The Norman Transcript


April 23, 2013

High-density ordinance reconfigured



Rosenthal said the impact fee provides an incentive for developers to go with the lower density. Retail would be optional for HD 2.

· HD3 would have a height restriction of 75 feet and unlimited density per acre. A parking structure that also could be under the building would be required. Retail inclusion would be required.

The new proposal also will include the architectural review requirements.

Prior to Rosenthal’s proposal for the density levels, debate had gotten heated.

“I think we’ve gotten a long way from the high-density talks this summer,” Rosenthal said. “We have tried to draft a policy of ‘one size fits all,’ which it doesn’t.”

Council members Greg Jungman and Roger Gallagher were driving the more conservative view toward high density, and Council members Robert Castleberry and Chad Williams were driving the more permissive view toward high-density zoning in the early discussions Monday night.

“I think the game is out if you think high density is going to bring more people to town. Jobs bring people to town,” Gallagher said.

Jungman said high density only leads to walkability and fewer cars on the road when there is public transit available.

Jungman has strongly supported height restrictions in the Campus Corner area, but Castleberry said the commercially zoned area has no height restrictions now.

“Theoretically I could build a Devon Tower on Campus Corner,” Castleberry said.

He said there’s nothing in the city code to keep those already commercially zoned areas from having tall buildings.

Williams said all zoning changes would have to come before the city council for approval, so height restrictions weren’t needed.

“To say that 75 feet is allowed everywhere — that still has to go through a zoning change,” Williams said.

Williams said everything wouldn’t be 75 feet, and he didn’t know why that is in people’s minds.

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