Urban Tulsa Weekly: March 2008 Archives

The race for Tulsa City Council District 4 is one of the most hotly contested in this year's general election. First-term incumbent Maria Barnes, a Democrat, is being challenged by Eric Gomez, a Republican. My column in this issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly is an account of the District 4 candidate forum, held on March 11 and sponsored by the Pearl District Association. It was one of the most informative forums I've ever attended, focused on zoning, planning, and land use issues, particularly Neighborhood Conservation Districts (NCDs).

Here's the audio for the event. (Flash plugin required):



(You do need to have the Shockwave Flash plugin installed in order for the player to work. If you'd prefer to download the 7 MB MP3 file, here's a direct link: Tulsa City Council District 4 candidate forum, Maria Barnes and Eric Gomez, sponsored by Pearl District Association.)

Here is the text of Maria Barnes's NCD "mythbusters" handout, which I mention in the story.

Also, in this issue of UTW: RELATED:

Charles G. Hill, who lives in an Urban Conservation District in Oklahoma City (very similar to Tulsa's proposed NCDs), explains the aims and impact of such a designation.

My column two weeks ago was about the specifics of the draft Neighborhood Conservation District ordinance for Tulsa.

The February column linked in this entry dealt with the theoretical rationale behind NCDs and the political aspects of the development industry's opposition.

Here is the draft Neighborhood Conservation District enabling ordinance (45 KB PDF) and here is the report on NCDs by Council policy administrator Jack Blair (1.5 MB PDF).

This entry links to my conversation about NCDs on Darryl Baskin's real estate radio show.

Here's an earlier blog entry that links to my November 2007 column on NCDs and has many links on the topics of teardowns, McMansions, and neighborhood conservation.

In case you haven't read the latest issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly (for shame if you haven't), here's a link to my latest column about the recent electrical, political, and financial difficulties of our city's monopoly daily newspaper, the Tulsa World, affectionately known around here as the Whirled for the strange spin they put on local stories.

If I point out when the editor edits my story in a way not to my liking, I ought to point it out when he makes an especially constructive addition. That's how the connection between the termination of the Community World section and its employees and speculation that the Lortons might be readying the paper for sale came to be in my column. It's the first sensible explanation I've seen for the suddenness of the termination and the meanness of the severance package.

There's also Brian Ervin news story on the end of the Community World, with quotes from former CW editor Emily Priddy and World managing editor Susan Ellerbach.

This week is also UTW's green issue, with a focus on sustainable living.

Elsewhere in UTW, Brian Ervin has stories about the demise of a proposed five-story apartment complex project in Brookside (killed by Tulsa's fire codes), the anniversary of the death of Cintas laundry worker Eleazar Torres-Gomez and the results of OSHA's investigation, and the announcement that the Atlas Life building will be converted into a Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

Past columns in Urban Tulsa Weekly have dealt with the concept of Neighborhood Conservation Districts -- a type of zoning to accommodate new building in established neighborhoods while protecting the character of the neighborhood that made new development attractive in the first place. While opponents of NCDs try to nip the idea in the bud by spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD, for short), there's now a concrete proposal that can be examined, critiqued, and compared to the alarums of the developers' lobby. In the current issue, I examine the draft Neighborhood Conservation District enabling ordinance and find it reasonable and modest in scope.

So you can read and decide for yourselves, here is the draft Neighborhood Conservation District enabling ordinance (45 KB PDF) and here is the report on NCDs by Council policy administrator Jack Blair (1.5 MB PDF).

Also in this issue, Brian Ervin has a fascinating and carefully written cover story profile of Steve Kitchell (who is associated in some vague way with but doesn't actually technically own nightclubs where bad things happen) which begins thus:

"If you libel or slander me, I'm warning you--there will be horrible consequences," said nightclub impresario Steve Kitchell during a recent telephone conversation.

His ominous warning came in response to an offer to interview him after 21-year-old Eric Bell was shot to death at Club UV late last year, once again bringing the name and notoriety of longtime nightclub impresario Steve Kitchell back into the forefront of the public's attention.

This week, Ervin also covers another midtown businessman with a mixed reputation, Dan Perry of Perry Properties, owner of apartments and rental houses:

When the Houston-based Bomasada Group announced its plans last week to build a high-end, 5-story apartment complex in Brookside, many residents celebrated the development as an eventual end to the "blight" currently resting on the site at 39th St. and Rockford Ave, otherwise known as the Brookside Annex and Brookside Courtyard apartments (for the latest on that, see accompanying sidebar).

A persistent attitude among many of the neighborhood residents is that the blight in question is the deliberate creation of the landlord, Dan Perry of Perry Properties.

And much, much more of interest in the latest issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Urban Tulsa Weekly category from March 2008.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: February 2008 is the previous archive.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: April 2008 is the next archive.

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