EDMOND — Upset neighbors of a proposed commercial and duplex development near Oak Ridge Drive and Second Street left the city council meeting this week before all the votes on rezoning were cast.
More than 14 neighbors left the council chambers after the first vote, which was to change the city's zoning plan to allow for rezoning of the property. That was approved 4-1.
Council members went on to approve a request of The Hanson Family Trust to change the zoning from restricted commercial to a planned unit development. The Hansons want to build a 24,000-square-foot retail shopping center on 5.55 acres on the southern half of the property.
The developer also wants to build duplexes with 10 buildings and 20 units on 4.38 acres to the north in what is to be called Bradbury Station.
Windsong housing addition is located to the north and Mason Oaks housing addition to the northeast. Ridge Point housing addition, to the east, is a higher-density development than the proposed duplexes.
Neighbors accused the council of having financial and conflicts of interest with the Hanson family and their attorney, Todd McKinnis.
Council members denied having any interest with the family. Mayor Charles Lamb said there have been many times council members have recused themselves from a hearing and voting on a matter when there was a conflict.
Councilman Nick Massey said, “I have no ties whatsoever to their attorney, Todd McKinnis. I know Mr. McKinnis, where he has represented various clients before the city council. However, I have no personal ties to him.
“As for the Hanson family, I had never even heard of them prior to this item before the council and have no financial or personal interest in their project.”
Ted Petty told The Oklahoman in an email Tuesday, “All but one council member exhibit the attributes of the Pharisees of long ago. They'll approve projects without regard to the city's master plan. They ignore the residents for capitalism to reign.”
Neighbors also were upset because the planning commission denied Hanson's requests but the city council voted for approval.
The planning commissioners are appointed and make recommendations to council members. The council makes the final decision.
Neighbors also are upset about the increased traffic on Oak Ridge Drive, which they say is not built to city code, and because the property will be rented. The developer said the units would rent for $1,500 to $2,000.
McKinnis said the developer had made modifications to his plan in an effort to answer the neighbors' concerns. They included curbs and gutters along the property on Oak Ridge, a wider turn lane and installing a fence along the property.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner cast the lone no vote to change the city zoning plan.