Council looks at resolution for proposed use of half-cent sales tax

By Carol Cole

Transcript Staff Writer

Public safety needs, an emergency fund and helping bring quality jobs to Norman would be the three major items financed by a proposed renewal of the half-cent sales tax, if the Norman City Council approves a resolution detailing its intentions for the tax revenues at its regular Tuesday meeting.

Council voted at its June 13 meeting to send the half-cent sales tax to a vote of the people Aug. 22. The tax expires Sept. 30.

The revenues would finance additional police and firefighters, along and other key personnel, if approved by voters.

An emergency fund would be created for "non-recurring expenses, including but not limited to, damages by tornadoes, severe storms and fires."

The amount that would go into the emergency fund was not specified in the resolution, but $1 million annually has been previously discussed by council.

A reserve for economic development initiatives of about $1 million annually would be established for non-recurring expenses.

Some of those could include providing for "public facilities, public infrastructure and other public benefits, which stimulate private investment."

Quality jobs development and retention would also be a focus of the economic development portion of the tax revenues.

Also on the agenda is updating of the Historic District ordinance, first established as an overlay to the Norman zoning ordinance in 1993. The ordinance has only had two minor revisions since it was adopted.

The city's two historic districts include the Miller and Chautauqua Historic Districts.

Council will consider a request from the Absentee Shawnee Tribe for an amendment of a site development plan to allow a 7,000-square-foot police substation on a 27.55-acre tract about one-half mile south of Rock Creek Road on the west side of 156th Avenue NW.

The police substation is planned to be shared by tribal police and the Norman Police Department. It would primarily be a transfer center and would not have holding cells.

Council also will:

Consider a request by Lambda Chi House Corporation for special use for a mixed use building for an 0.4 acre tract at 291 N. Crawford Ave., currently zoned C-2 or general commercial district. Applicant is JIREH Foundation for a church and residential use for several volunteers with the Young Life program.

A request for an amendment of the Norman 2025 Land Use and Transportation Plan from low density residential to high density residential with special use for parking for a 0.34-acre tract on the north side of Hoover Street between College Avenue and Chautauqua Avenue.

Rezoning from R-1 or single family dwelling district and R-3 to multi-family dwelling district with special use for off-street parking; and a preliminary plat.

The request received a 7-2 recommendation from the Planning Commission, with concerns expressed by planning commissioners in the minority of converting residential spaces in core areas to parking.

A request by the Carroll Family LLC for an amendment of the Norman 2025 Land Use and Transportation Plan from commercial, multi-family and office to commercial and multi-family designation for a 36.75-acre tract on the north side of Tecumseh between 36th Avenue NW and the Interstate-35 service road.

Rezoning under the Planned Unit Development zoning from RM-6 or medium density apartment district to C-2, general commercial district; from O-1 or office-institutional district to RM-6; and from O-1 to C-2 or general commercial; and a preliminary plat.

A request by Terra Verde Development LLC to allow unenclosed patios in the rear yards for a 29.21-acre tract zoned Planned Unit Development about one-quarter mile east of 12th Avenue NW and north of Rock Creek Road; and an amended plat for the Trailwoods Addition.

Closure of a 15-foot draining and utility easement at 100 Willoway Drive.

Adoption of the International Code Council 2003 Series of Codes and related code amendments.

An ordinance increasing fines or fees for alcohol-related offenses.

More detail is available on the consent agenda and other agenda items on the city of Norman's Web site at

Carol Cole 366-3538

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