The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 21, 2013

If we open the Pandora’s box of high density, how will we get it shut?

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

There are a lot of things we know about new high density high rise housing proposals: 1) they are concentrated on Campus Corner to maximize their appeal to students, 2) they are likely to be tall to allow developers to squeeze more profit out of small parcels of land, and 3) Norman is stuck with the massive buildings whether they succeed or fail.

But, there is even more that we don’t know. These unknowns represent the grand experiment known simply as “high density.”

How will these new buildings affect our water and sewer systems? Can our aging core area sewer system handle hundreds of commodes stacked on top of each other? You say they won’t all be flushed at the same time? What about half time of an OU bowl game or the Super Bowl? What happens then?

Can our fire equipment adequately serve the safety needs of an 80 foot tall housing complex? If not, won’t we need new trucks or ladders? How will our police force handle disturbances within these high rise buildings? How often can a team of officers be taken off the street to quiet high density parties before the safety in our neighborhoods is compromised?

If one high density high rise sounds okay to you, what about the second and the third? Can our core area streets handle the traffic? Will our Campus Corner business owners be helped or harmed by the congestion? Will there be any parking available when you want to visit campus to eat out?

If we open the Pandora’s box of high density, how will we get it shut? And when we can’t get it shut, who will pay to repair the harm? This last question I can answer: The Norman taxpayers!

Jeanette Coker

Norman

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