Transcript Staff Writer

A lawsuit filed by neighbors to force a vote on rezoning to allow the proposed Windstone Farms development in northwest Norman was dismissed Thursday by Seminole County District Judge George W. Butner.

Windstone Farms is a proposed housing addition at 48th Avenue Northwest and Tecumseh Road, with 196 homes planned for 77 acres.

"Now we can get to building a quality development," said Harold Heiple, attorney for builders Sassan Moghadam and Anthony Mirzaie.

The judge found that the three referendum petitions with about 2,500 signatures protesting the development failed to contain the required text of the Norman ordinance that rezoned the property and did not contain sufficient valid signatures which rendered them invalid.

Pam Jennings and Les Crabtree led the fight against the development.

Jennings said she was disappointed and had not yet decided on a course of action because she had not had the opportunity to fully review the text of the judge's decision. She released a prepared statement after the dismissal.

"This fight has been about inadequate drainage solutions, potential flooding, building in the flood plain, pedestrian and motorist safety, density of homes and clearing of the land," she wrote. "It has been entirely too expensive for those of us involved, not only monetarily but also in terms of time and focus taken away from our families, our careers and other commitments for it to be about the 'loss of a view for some residents of west Norman' as the developers (and their counsel) wanted citizens to believe."

Heiple argued that each of the three petitions submitted Oct. 28, contained fewer valid signatures than the required 2,291.

Petitions were scrutinized by Deputy City Clerk Brenda Hall, Crabtree and Cleveland County Election Board Secretary Paula Roberts.

Jennings said previously it took 68 circulators to gather the about 2,400 signatures in support of overturning the Norman City Council's Sept. 28 approval of rezoning the land from agricultural to residential.

"Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we receive(d) some gratification knowing that our efforts have produced changes in how the city handles these matters. By changing their process, they are validating that many of our allegations and concerns were correct," Jennings wrote. "The recent rejection by the council of the proposed Siena Springs subdivision confirmed they now realize that 'minimum standard' developments are not suitable for every piece of available property."

Carol Cole 366-3538 ccole@normantranscript.com

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