The Norman Transcript

August 14, 2013

Norman parking meters hours expanded

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Campus Corner and downtown parking meters will be in effect 24 hours a day starting in 30 days. Norman police will provide enforcement, Norman Traffic Engineer Angelo Lombardo said.

The Norman City Council approved changes to city parking meter policy to reflect new smart meters that accept a variety of payment forms.

The smart meters in the downtown parking lot and in the Campus Corner area are set up to provide adequate parking for customers in those shopping and dining districts.

On the Corner, parking is limited to two hours with a $1 per hour charge. Downtown, parking can be lengthy and the charge is only 25 cents per hour, but that change has been enough to provide a parking solution for that area.

Both the Corner and downtown come alive at night, and the city is modernizing its policy to allow for 24-hour parking meter enforcement.

In other city business, city council members debated a land use amendment requested for proposed student apartments in the Cedar Lane corridor near 12th Avenue Southeast. The measure eventually passed in a 5 to 3 vote, with council members Stephen Tyler Holman, Greg Heiple and Lynne Miller voting against.

Council member Greg Jungman was absent Tuesday.

The Park 7 Group addition proposal consists of 68.6 acres, with just under 33 of those acres plotted in a Planned Unit Development of 304 apartment units.

Attorney Sean Rieger, who represented the applicant, said the proposed apartments will be widely diverse, ranging from single-bedroom to five-bedroom townhomes. The upscale complex will feature a pool, yoga room and a free shuttles to and from campus. A night shuttle also will be provided for residents.

Concerns were voiced about traffic congestion, but Cedar Lane and 12th Avenue are being improved in the near future and the applicant is paying for left turn lane modifications to help relieve the traffic burden.

“We’ve been building a lot of student-oriented apartments that, frankly, are nowhere near campus,” Holman said.

The project is in Ward 7, which Holman represents.

“I am very concerned about the number of apartment units we are building every year,” Miller said. “It is an impact.”

Rieger said apartment occupancy rates are high and the demand for new student housing has created a strong market in Norman.

City staff and the planning commission recommended approval of the change.

The city council also approved the following:

· Resolution formalizing changes to the city’s recycling policy

· Preliminary Plat for Ashton Grove addition

· Norman Tax Increment Finance Authority refinancing its debt note

Joy Hampton