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April 29, 2014

Leaders to put hold on building permits in Center City Visioning project corridor

(Continued)

NORMAN —

An administrative delay is allowable under the law — the city’s right to plan must be balanced with property rights, Assistant City Attorney Kathryn Walker said.

The council is considering a six-month delay to allow the visioning charrette process to move forward. City staff will bring an ordinance to the council for consideration at the next Community Transportation and Planning Committee on May 19.

In other business, City Engineer Angelo Lombardo presented information about two grants the city could be eligible for under a new federal transportation alternatives program.

Safety and connectivity are two of the identified priorities in this program and would fit with Norman’s green ways initiatives.

The Association for Central Oklahoma Governments will administer $2.8 million in funding available to the identified Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Much of Norman fits within that designation, with the exception of some rural portions mostly in East Norman. As much as $500,000 per project is available, and municipalities much provide matching funds.

Two projects have been identified as good candidates for the grant money, Lombardo said: the Downtown Main Street Improvement Project — West and an extension of Legacy Trail.

The east side of downtown Main Street has been made more accessible and attractive with upgraded signal lights, curb cuts with ramps and new landscaping. This project would extend that look from the railroad tracks west just past University Boulevard.

The total cost is estimated at $1,730,000. Federal money available would include the transportation alternatives grant at $500,000 and Surface Transportation Project money at $470,000. The local cost share would be $685,000 from the city and $75,000 from a private source.

The second project to be submitted for a grant is a series of connecting extensions of Legacy Trail including a portion along 24th Avenue Northwest running north of Robinson Street and another on 36th Avenue Northwest running north of Rock Creek Road.

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