NORMAN — City council members have granted relief to a landowner by exempting him from certain platting requirements for a small business, but some officials say it sets a bad precedent.
In a 6-3 vote, the council Tuesday approved a preliminary plat for Mike Milligan for his 2.28-acre tract of land on Rock Creek Road, east of the railroad tracks, so he can sell rock, sand and gravel off it.
The approval also granted Milligan exemptions from putting money in an escrow account to help pay for future improvements to Rock Creek Road and from creating a water quality protection zone along one side of the property.
Councilmen Greg Youngman and James Griffith and Mayor Cindy Rosenthal dissented.
Other property owners on Rock Creek have not been exempted from putting money into an account to help pay for street improvements, Rosenthal said. Youngman and Griffith objected especially to exempting Milligan from having to create a water quality protection zone.
Council members who voted for the exemptions said the requirements placed too great a hardship on Milligan financially because of the small size of his property and the business he is trying to open.
Milligan argued that he could not afford what was being asked of him.
“This is why small businesses don't come to Norman. You fight us tooth and nail,” he said.
Milligan particularly objected to creating a 25-foot-wide buffer zone to catch runoff.