Editor, The Transcript:

As reported in The Transcript, this Monday, Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, there will be a meeting for the public to communicate to the Greenbelt Commission the adverse effects of a proposed residential development adjoining the George M. Sutton Urban Wilderness Park. The development proposes to build 134 homes immediately adjoining and encroaching on the western border of the park.

Many people attended the August City Council meeting and made excellent arguments regarding the adverse effects of this development. Currently the land for the proposed development is zoned agricultural and Norman's land use plan does not allow for residential development there.

I have known the area even before it was officially designated as a park. My children and I have walked every inch of the property. I worked with Dr. Gary Schnell, Dr. George Hulsey, Bill Howard of the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation and many others to acquire the land from the state and establish Sutton Park. During the 27 years of this park's existence, thousands of central Oklahomans have enjoyed walking its paths, watching its birds, trying to catch its fish and just enjoying the outdoors at the park. Many teachers used the park as an outdoor classroom. Clearly the citizens of Norman should continue to have the same opportunity.

The proposed development takes this opportunity away from the people of this city. The public interest will be violated if this development, as proposed, is approved. I encourage Norman's citizens to attend this important meeting and send a strong message that this development as proposed is not in the public interest. We can do better for Norman. Be a strong voice for a quality Greenway and Greenbelt system. Be a voice for smart growth.

If you have ever gone fishing, watched birds or taken a child for a walk at Sutton, you need to attend this meeting and make your voice heard.



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