The Norman Transcript

February 8, 2013

Norman working to streamline development, become more business friendly

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Development in Norman is about to get a little bit easier and more timely. Members of the Norman City Council and city staff finalized plans to streamline development during the Business and Community Affairs meeting Thursday. Changes will condense the pre-development timeline and allow for preliminary plat extensions.

Subdivision regulations require properties applying for rezoning, Land Use and Transportation Plan amendments, Certificate of Survey or preliminary plats to participate in a pre-development meeting with concerned residents and other parties.

Under the current system, the pre-development meeting must be conducted before developers and property owners can get on the calendar for Planning Commission consideration.

“That totals out to 60 days,” said Terry Floyd, Norman development coordinator.

Under the new plan, applicants will be able to schedule pre-development and Planning Commission dates at the same time. This concurrent application to schedule dates shortens the process by about 30 days, Floyd said.

Applicants would still be able to wait if desired — some developers and property owners want to gauge the public response during pre-development before getting on the Planning Commission calendar — but for many, this tightened timeline could be crucial.

Another change to streamline development will be allowing preliminary plat extensions of five years. The subcommittee proposes to charge $900 for the extensions with a review of those costs in the future to make sure they are adequate to cover city staff time.

Plat extensions will apply to previously approved preliminary plats. Rather than having to go through the entire platting process from scratch once a preliminary plat has expired, applicants can now work with city staff to update and extend an expiring plat, provided the preliminary plat only has minor amendments. Allowed amendments, as outlined in the ordinance include:

· An increase in the number of lots up to 10 percent or a decrease in the number of lots.

· Changes to parkland location upon recommendation of approval by the Parks director.

· Street alterations that accompany a request for an increase or decrease in the number of lots, as long as the layout of the street is not substantially altered.

Staff will analyze changes to the surrounding neighborhood and any minor amendments proposed to the plat before approving the extensions. Planning Commission and city council approval will not be required for the extensions. However, the normal approval process will apply once the plat comes forward for final approval.

These proposed changes for streamlining development are scheduled to be previewed by the Planning Commission on Feb. 14 and are expected to be put onto the city council agenda for first reading March 12. The city council could vote on final approval of the changes at the March 26 Norman City Council meeting.

Joy Hampton




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