Call your State Senators today -- kill SB 1324

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UPDATE, Tuesday, May 2, 2006: SB 1324 is on the Senate calendar again today, so evidently they didn't get to it in yesterday's session. If you haven't yet, call, fax, or e-mail your State Senator about this bill. In the comments to this entry, you'll find a message from Preservation Oklahoma about the damage this bill would do to historic preservation and neighborhood conservation zoning.

UPDATE, Tuesday afternoon: No action on SB 1324 today. It is still on the calendar, but it is not on tomorrow's agenda. I spoke with someone in the clerk's office, who confirmed what is shown on the calendar and agenda correctly. If you haven't contacted your State Senator, please do so.

The details are here, but this post is just a reminder to call your Oklahoma State Senator today and ask him or her not to agree to the House amendments on SB 1324. SB 1324 is one of a pair of bills (HB 2559 is the other) which constitute an unwarranted interference in local control of zoning and land-use planning.

HB 2559 is likely to die, but SB 1324 is one step away from the Governor's desk, and that step is likely to be taken this week, possibly this afternoon. The last hope is to convince the Senate not to agree to the amendments to the bill that were approved by the House. The bill is on the calendar for the Monday, May 1, session of the Senate, which begins at 1:30 p.m.

SB 1324 passed unanimously in both houses. The legislators I've spoken with say they green-lighted it because they were told by the bill's sponsors that no one objected to it. Legislators have an incredible number of bills to consider, and in the absence of visible, vocal opposition, they're likely to believe a colleague who says that a bill isn't controversial.

That's why it's important for your State Senator to hear from you this morning that you do have a problem with SB 1324.

To find your State Senator and his e-mail address and phone and fax numbers, click this link and enter your address in the form.

I'd also encourage you to contact Sen. Brian Crain, the Senate sponsor of the bill, and respectfully register your concerns with him. Sen. Crain is a Republican representing near-eastern Tulsa. He has been a champion of homeowners' rights with regard to eminent domain, and I think he'll come down the right way on this if he understands our concerns.

To see the status of this bill and find links to the text of the bill, visit this page and enter "SB 1324" (without the quotes) in the "Measure Number(s)" box. Here is a Rich-Text Format file with the House-amended version of the SB 1324. If the Senate accepts it, it goes to the Governor.

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UPDATE TO THIS ARTICLE: Sentate Bill 1324 is being used to accomplish many of the same things with regard to the Board of Adjustment as House Bill 2559 and it may be voted on as early as today. See Michael... Read More


Honestly "J" said:

I sure made my call this morning, Michael!! Thanks for the reminder!

I was told by the lady who answered for Senator Easley, that she didn't think it would get out of conference? She wasn't even familiar with this bill, until I told her.

When I called Senator Crain's office, that lady said, as did the other lady, that they don't know when it will be up for a vote.

Please, folks, CALL ASAP!!

Thanks, J. SB 1324 isn't in conference and won't be. If the Senate votes to accept the House amendments, it will go straight to the Governor. Sen. Easley may have been thinking about HB 2559, the house bill that deals with Board of Adjustment, which has gone to conference.

Suzette Hatfield said:

This is the alert that Preservation Oklahoma sent about this bill this afternoon:


Please contact senators IMMEDIATELY and ask them to reject House amendments and then KILL SB1324. A cut-and-paste e-mail list for senators is printed at the bottom of this e-mail. Just copy the block into the "To" line of your e-mail composition window.

First the GOOD news:
You'll recall that we alerted you to HB2559 (Peters/Crain) that had damaging language allowing property owners on the "fringe" of an historic district to petition for removal from the HP zoning. Rep. Peters rejected the Senate amendments containing the language and sent the bill to conference committee. He has pledged NOT to allow the language to come back into the bill. Sen. Crain intends to take the matter to interim study committee and come back next session. We'll be watching.

Now the BAD news:
SB1324 (Crain/Peters) could be used as a vehicle for that same language--if Peters comes off the bill as House author. He will not allow the HP language into the bill as long as he is author.

But the bill needs to be killed because it changes the duties of the Board of Adjustment to the detriment of historic districts.

Current law allows a Board of Adjustment to:
Hear and decide appeals (of HP Commission decisions, for example)...
Hear and decide special exceptions to the zoning ordinance...
Authorize in specific cases a variance to an allowed use within a zoning district
Hear and decide oil and/or gas applications

SB1324 would allow the Board of Adjustment to:

"3. Hear and decide proposals for accessory elements associated with an allowed building use, where appropriate general performance and design standards have been established which promote greater economic value and provide a harmonious relationship with adjoining land uses by ordinance or by administrative rule or regulation. Such proposals and performance or design standards may include, but are not limited to, such accessory elements as sound, building material, runoff, lighting, visual screening, landscaping and vehicular considerations;"

This would take fences, landscaping, driveways, parking pads and perhaps even carports and garages away from HP review and place them directly in front of the Board of Adjustment.

This affects not only HP but ALL OTHER districts where such considerations must undergo review and approval.

Some reasons to kill SB1324:
1. It adversely affects HP, Urban Conservation, Business Improvement and other special districts by taking primary review away from the commissions responsible for enforcing specific zoning
2. It adds duties to Boards of Adjustment. These governing bodies tend to be overworked already.
3. Additional language in the bill would force appeals to a lengthy and expensive litigation process in the court system, whereas currently some appeals are heard by city councils:
"All appeals of final decisions made by the board of adjustment shall be made to the district court and subsequent appellant courts only."

This is a live bill with the title on. It could be heard in the Senate any day and would then go to the governor for signature. The bill's author assured colleagues that there was no opposition, so the bill has flown through the process so far.

[Editor's note: In order to make the e-mail lists less appetizing to spambot e-mail address harvesters, I've done a replace to convert all the @ signs to " at " and all the . to " dot ". Do the reverse replacements in a word-processing program before trying to use them as e-mail addresses.]

If your email program requires a semi-colon, use this block:

wyrick at oksenate dot gov; garlick at oksenate dot gov; wilson at oksenate dot gov; cochran at oksenate dot gov; rabon at oksenate dot gov; gumm at oksenate dot gov; bell at oksenate dot gov, shurden at oksenate dot gov; garrisone at oksenate dot gov; stiner at oksenate dot gov; easonmcintyre at oksenate dot gov; wheeler at oksenate dot gov; paddack at oksenate dot gov; bigger at oksenate dot gov; nichols at oksenate dot gov; hobson at oksenate dot gov; laster at oksenate dot gov; easley at oksenate dot gov; anderson at oksenate dot gov; mott at oksenate dot gov; bard at oksenate dot gov; johnsonm at oksenate dot gov; justice at oksenate dot gov; lawler at oksenate dot gov; mazzei at oksenate dot gov; mclerran at oksenate dot gov; laughlin at oksenate dot gov; coates at oksenate dot gov; fordj at oksenate dot gov; coffee at oksenate dot gov; barrington at oksenate dot gov; bass at oksenate dot gov; adelson at oksenate dot gov; brogdon at oksenate dot gov; brownb1 at oksenate dot gov; pruitt at oksenate dot gov; rileyn at oksenate dot gov; crain at oksenate dot gov; branan at oksenate dot gov; jolley at oksenate dot gov; aldridge at oksenate dot gov; reynolds at oksenate dot gov; holland at oksenate dot gov; purinton at oksenate dot gov; cain at oksenate dot gov; lamb at oksenate dot gov;

If your email program requires commas, use this block:

wyrick at oksenate dot gov, garlick at oksenate dot gov, wilson at oksenate dot gov, cochran at oksenate dot gov, rabon at oksenate dot gov, gumm at oksenate dot gov, bell at oksenate dot gov, shurden at oksenate dot gov, garrisone at oksenate dot gov, stiner at oksenate dot gov, easonmcintyre at oksenate dot gov, wheeler at oksenate dot gov, paddack at oksenate dot gov, bigger at oksenate dot gov, nichols at oksenate dot gov, hobson at oksenate dot gov, laster at oksenate dot gov, easley at oksenate dot gov, anderson at oksenate dot gov, mott at oksenate dot gov, bard at oksenate dot gov, johnsonm at oksenate dot gov, justice at oksenate dot gov, lawler at oksenate dot gov, mazzei at oksenate dot gov, mclerran at oksenate dot gov, laughlin at oksenate dot gov, coates at oksenate dot gov, fordj at oksenate dot gov, coffee at oksenate dot gov, barrington at oksenate dot gov, bass at oksenate dot gov, adelson at oksenate dot gov, brogdon at oksenate dot gov, brownb1 at oksenate dot gov, pruitt at oksenate dot gov, rileyn at oksenate dot gov, crain at oksenate dot gov, branan at oksenate dot gov, jolley at oksenate dot gov, aldridge at oksenate dot gov, reynolds at oksenate dot gov, holland at oksenate dot gov, purinton at oksenate dot gov, cain at oksenate dot gov, lamb at oksenate dot gov, johnsonc at oksenate dot gov

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 1, 2006 5:30 AM.

Homeowners for Fair Zoning meeting Tuesday night was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa blog update, 2006/05/02 is the next entry in this blog.

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