Norman neighborhood protests plans for auto dealership

Hudimax Holdings LLC wants to build a new Automax Hyundai dealership on the west side of N Interstate Drive between Robinson Street and Rock Creek Road in Norman, OK, on about seven acres that back up to the Dove Crossing housing addition.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Published: May 13, 2012
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— About a dozen residents of a northside Norman neighborhood lined a portion of N Interstate Drive on Saturday and waved signs at passing motorists that read “Keep Our Children Safe” and “City Council Help” as they staged a protest against a proposed car dealership.

Hudimax Holdings LLC wants to build a new Automax Hyundai dealership on the west side of N Interstate Drive between Robinson Street and Rock Creek Road on about seven acres that back up to the Dove Crossing housing addition.

To build, the company needs city council approval to change the land use designation for the property from office space to commercial and rezone from C-1, which is light commercial, to a planned unit development that would still be zoned C-1 but would add a car dealership as a permissible use.

“It's a very inappropriate use of this land given its juxtaposition to a residential neighborhood,” Donna Taffe said.

A car dealership would cause noise, lighting and traffic problems for the neighborhood, she said.

“I would never have purchased my home there if I thought a car dealership could be built there, and I don't think anyone in this neighborhood would have,” Taffe said.

Test drives

Ed Averyt said he worries that customers of the dealership will test drive vehicles through the neighborhood.

“I know they would. They (dealership representatives) say they won't allow that, but you know they will. We have children in our neighborhood playing and getting on and off school buses. It's dangerous,” Averyt said.

Trucks that unload vehicles at the dealership also will cut through the neighborhood when they're finished unloading, he said.

“Our neighborhood just can't support that kind of commercial traffic,” he said.

Mark Benner said he and his neighbors are not opposed to development on the property, which currently is a vacant field.

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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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Vote goes

against plan

In a 5-3 vote Thursday, Norman planning commissioners voted against the car dealership plan. City council is expected to consider the dealership requests June 5.

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