Tonight as I review the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the Downtown Design Review Committee, I am reminded that our city has lost yet another person who, while not well known, contributed quite a bit to the downtown renaissance. It’s hard to believe Scottye Montgomery passed away two weeks ago, yet documents and emails attached to this agenda show she was hard at work until the very end when she succumbed to cancer.
But that was Scottye Montgomery, the assistant city planner who oversaw applications governed by the downtown design ordinance. She got the job done. And she did it well. Not every developer or architect liked her reports on their projects. She brought up reasons not to tear down Stage Center. And she found cause to question the demolitions that occurred with SandRidge Commons. But she was consistent in her advice to the committee interpreting the downtown design ordinance, and developers by and large agreed she was fair. She knew the ordinance, she knew the history of these buildings, she knew the designs, and she was thorough in her research.
“Scottye was a pain in the butt but we will miss her,” one developer told me. “She was part of our success. She cared.”
Paul Ryckbost, a former assistant city planner who oversaw the Bricktown design ordinance, praised Montgomery’s tenure.
“I had the privilege to work with Scottye for my 3 years in the Planning Department,” Ryckbost said. “She had a fantastic sense of humor and always knew when to interject with her wit. She loved her job; she cared deeply about the urban design of Downtown and the River areas, and put just as much thought and care into Bricktown, the Stockyards and the Urban Design areas when she helped out after John Calhoun, and then I, I left. She was constantly seeking to improve the ordinances to make design review more efficient and easier for developers to navigate. Developers and architects may not have always agreed with her opinions, but I never heard any of them utter a bad word about her. I know that her co-workers and peers will miss her dearly.”
Scottye had a masters in regional and city planning, a bachelor’s degree in environmental design, and an associates degree in engineering technology architectural/construction technology residential design and construction, all from the University of Oklahoma. She worked as a Plans Examiner in Public Works for 10 years and in Urban Design in the Planning Department for eight years.
Scottye – you made a difference. And yeah, you will be missed. Oklahoma City was lucky to have you.