Normandy Creek bar

Shown is Suite 2262 of the Normandy Creek Center, 2224 W. Main St. The suite could be the future home of a 11,000- square-foot sports bar.

The Norman Planning Commission Thursday approved a special use request for an 11,000-square-foot sports bar in Normandy Creek Center, along with a request to amend the city floodplain ordinance that will increase flood insurance premium discounts for residents in a certain area.

Normandy Creek Center is a C-2, general commercial district, intended for personal, business services and general retail business. Special use approval is required for a bar.

According to site plan analysis, restaurants have operated in the shopping center in the past, but none were bars.

Located at 2224 W Main St., Suite 2262, the proposed hours for the sports bar are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. The applicant, David Hartnack of NAI Sullivan Group Commercial Real Estate, didn’t specify the name of the business, but did note it is locally-based.

“We have an existing business that has three locations in the metro looking to expand into Norman to take the [space],” Hartnack said. “They want to open a full menu sports bar and grill and are interested in the site because of the large kitchen area that is already in place.”

During the applicant presentation, Hartnack said the group has had trouble leasing the particular space in Normandy Creek.

The space was previously Furr’s Cafeteria before a nearly three-year occupation by LOCAL, a farm-to-fork restaurant concept that closed in February 2015. Adventure Zone, a children’s indoor playground, last occupied the suite.

The vote passed six to zero and now heads to Norman City Council for full approval.

Also on the agenda was a request to amend the city’s floodplain ordinance.

Todd McLellan, development engineer for the City of Norman, said the amending of the ordinance needs to be revised to obtain better Community Rating System class rating for the city.

The CRS is a voluntary program for National Flood Insurance Program communities. The program rewards participating communities for the implementation of increased standards and open space preservation, according to a presentation.

As flood protection activity increases, the rating decreases from 10 to one. Flood insurance premiums are discounted in the Special Flood Hazard Area based on a rating system.

Class nine communities receive a 5% discount on flood insurance and class one communities receive a 45% discount.

Norman is currently a Class 7 community, which means flood insurance policy holders in the Special Flood Hazard Area receive a 15% discount, according to the presentation. The ordinance revision will allow FEMA to modify Norman’s CRS rating from 7 to 6, bumping the 15% discount to 20%.

McLellan said there are only two Class 1 communities in the U.S. — one in California and the other is Tulsa.

Norman uses FEMA’s Coordinator’s Manual to determine how credits are calculated. An addendum released by the agency in January allows communities to receive credit for floodplain ordinances that add electrical and mechanical equipment to the servicing of new or substantially improved buildings in the floodplain to the freeboard requirement, McLellan said.

A photo shown at the meeting showed a generator raised two feet off the ground.

“As we have a 2-foot freeboard requirement, we receive a substantial CRS discount for that,” McLellan said. “If we add the language to the ordinance, FEMA will modify our rating.”

The ordinance passed six to zero, and proposed changes now go to Norman City Council for the first reading on Dec. 14.

The revised ordinance would become effective Feb. 11, 2022, but McLellan said residents wouldn’t see increased discounts until FEMA makes the change.

“It probably wouldn’t be until April, because anything with FEMA takes some time,” McLellan said.

Jeff Elkins covers business, living and community stories for The Transcript. Reach him at jelkins@normantranscript.com or at @JeffElkins12 on Twitter.

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