Amendments. The City Council shall hold a hearing on each application transmitted from the Planning Commission and on any proposed Zoning Map amendment initiated pursuant to Subsection 1703. B. The City Council shall approve the application as submitted, or as amended, or approve the application subject to modification, or deny the application. Prior to the hearing on the proposed rezoning ordinance before the City Council, the applicant shall remit to the office of the City Clerk a publication fee, said fee to be in accordance with the schedule of fees adopted by resolution of the City Council of the City of Tulsa. In case of a protest against such zoning change filed at least three days prior to said public hearing by the owners of 20% or more of the area of the lots included in such proposed change, or by the owners of 50% or more of the area of the lots within a 300' radius of the exterior boundary of the territory included in a proposed change such amendment shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of three-fourths of all the members of the City Council. Ord. Nos. 17689, 18465, 18641

Here is your comprehension question: The phrase "said public hearing" refers to which public hearing?

A. The Spanish Inquisition.

B. Lee Harvey Oswald's arraignment.

C. The hearing of the zoning case by the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, in accordance with precedents from Minnesota, Tannu Tuva, and the court of Captain Kangaroo.

D. The hearing of the zoning case by the City Council

30 seconds.... Time's up!

Here's how to score your answer:

If you said A, B, or C, congratulations!!! You have the necessary mental agility to serve in the City Attorney's office! When confronted with a legal situation that may inconvenience a politically-connected business, you need creativity to make that inconvenience go away! It takes imagination to read into the text ideas that aren't really there. Good work!

If you said D, so sorry! You are a legal literalist. You are cursed with the ability to see things as they really are. You naively believe that words mean things. Pathetic, really.

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I found this "new" link on INCOG yesterday. I'm presuming this is the so-called guide the Tulsa City Council requested from the TMAPC. I don't think this was what everyone had in mind, especially the part regarding homeowner's protests. I have inclu... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 25, 2003 10:30 PM.

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