The Norman Transcript

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June 26, 2013

Controversial high-rise, high-density residential proposal on indefinite hold

(Continued)

NORMAN —

He said the visioning process will deal with concerns expressed by Norman residents in creating compatible high-density projects.

Mayor Cindy Rosenthal commended the NCED’s decision and said the city looks forward to a collaboration with the university. OU will bring some powerful resources to the planning and visioning process.

“The university stands ready to work with the city through our newly established Institute for Quality Communities to bring together the best experts nationally and internationally to help Norman become a model community,” Boren said.

Norman has been asked to delay finalizing its high-density ordinance.

“Just as we should not work on individual projects out of context, we also should not rush to pass city ordinances about high density without the benefit of holistic planning,” Boren said. “There are times when it’s better to be thorough than it is to be hasty in making decisions.”

Done correctly, the visioning plan could generate public buy-in for appropriate high density projects in Norman’s future.

“We want to see something created that 20 years from now people look at and say, ‘that’s the core of Norman, I’m really proud of that,’” Wood said. “With the university’s support and President Boren’s support, we’ll be able to get something in place.”

The Norman City Council is fully on board. Monday night, the council’s Community Planning and Transportation Committee postponed further work on the city’s high-density draft ordinance in a consensus decision.

“We’re taking a deep breath, putting that process on hold while we work collaboratively on this larger vision,” Rosenthal said.

The visioning process will start immediately. The city is joining with the Institute for Quality Communities to host two public events this week.

Expert Dan Burden, of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, will lead the workshop events, which will explore street design that enhances quality of life, safety and economic development while also accommodating traffic.

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