Shrinking our historic preservation zones
Tonight the Tulsa City Council will consider a zoning change to remove some lots from the Yorktown historic preservation overlay (HP) district. These lots are part of the new Arvest Bank development under construction on the southwest corner of 15th and Utica. They'll also consider a major amendment to the PUD for Arvest Bank to allow a curb cut onto Victor Avenue from the bank's parking lot. Victor is a residential street, and nearby homeowners are concerned that the erosion of the HP district combined with making Victor Avenue a convenient route for bank traffic will hurt property values and quality of life. The neighborhood is already squeezed by the expansion plans of Saint John Medical Center.
The people who bought homes in the area bought with the understanding that HP would help protect their investment in restoring their historic homes. Sure, it can be a bother to seek a certificate of appropriateness when doing exterior work on a home in an HP district, but the benefit is that all your neighbors are under the same set of standards. You don't have to worry about your investment being undermined by a bad remodeling job across the street or the house next door being torn down and replaced with a suburban-style home with the garage as the most prominent feature. Changing the zoning breaks the promise the City made to these property owners.
Yorktown Neighborhood leaders would appreciate your presence and support at tonight's meeting at 6 pm at City Hall.
For more discussion about the issue, here's the relevant thread on TulsaNow's forum.
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