Norman residents voice concerns about proposed high-density zoning

Norman residents Tuesday discussed a proposed ordinance that would establish high-density zoning categories in the city.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: June 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm •  Published: June 5, 2013
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— A proposed ordinance that would create a high-density zoning district needs more work, some residents say.

The ordinance is not specific enough in its definitions of collector and arterial streets, making residents uneasy about where high-rise buildings would be allowed, resident Steve Davis said.

Cindy Rogers said the ordinance does not adequately address neighborhood compatibility issues.

The wording of the ordinance “discourages” high-density developments in some areas, Rogers said, “but that's not forbidding it. Why don't we just prohibit it in those areas, instead of discouraging it?”

Rogers said the ordinance requires high-density developments to be compatible with neighboring properties, “but who defines compatibility? It's too vague.”

Residents discussed the proposed ordinance Tuesday during a public hearing. The ordinance will be discussed again in a joint study session of the planning commission and city council at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall, 201 W Gray St.

If adopted, the ordinance would create three high-density categories: HDR-1, HDR-2 and HDR-3.

In HDR-1, buildings are limited to three stories or 45 feet in height and could only be located on collector or arterial streets.

HDR-2 allows four-story buildings or buildings no higher than 75 feet. They must be located on an arterial street or on a collector street that is within 700 feet of an arterial street. HDR-3 has no height limitations but must be built on an arterial street.

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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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