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November 18, 2017, 08:11:04 am
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Author Topic: So the Next Time the TMAPC Screws Up...  (Read 4590 times)
PonderInc
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« on: August 12, 2015, 02:03:43 pm »

In light of the debacle that is the REI development along the River Trails at 71st, I thought I would mention this for future use.

Whenever a PUD is in place and a developer wants to make certain types of changes to the approved plan, it may be considered a "minor amendment."  (There are also "major amendments.")

A minor amendment to a PUD only needs to be approved by the Planning Commission (not the City Council).  They also don't require a sign to be posted on the property.
(Minor amendments DO require 10 day's notice to property owners within 300' of the subject property.  Which is great if any actual residents live within that radius.)

So when the Planning Commission approves a minor amendment, it's done.  It doesn't go to the City Council for their approval.

Unfortunately, in the case of the REI thing, nobody mentioned that any taxpayer could have appealed the TMAPC decision and forced it to go to the City Council.  (I am kicking myself that I didn't know this.)

Title 42 Section 1107 I - Appeal From Minor Amendment Determination.
An appeal from any minor amendment decision by the TMAPC may be taken by any person or persons aggrieved, or any taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau of the City, to the City Council by filing notice of appeal with the City Clerk and with the Secretary of the TMAPC within ten days from the date of such action. Such notice of appeal shall specify the grounds of the appeal. No bond or deposit for costs shall be required for such appeal. Upon filing of the notice of appeal, the TMAPC shall forthwith transmit to the City Council, the original or certified copies of all the papers constituting the record in the case, together with the decision of the TMAPC. The City Council shall notify the applicant and all interested parties, as recorded in the minutes of TMAPC, of the appeal hearing date.


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swake
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 02:14:48 pm »

It would be good for PUDs to expire. Some sit on the books for many years unacted on while the area around the PUD changes.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 04:11:40 pm »

I agree.

Especially since a PUD is supposed to be an "overlay" on top of the original zoning.  It seems easy enough to allow for a PUD to expire if nothing is built for x number of years.  It would simply lift the overlay, and the land would go back to the original zoning.

In the proposed update to the zoning code, the PUD is being replaced by an MPD, which is basically a PUD except it replaces the underlying zoning, and gives the developer carte blanche to propose whatever the heck they want (without being limited to the constraints of the underlying zoning). 

If the developer is thoughtful and wise, this could allow for some amazing developments that are currently not allowed due to the goofy requirements/restrictions of our zoning code. 

On the other hand, how many developers meet that criteria...?  It will be up to the Planning Commission to look out for the public interest, and make sure an MPD actually provides greater benefit than the underlying zoning. 

Which is sort of like putting coyotes in charge of hen house security... 
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TheArtist
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 06:32:48 am »

Just want to say Thank You Ponder for all your hard work and for helping us all become more informed citizens.  It's much appreciated.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 11:04:43 am »

Thanks Artist!

<rant>
I think a lot of people care about this stuff, but aren't sure how to affect change.

Most people are busy raising kids, working one or more jobs, trying to relax and have some fun in their free time.  Many people focus their efforts on health and human services, equality, education, and other very worthy issues.  Zoning and the built environment don't seem that important.  It tends to fly under the radar most of the time.

Still, I've come to believe that zoning is, weirdly, a matter of equality, and maybe even life or death. 

We can build our city for people with cars, so they can sit on their butts all the time, and die prematurely of chronic diseases related to their sedentary lifestyles.  (This is actually the largest public health crisis we face in America today: preventable, chronic diseases related to inactivity.)

Building for cars also means disenfranchising people who can't drive (either too young, too old, or too poor), robbing them of the opportunity to participate, contribute and benefit from the social and economic opportunities of city life.  If you have to be wealthy enough to have a car before you can get a job, go to the doctor, or buy ice cream... then what does that say about the American dream?

Building for cars is environmentally destructive; whether you care about climate change / greenhouse gasses, air quality and respiratory health, heat islands, or pollution from all the impermeable surfaces and storm-water runoff, auto-centric design is simply the dumbest choice you can make.

Building for cars also creates the perfect habitat to attract national chains that suck money and opportunity out of the local economy.  (Replacing unique local businesses with international corporations that hire part-time, low wage earners is not a great strategy for success.  These businesses mainly benefit investors who are rich enough to become franchise owners, while turning every city in America into the same bland and mediocre place.) 

And, finally, building for cars is economically stupid.  It's a financial model that relies on a constant influx of new growth to pay for the debt and maintenance obligations of previously built infrastructure.  Meanwhile, it creates such low densities of development (3/4 of commercial space is asphalt, which doesn't generate jobs or taxes) that it can't generate enough revenue to pay for itself.  With so few people, jobs and tax dollars per acre, you still have to pay for the roads, water, sewer, fire, police, trash pickup, schools, etc.  All of which costs more because everything is so spread out (because cars need an obscene amount of space, whether moving or parked.  Funny that cars spend 95% of their time sitting around doing nothing, and we shape our cities around their needs).

And I'm sorry.  But places built for cars are just plain ugly and soul crushing.  They are places that are designed for  travelling 45 MPH, which means there is no architecture, no detail, no beauty, no subtlety... nothing to delight the human spirit or make us proud of the places where we must spend our time to fulfill our daily needs.

I know that folks can tell the difference between a great place and a mediocre one.  Great places are built for people  They are the places we choose to go on vacation, even when we don't have relatives there.

Tulsa needs to strive to be one of those places.  We could do so much better.  All of our peer cities are demanding and doing so much more. 

We are being left in the dirt.  Or should I say asphalt.
</rant>
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PonderInc
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 02:06:20 pm »

Here's an interesting tidbit from the zoning ordinance related to abandonment of PUDs.

Section 1107 J. Abandonment. Abandonment of a Planned Unit Development shall require the City
Council's approval, after recommendation by the Planning Commission, of an application for amendment to the Zoning Map repealing the supplemental designation of PUD. The City Council may amend the underlying zoning upon abandonment of the
PUD. Upon final action authorizing the abandonment of the Planned Unit Development, no building permit shall be issued except in accordance with the restrictions and limitations of the general zoning district or districts.


As far as applying for a Zoning Map Amendment, it looks like the City Council could initiate this.  There are two sections under Section 1703 - Zoning Map Amendments.  One is "Initiated by Application" and the other is "Initiated by Planning Commission."

B. Initiated by Planning Commission. In any instance, the Planning Commission, upon its own motion may, or on the written request of any person may, or at the direction of City Council shall, hold a public hearing, giving notice thereof, of a proposed map amendment. After holding the public hearing, the Planning Commission shall within 15 days transmit its report and recommendation to the City Council.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 05:52:23 pm »

Speaking of sprawl and auto centric development.

I was doing a mural job in a clients house near 181st and Harvard just a few weeks ago and went into Glenpool just off Hwy75 to get something to eat during a lunch break.  I was sitting in an Arby's eating and looking out the window when I couldn't help but notice how incredibly sprawling and car centric the area was.  

The Arbys was of course surrounded by parking and a drive through that went around the building.  Around that was some grass, then to the west was a large QT gas station, it too surrounded by parking and a little grass, then I think further west another fast food restaurant and then the highway, the exits and on ramps and the land around that.  Just opposite the Arby's on the other side of the street was a grassy ditch more parking and an auto parts store, then also along that side of the street I believe another fast food restaurant or two, one being a drive in Sonic.  All very spread out, everything auto oriented and auto related.  

All that huge amount of space from the highway (and whatever was on the other side I do not know for it was so far away) to where I was sitting, was nothing but spots of grass and ditches and asphalt for basically perhaps 4 small restaurants and auto related businesses.  Huge amount of area for very little.

Take the auto out of the picture, perhaps throw in the urban equivalent of a shoe store and sidewalks, and build as a normal city and you would have perhaps a third of a block worth of development... along ONE side of a street.  Tiny, ity bitty footprint versus that humongous spread out whatever that was.  Thinking of the contrast in development styles was shocking to consider.  

Course then felt bad for eating all that greasy salty crap when I was done to boot lol.

But I couldn't help but sit there thinking "Would you LOOK at this!?"  "OMG What on earth?"  And realizing that everyone else sitting around me probably would not in a million years think anything about it.  
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Conan71
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 11:16:30 pm »

Speaking of sprawl and auto centric development.

I was doing a mural job in a clients house near 181st and Harvard just a few weeks ago and went into Glenpool just off Hwy75 to get something to eat during a lunch break.  I was sitting in an Arby's eating and looking out the window when I couldn't help but notice how incredibly sprawling and car centric the area was.  

The Arbys was of course surrounded by parking and a drive through that went around the building.  Around that was some grass, then to the west was a large QT gas station, it too surrounded by parking and a little grass, then I think further west another fast food restaurant and then the highway, the exits and on ramps and the land around that.  Just opposite the Arby's on the other side of the street was a grassy ditch more parking and an auto parts store, then also along that side of the street I believe another fast food restaurant or two, one being a drive in Sonic.  All very spread out, everything auto oriented and auto related.  

All that huge amount of space from the highway (and whatever was on the other side I do not know for it was so far away) to where I was sitting, was nothing but spots of grass and ditches and asphalt for basically perhaps 4 small restaurants and auto related businesses.  Huge amount of area for very little.

Take the auto out of the picture, perhaps throw in the urban equivalent of a shoe store and sidewalks, and build as a normal city and you would have perhaps a third of a block worth of development... along ONE side of a street.  Tiny, ity bitty footprint versus that humongous spread out whatever that was.  Thinking of the contrast in development styles was shocking to consider.  

Course then felt bad for eating all that greasy salty crap when I was done to boot lol.

But I couldn't help but sit there thinking "Would you LOOK at this!?"  "OMG What on earth?"  And realizing that everyone else sitting around me probably would not in a million years think anything about it.  


Hereís an interesting question.  Did Glenpool ever have a bricked-up, structured downtown like Jenks, BA, Sand Springs, et al?  Iíve never even thought about it before, but I donít recall any sort of early 1900ís pedestrian-friendly CBD like all its peer communities.
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swake
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 09:22:35 am »

Hereís an interesting question.  Did Glenpool ever have a bricked-up, structured downtown like Jenks, BA, Sand Springs, et al?  Iíve never even thought about it before, but I donít recall any sort of early 1900ís pedestrian-friendly CBD like all its peer communities.

There is a tiny Glenpool downtown main street but no business district, just a couple of churches. If one ever existed it may have been torn down for the school complex. 
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carltonplace
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 07:25:27 am »

So last week the TMAPC found in the favor of the "ESCAPE TULSA" owners against the strong objection of the neighborhood to change the zoning of a house located on Carson Ave at 15th ST from Single Family zoning to Commercial zoning.

The owner did not present any hardship or reasoning for the zoning change but the neighbors had a strong argument against.
Neighbor argument:
The structure is a house, not an office or commercial building.
The entrance to the property and on street parking is on Carson Ave, not 15th St
All other structures on Carson Ave are zoned residential or OL
Carson Ave has been listed on the National Register of Historic places for its collection of Craftsman houses and the subject property contributes to the historic overlay. The historic designation was obtained thanks to the hard work of the neighbors both in concert with Tulsa Preservation and because of neighbors' efforts to restore their respective properties. 
The zoning change encroaches into the neighborhood since 15th St is not a commercial corridor at Carson Ave.

TMAPC got this wrong in my opinion (biased as it is).
Perspective?
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sgrizzle
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Inconceivable!


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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2015, 07:35:57 am »

I agree with you, but if this is one of those "locked in a house" companies the commercial effect should hopefully be pretty minimal.
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carltonplace
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2015, 08:26:32 am »

I agree with you, but if this is one of those "locked in a house" companies the commercial effect should hopefully be pretty minimal.

Until it goes belly up and someone wants to tear down the house to build a parking lot.
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Conan71
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 09:30:19 am »

So last week the TMAPC found in the favor of the "ESCAPE TULSA" owners against the strong objection of the neighborhood to change the zoning of a house located on Carson Ave at 15th ST from Single Family zoning to Commercial zoning.

The owner did not present any hardship or reasoning for the zoning change but the neighbors had a strong argument against.
Neighbor argument:
The structure is a house, not an office or commercial building.
The entrance to the property and on street parking is on Carson Ave, not 15th St
All other structures on Carson Ave are zoned residential or OL
Carson Ave has been listed on the National Register of Historic places for its collection of Craftsman houses and the subject property contributes to the historic overlay. The historic designation was obtained thanks to the hard work of the neighbors both in concert with Tulsa Preservation and because of neighbors' efforts to restore their respective properties. 
The zoning change encroaches into the neighborhood since 15th St is not a commercial corridor at Carson Ave.

TMAPC got this wrong in my opinion (biased as it is).
Perspective?

Iíve never heard of this before.  Doing some checking on their Facebook page, it would appear they have been operating for some time on Carson.  What finally pushed them for a re-zone, or why were they operating what amounts to a commercial enterprise within a residential area in the first place?

On the surface, parties of two to six seems like a minor inconvenience or nuisance.  Not much more activity than someone operating a home day care would create.

Lest you think Iím meh on this because itís not in my back yard, we have a vacation rental or ďparty houseĒ behind us.  Itís a short term rental usually rented out to families in town for sports tournaments, or even motorcyclists for bike rallys.  A little extra noise here and there, but itís well managed and the owner seems to lay the law down with his guests to keep the neighbors from complaining.
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 09:50:32 am »

We have no problem with Escape Tulsa...we just can't understand the need to change the zoning. The owner did not explain his need at the meeting.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 12:31:50 pm »

One has to fear the "need" is to increase the value of the property so it can later be sold for high density development. That's the fear anyway.

Also some other things that may come in to play: you can't pave the front yard of a house?, maybe?

Dunno, but I understand your concerns. If he didn't offer a reason, why approve the change over the objection of a strong neighborhood and a historic district?
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