Neighborhood Conservation Districts on TMAPC worksession agenda

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This Wednesday, April 16, immediately following the regular meeting of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (TMAPC), the commissioners will go into a worksession to discuss whether to move forward with public hearings that could lead to a Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) enabling ordinance for the City of Tulsa. The TMAPC will also discuss a proposed sidewalk ordinance.

Although the public won't be allowed to speak at this worksession, the development lobby, the "build anything I want, anywhere I want" bunch, which opposes any form of NCD, is sending out e-mails to have large numbers of their people present in hopes that they can "put this issue to rest for good," as Martha Thomas Cobb put it in a recent e-mail.

It's important for the TMAPC members to hear from the rest of us, those of us who believe the character of our older neighborhoods is worth protecting, those of us who think our zoning code should distinguish between a neighborhood built in the '30s in midtown and one built in the '80s in south Tulsa.

I've said before that the current draft NCD enabling ordinance is extremely mild. It only deals with residential property. Many cities, including Oklahoma City, Austin, and San Antonio, also protect commercial areas, where simple rules are put in place to require new commercial development to match the pedestrian friendly characteristics that already exist in older retail areas like Cherry Street. But that won't happen at all if we can't even get authorization for a much more basic type of conservation district.

The issue before the TMAPC at this point is whether any sort of NCD ordinance will happen at all. The naysayers want to kill the concept in its crib. Reasonable people need to be at the meeting if possible, or to contact the TMAPC by sending an e-mail to its secretary Barbara Huntsinger (bhuntsinger@incog.org), to ask the TMAPC to let the process move forward on NCDs.

The meeting will be held in the City Council chamber -- the small two story building in the City Hall complex. It will immediately follow the regular TMAPC meeting, which begins at 1:30 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) and is likely to be quite short.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 15, 2008 5:38 AM.

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