Oklahoma City withdraws rezoning request for neighborhood

Residents of a historically black neighborhood in Oklahoma City objected to a proposal that would have limited development options in an area scheduled for expansion of the Oklahoma Health Center campus in northeast Oklahoma City.
by William Crum Published: February 12, 2013

The health center's master plan, as adopted by the city, calls for growing to the south, said Terry Taylor, chief operating officer of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation.

The rezoning plan would have blocked new residential development in the neighborhood. Churches would have been able to expand, but no new churches would have been allowed.

No particular building or project is being delayed or canceled because of the withdrawal of the rezoning request, Taylor said.

Planning process

A city planning process that gives residents a voice in decision-making worked this time around, said Ward 7 City Councilman Ronald “Skip” Kelly.

“Everybody in the northeast quadrant of Oklahoma City has lasting memories of what happened in the '60s with urban renewal,” he said. This, he said, was “probably the first time we've had this much direct engagement” from both sides in a planning dispute.

“It's something that I think everybody has learned something from,” Kelly said.

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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