Voting against the zoning were Council members Holman, Greg Jungman, Lynne Miller and Mayor Cindy Rosenthal.
“My vote calls attention to the obvious and egregious violation of our 2025 plan, which asks the council to keep this parcel low-density residential,” Jungman said. “This now opens a door that our 2025 plan said should remain shut.”
The second project on the city’s agenda for Tuesday was also infill but in a student market near the University of Oklahoma, in close proximity to the law school.
Engineer Tom McCaleb described the proposed project to be located at Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue behind a 7-Eleven and a Sonic Drive-In. The site houses a defunct car wash that has not been operational for several years. It is already surrounded by apartments.
City staff recommended approval of the zoning change.
“This is an appropriate infill project for this area due to the following factors: close proximity to the University of Oklahoma, the ease of access to State Highway 9; the areas to the north, south and west are designated for higher-density developments; there is commercial to the east and the applicant has taken into consideration the adjacent properties to minimize any impacts,” according to staff notes.
The planning commission also recommended approval.
Some city council members questioned whether more student apartments should be approved with so many already coming online in the near future. A concern was also expressed that commercial might be desirable for that spot.
The project will have covered parking available and will be four stories high and include an elevator. Some apartments will be ADA accessible, and all of the apartments will be built to a standard that will allow them to be adapted to be fully accessible.
Additionally, the building will have sprinklers for fire safety. The original driveways will be used, so there will be no additional curb cuts.