Dropping the ball


City Councilor Randy Sullivan, whose zoning-related antics have been documented on this site, is getting lots of publicity for trying, once again, to close the barn door after the cows have gotten out, metaphorically speaking. A strip club will be going in at 51st & Harvard because the City Council dropped the ball in the Fall of 2002.

From today's Whirled:

At a public meeting Monday, about 350 area residents voiced opposition to the topless bar and frustration about a zoning process that didn't allow for public input.

Any zoning action the council takes to restrict such businesses won't stop the topless bar from opening at 51st and Harvard.

The city had an opportunity 14 months ago to act on the zoning changes that Sullivan is now calling for, but it failed to act on the proposal, which came from the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.

More than a year ago, the Mayor's Office asked the Planning Commission to increase the spacing requirement between sexually oriented businesses and protected businesses or residential areas to 1,000 feet and to add facilities frequented by youths younger than 18 to the list of protected businesses.

The request stemmed from an unsuccessful move by a party associated with Traylor to open a sexually oriented business near a child-care center downtown.

Because the council approves zoning changes, the Planning Commission recommended that the council amend the zoning code by adding the changes.

The council discussed the recommendation at a November 2002 committee meeting but never acted on it.

When I have more time, I'll post a complete timeline and add some links to TMAPC and Council minutes. It was interesting that the Council minutes for that November 2002 committee meeting show no interest in the subject on the part of the Councilors.

So who gets the blame for dropping the ball? Bill Christiansen was Council chairman. The original zoning problem that raised the concern about strip clubs near daycare centers was in Tom Baker's district, and he is the one of the co-chairmen of the Council's Urban and Economic Development committee. And any councilor could have put the matter on the agenda, but none of them did.

By the way, one council seat was vacant at this time: Randi Miller had resigned her District 2 seat to take her post on the County Commission, and Chris Medlock had not yet been elected to replace her.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 16, 2004 7:36 AM.

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