The Norman Transcript

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November 28, 2012

Zoning request draws protest

City council to weigh property right issues

NORMAN — City council to weigh property right issues

Concerned residents packed Norman city hall Tuesday night to protest a proposed apartment complex at 36th Avenue Northwest and Tecumseh Road. Protesters had gathered 835 signatures on a petition opposing the adjustment of the 2025 Land Use and Transportation Plan and the accompanying zoning change required for the development to move forward.

Despite that, the Norman City Council was expected to approve the zoning change.

With the council meeting moving beyond 11 p.m., no decision had been made as of press time, but residents of nearby Cascade Estates and Castlerock who mounted an organized protest against the zoning change were hopeful.

The land was designated as C-1 commercial, and many residents said commercial is badly needed in that area.

“We’ve debated this project for quite a long time now,” said attorney Sean Rieger, who represented the applicant. “We have gone above and beyond in protecting this neighborhood.”

But opponents were not moved by changes and concessions made by the developer in order to accommodate the concerns voiced throughout the planning and zoning process which started with the predevelopment meeting between neighbors and the development team.

Rieger said the number of rooftops will not support commercial there, but the protesters disagree.

Protesters said many of their sales tax dollars get spent in Moore because there is no placed to stop for basic needs on the way home from work.

Engineer Tom McCaleb said the multifamily zoning will result in a 79 percent reduction in traffic from C-1 use.

“There is one driveway on 36th and there is one driveway on Tecumseh. The previous plat had three driveways, one has been eliminated,” McCaleb said. “An updated traffic impact analysis was done.”

Traffic projections during peak times are lower with the site developed as multifamily versus commercial.

“We’ve moved buildings away from the western property line neighborhood,” McCaleb said.

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