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December 09, 2018, 08:42:45 pm
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Author Topic: TMAPC's senseless decision to remove HP zoning  (Read 2438 times)
City Mother
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« on: March 07, 2005, 04:42:25 pm »

I finally had an opportunity to watch the TMAPC hearing regarading the 15th & Utica debacle on TGOV this weekend.

I have been dying to see the entire rebroadcast, because I have been unable to comprehend how the TMAPC could justify removing HP zoning.  The TPC (Tulsa Preservation Commission) had written an excellent report explaining why an amendment to the Yorktown Historical map was unjustified.  It explained that the properties continued to qualify for historical zoning under Chapter 10A of the
zoning ordinance because 1) a contributing house still existed on one property, and 2) all of the properties remained on the Historic Register.  The report also explained, and the Yorktown neighborhood reiterated, the bad policy that would be created by allowing one person to "opt out" because they did not want to follow HP restrictions. To date, the city has never allowed a property owner out of HP zoning once it was established.  Why?  As the TPC explained, HP zoning is not like other zoning, which changes over time-i.e., agrarian becomes residential, residential becomes commercial, etc.... A historical property
does not normally become less historical with the passage of time.

So what justification did the TMAPC offer for this unprecedented decision?  None that I can discern.  Most of the comments prior to the vote were little more than "I don't have a problem with removing HP."  One line of logic that kept coming up, particularly by Mr. Westervelt, was that they would not have
removed HP zoning but for the TPC's decision to deny the developer the right to build his parking lot in the manner in which he planned.  If you read the provision of Chapter 10A, as well as the guidelines for new, non-residential
construction in the Yorktown District, you will see why they denied permission-they simply followed the law.

The only conclusions I can draw from their reasoning is this: Either the members of the TMAPC have never read the zoning ordinance on Historic Preservation or they believe that the TPC should ignore that ordinance to accommodate the developer.  Either way doesn't say much for the TMAPC.  How could they make rulings on zoning matters if they had not read the ordinance?  And if it is the latter-i.e., because you applied HP restrictions to the developer, we are forced to remove HP zoning-I have to admit that I love the sheer absurdity of the logic.  I wonder if I could use that logic myself: Officer, I was forced to speed because you chose to set the speed limit too low.  My only hope is that the City Council will see through the stupidity of their decision.

Oh, and by the way, the developer does not even need the extra space for his parking lot.  He only needed four additional parking spaces to finish his building.  When the TMAPC denied his exit onto Victor (for which we were thankful), that left sufficient space to place the four parking spaces on the lot he already had.

In sum, the TMAPC basically decided to eviscerate the HP Zoning Ordinance for no other reason than to show that they can.


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