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Norman council approves 'high-end' apartments, despite protest from residents

City council members Tuesday paved the way for construction of a “high-end” apartment complex in northwest Norman, approving a change in land use and rezoning from commercial to medium-density residential.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: November 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm •  Published: November 29, 2012

“We feel so strongly it should remain commercial. We're asking for your help. Please keep it commercial,” Remualdo said.

Jon Williford said families are worried about light pollution and noise, as well as an increase in crime and traffic problems, as a result of a heavily populated apartment complex.

Rieger said developers have gone to great lengths to provide buffers between the complex and the residential neighborhoods, with fencing, screening and anywhere from 200 to 500 feet of green space between the apartment buildings and the backs of houses.

Williams, who represents the ward in which the property is located, said he didn't think the project was the “best and highest” use of the land.

“This is not about apartments and apartment-type people. This is about the rezoning. Rezoning is not a right, it's a privilege. They're asking for a privilege,” he said.

Gallagher said an apartment complex “changes the atmosphere of a neighborhood. It just does. If someone were to drop one down 50 to 100 feet from my backyard, I wouldn't like it.”

Other views

Councilman Robert Castleberry said he asked developers and real estate agents about the property before Tuesday's meeting.

“I thought it was a very valuable piece of commercial property that I hated to take out. But every one of them told me it's not.”

University North Park Addition, on the east of Interstate 35, is where commercial development is going to occur, he said. “All you're going to get at this location is a strip mall.”

Residents have legitimate concerns about the project, Councilman Tom Kovach said, “but in the final analysis, I think this is better for the neighborhood.”

by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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