The Norman City Council approved some requests to help businesses move forward with expansion plans and briefly discussed the city’s mask mandate Tuesday night.
Norman’s mask mandate is set to expire June 1. It does not appear the city will sunset the mandate early despite new federal guidelines, Mayor Breea Clark told councilors Tuesday night.
New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommended Tuesday that vaccinated people enjoy small outdoor activities without a mask, provided they’re not at a crowded or large gathering like a full-capacity stadium event.
Oklahoma City and Tulsa mandates are expiring this week, Clark noted.
“Luckily we live in Norman,” she said. “We’re home to a university that’s about to have a four-day graduation celebration with thousands of people coming from around the nation, which I look forward to their sales tax dollars but not COVID-19 that they may be carrying.”
Clark said unless the council decides to end the mandate early — “which, I would be surprised if that happened” — masks will remain a requirement.
The council turned its attention to proposed business expansions for a medical cannabis grower and processor and a scones and coffee business.
Two brothers plan to open a breakfast and coffee shop, Levity Breakfast House, at 309 S. Peters Ave. in a home that was built 100 years ago. The pair asked the council to approve an amendment to the Norman 2025 Land Use and Transportation Plan from office designation to commercial designation. The site is one block north of the county courthouse.
Levity will not change the appearance of the house, but may add patio seating, and will have to close the driveway to public access. It will also use shared parking agreements and will not install a parking lot.
The owners, who are from Portland, Oregon, promised to bring food with “Portland roots and Norman flavor.”
Councilors approved the request unanimously.
A second business also won approval from the dais. Green Buffalo will remodel a portion of its medical cannabis facility to offer a dispensary at 3001 36th Ave. N.W.
Council approved a preliminary plat to allow a mini-storage to be built at the southeast corner of 12th Avenue N.E. and East Tecumseh Road.
City staff will proceed with a grant application to help fund a water reclamation pilot program. The program allows the city to return treated wastewater into tributaries through Lake Thunderbird. Indirect potable water reuse was chosen as a viable, long term water supply option in the 2014 Norman Strategic Water Supply Plan.
The pilot project is underway, with water sample collection to begin in May and continue for the next 12-18 months.
Funds will also be used to pay for a portion of a traffic light at an increasingly busy intersection, where residential housing has been added to the area around Alameda Street and Summit Lakes Boulevard. The total cost is a little more than $278,000, with $217,465 funded through federal dollars.
Tuesday night’s meeting ended with a significant number of public and council comments about the city’s budget that ran past 9:30 p.m. The Transcript will cover that portion of the agenda in a Wednesday morning piece in order to provide a full story while meeting Tuesday night’s deadline.