Tulsa Zoning: May 2005 Archives

A quick update: At Tuesday's Board of Adjustment meeting, the Board unanimously granted variances to allow entrances between the neighborhood and the shopping center to remain open, as they have been for the last 50 years. Strictly following the zoning code would have required the entrances to be cut off by a screening fence. This is the last city-related hurdle remaining to the redevelopment of the center. The entire site will be cleared and replaced with a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on the south side of the center, facing north, with a few "pad sites" along 21st Street for restaurants and one along Yale for Yale Cleaners.

This afternoon, I plan to appear and speak at a City of Tulsa Board of Adjustment hearing. Wal-Mart is working with John Nidiffer, owner of Mayo Meadow Shopping Center to build one of their Neighborhood Markets on the site of the vintage 1955 John Duncan Forsyth center. The zoning permission is in place -- Wal-Mart isn't seeking to expand commercial development into the residential area, and anyway, restrictive covenants would prevent that from occurring.

The only issue remaining is a variance that would allow leaving an opening in the screening fence (required when commercial development abuts a residential zone), so that it will still be possible to go from the residential area to the shopping center without having to go out onto one of the arterials.

I plan to speak in support of the variance. It's conventional wisdom that homeowners want complete separation between residential and commercial areas. I disagree. I think that for a neighborhood to be fully a neighborhood, it has to have more than houses. Mayo Meadow Shopping Center has been part of the Mayo Meadow neighborhood for 50 years, and I don't want to see that change, especially now that we will once again have a supermarket within walking distance. I like the idea of running an errand without getting into the car, and that I could send my kids, when they're a bit older, down to the store for a gallon of milk. A month or so ago, I went before the City Council on a related issue (vacating the stub of 21st Place that connects to the center parking lot) and Mr. Nidiffer, Paul Zachary of the City's Public Works Department, and I worked it out so that there would remain two entrances to the center from the neighborhood -- one on Winston and one on Vandalia.

Our neighborhood may soon be able to pass the "popsicle test," but only if the neighborhood street connections to the new center remain open.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Zoning category from May 2005.

Tulsa Zoning: April 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Zoning: June 2005 is the next archive.

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