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Edmond To Decide Zoning Issue

Bobby Ross Jr. Published: March 29, 1995

Another council member, Gary Moore, said the issue has been "hashed around enough publicly. " It's time, he said, for the people to decide privately how they will vote.

C-3 zoning would allow up to 16 apartment units per acre, while D-1 would permit retail shops and stores and perhaps an expansion of Crest.

Joining the neighborhood alliance in opposition is Allied Residents in Support of a Safe Edmond.

The grassroots citizens group, known as ARISE, has circulated petitions and filed a series of lawsuits in an unsuccessful attempt to block Crest's construction.

"We're trying to put across that this is not a moot question," said ARISE leader John MacDonald. "We're real concerned that he (Harroz) is going to build the store he wanted in the first place if we don't get the vote. " Shadid, a harsh critic of zoning by petition, said he supported Crest's original plans and would vote for them again.

He said he would prefer a larger Crest to "a bunch of apartment houses. " Last May, the Edmond city council approved a zoning change on the five acres at question. Coupled with the adjoining 10 acres that already allowed a grocery store, that gave Crest room to build a 110,350-square-foot building.

However, the five-acre zoning change was subject to a referendum petition and ARISE collected 1,646 valid Edmond voters' signatures to force the upcoming vote.

But as a result of that petition, negotiations occurred that prompted Crest to scale down its proposal and move plans entirely onto the 10 acres, zoned "D-1" restricted commercial district since 1981.

The council then granted amended site plan and special-use permit approval.

ARISE launched another petition and gathered 1,691 valid signatures seeking a citywide vote on the 10 acres. But Oklahoma County District Judge Carolyn Ricks in late December sided with the city, which said the permit was not legally subject to a petition drive.

When the compromise was originally offered, Crest hoped to avoid a costly and contentious public fight. But the battle has dragged on anyway, apparently convincing Harroz to wait for Tuesday's verdict before deciding how to proceed. He could not be reached for comment. BIOG: NAME:

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