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Author Topic: River Design Overlay - A big step in the right direction  (Read 4680 times)
PonderInc
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2016, 04:02:12 pm »

Assuming QT at 96th and Riverside falls into RDO-3 (because it's across the street from the river), nothing would actually change for them.  They would simply be legal non-conforming as a truck stop (oh, sorry, convenience goods and services) that doesn't front the street--and could continue their existing business as long as they want.  I believe the rules don't apply unless a non-conforming building expands more than 50%.  At that point, their plan would need to come into compliance.  If a tornado hit the store today, they would have two years to rebuild it as is, and would be allowed to do so.  After 2 years without obtaining a building permit, they would have to come into compliance.  This is all standard for any zoning change, re: how it impacts existing buildings that were legal when they were built.

I get really tired of this truck stop company dictating all of our neighborhood plans.  The current model of QT stores obviously belongs along interstate highways, not on every street corner in Tulsa.  If they want to be a part of the neighborhoods, they need to re-learn how to be a neighborhood store.  As long as people remain addicted to sugar, cigarettes, and lottery tickets, their business model should be secure. But Tulsa has a right to protect its most valuable land and public investments through zoning and land use regulation and transportation policies. 

This is a modest proposal, but QT always goes nuclear with the confidence that they can rally uninformed populations to support them.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2016, 05:37:19 pm »

I heard they want to expand that store and close the north bound lands of Riverside to do so. Dewey is on board.  Tongue
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davideinstein
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2016, 05:54:26 pm »

Assuming QT at 96th and Riverside falls into RDO-3 (because it's across the street from the river), nothing would actually change for them.  They would simply be legal non-conforming as a truck stop (oh, sorry, convenience goods and services) that doesn't front the street--and could continue their existing business as long as they want.  I believe the rules don't apply unless a non-conforming building expands more than 50%.  At that point, their plan would need to come into compliance.  If a tornado hit the store today, they would have two years to rebuild it as is, and would be allowed to do so.  After 2 years without obtaining a building permit, they would have to come into compliance.  This is all standard for any zoning change, re: how it impacts existing buildings that were legal when they were built.

I get really tired of this truck stop company dictating all of our neighborhood plans.  The current model of QT stores obviously belongs along interstate highways, not on every street corner in Tulsa.  If they want to be a part of the neighborhoods, they need to re-learn how to be a neighborhood store.  As long as people remain addicted to sugar, cigarettes, and lottery tickets, their business model should be secure. But Tulsa has a right to protect its most valuable land and public investments through zoning and land use regulation and transportation policies. 

This is a modest proposal, but QT always goes nuclear with the confidence that they can rally uninformed populations to support them.

You all can bash QT all you want. They use all of those parking spaces they add.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2016, 09:44:39 pm »

I couldn't tell if you were kidding...

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Conan71
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2016, 11:10:12 pm »

I couldn't tell if you were kidding...



Whoops, burst that notion, didn’t you?

Interesting, so that appears to be the 11th & Utica store.  Note how El Rancho Grande has managed with much more dense parking for over 50 years with similar interior space in that spot.  Major dick move by QT on that one.  Same with 36th & Peoria.

QT is by all accounts a great place to work and corporate citizen but I have to agree with Ponder, local (or national for that matter) retailers should not be dictating neighborhood planning.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2016, 02:43:30 pm »

So, if you believe that we need to be working towards a time when not every Tulsan needs a car to function, we need to agree to be serious about the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.  This can be done.  Other cities do it as a standard operating procedure.

The QT at 96th and Riverside is a disaster for pedestrians.  You can hardly blame QT, because they have grown up and evolved as a company during a time when we have prioritized cars over humans to the point of excluding pedestrians, cyclists and transit users from the equation.  They just reflect our values as a city and a culture.

The question is: Do we want to continue that trend, or can we gradually evolve to be a place where people who walk, bike, and use transit have equal rights with people who drive?  What's the cost to our city if we don't?  What's the cost to taxpayers?  What's the cost to the climate?  What's the cost to public health?  What's the cost to people with physical challenges?  What's the cost to kids and old folks?  What's the cost to quality of life for everyone?

Here's a close up of the QT at 96th and Riverside, showing one of the FOUR curb cuts around their property:



A pedestrian walking along the sidewalk has to cross about 55' of unprotected drive aisle, where cars don't even have to slow down to turn the corner (note the enormous turn radius of the driveways).  This is wider than many 4-lane arterial streets in Tulsa!  And there are four of them on this lot.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say we need be smarter than this if we expect to adapt to the demands of the future.  The public right-of-way allows businesses like QT to exist.  It's OK to say that we want the public ROW to be a place for all people, and to do that, we need to think differently about how developments impact the streetscape.

Cities are built one parcel at a time, so it's not about changing what's already there.  It's about ensuring that future developments are in line with our priorities moving forward. Just as we've destroyed a lot of great, walkable places over the decades, one parcel at a time, we can also build towards a future where walkability matters-- one development at time.  But we have to start now and take it seriously.

Right now, Tulsa is trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up.  I have hope that our best days are ahead of us...and the past and the status quo shouldn't hold us back.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2016, 08:17:49 pm »

The argument was the parking spaces at the time. Go at lunch time, they are all used. It's a culture problem in Tulsa, not a company that caters to the consumers needs/wants.
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Conan71
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2016, 08:10:43 am »

The Doobs still doesn’t quite get it, does he?


Bartlett says he’s concerned proposed river development rules may be too restrictive

"I hate to get into these kinds of overlays because they can be extremely restrictive and are normally reflective of a relatively small number of people," Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett said.



The city of Tulsa has scheduled two public meetings in April on proposed development regulations along the Arkansas River. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

Discussions regarding how to develop the banks of the Arkansas River begin in earnest this week when the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission takes up proposed river development regulations. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier
Now that Tulsans have approved funding to build low-water dams in the Arkansas River, get ready for another long, potentially contentious battle over what should be built along its banks, and who gets to decide.

Everyone has heard about the southwest corner of 71st Street and Riverside Drive, where the city has contracted with a Dallas-based company to develop approximately nine acres of what for years has been known as Helmerich Park.

That deal is in limbo as the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority tries to fend off a lawsuit from a group of Tulsans who claim the authority has no right to use park land for commercial development — even if that development includes a highly respected business like Recreational Equipment, Inc.

As it turns out, that squabble over river development could end up being small potatoes compared to the big-picture questions city officials are about to tackle.

The first comes Wednesday, when the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission begins public hearings on a proposed River Design Overlay.

The document would regulate what types of development can be built along the river, how new structures should be oriented in relation to the river, and, in limited instances, what construction materials can be used.

The RDO has been a long time coming. The Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan, approved more than a decade ago, called for the creation of such regulations. But it wasn’t until last year that it became a priority, when city councilors and the mayor placed it on their list of shared goals.

Now, just days before the TMAPC meeting, Mayor Dewey Bartlett says he’s concerned about the proposed RDO as it is currently composed. The steering committee that came up with the proposed regulations was led by Bartlett’s appointee to the board, Robert Gardner.

“I hate to get into these kinds of overlays because they can be extremely restrictive and are normally reflective of a relatively small number of people,” Bartlett said.

Overlays can also become “extremely difficult to change, to alter, or to amend,” Bartlett said.

He pointed to “historical overlays” as an example of bodies that can sometimes — and he emphasized sometimes — become very autocratic and difficult to deal with.

“It can take away a lot of private ownership rights and responsibilities,” Bartlett said.

The mayor said he is not advocating for no regulations.

“But I am saying you can go to the extreme and make it so restrictive that you dictate color, size, windows,” Bartlett said. “How much of one’s taste do you want to dictate?”

The mayor said he wants to be sure the development community is onboard with the proposed overlay.

“They are the ones who invest the money, risk the money,” he said. “I want to make sure that there is a representative group that has the ability to take a look at it.

“If they feel comfortable with it, good. If not, than I think we need to revisit it.”

City Councilor Anna America, meanwhile, said Friday that she would like the City Council to hold town hall meetings to receive input from Tulsans about how they would like to see the river corridor developed.

America said the Trinity River Vision Authority’s presentation to city councilors in Fort Worth last week drove home the importance of public engagement in the creation of development guidelines and plans. The TRVA oversees the development of 88 miles of land along the banks of the Trinity River and its tributaries within Fort Worth.

“I think we need a little broader community input,” America said. “What is it you really want the river to look like 10 years or 20 years down the road?”



JD Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority in Fort Forth, Texas, speaks with city councilors Wednesday about the role the authority plays in advancing development in the city. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier
America said her desire to have public meetings on the issue should not be interpreted as criticism of the work done by the River Design Overlay steering committee, which she praised. She said she would confer with the councilors who sit on the steering committee to determine when and how those town hall meetings might proceed.

“You could let TMAPC work through the process and take that document out, or you could do it at the same time. Whatever they think would be more productive,” America said.

Last but not least comes Councilor Phil Lakin, who walked away from the TRVA’s presentation committed to an idea he believes would help advance river development.

Lakin said Friday that he intends to revisit the idea of creating a public authority or similar body dedicated to development along the river. He first bought into the idea a few years ago in Pittsburgh, Pa., where city councilors and the Tulsa Regional Chamber learned how an authority played an instrumental role in developing the banks of the rivers there.

Lakin said the city must examine the issue to determine what responsibilities and powers are appropriate — and legal — for the authority to possess, but that he strongly believes such a body is needed.

“I am totally in favor of a vision authority,” Lakin said. “… We have got to have a development authority or some group that comes in every single day and focuses their efforts and their work on developing certain parts of the Arkansas River.

“I’m talking about the people who have the set of skills that can inspire and create and envision those kinds of things we saw in Fort Worth. I don’t have the ability to do it, and we can have these one-off conversations about it, and then we’ll forget, and then we’ll come back to the table a year later and go, ‘Oh, yeah. We did talk about that.’

“I would rather just put an authority together, put some kind of body together, that really does thoughtfully think through these things on a daily basis.”

Bartlett said he’s not keen on the idea of an authority, except perhaps as a mechanism for facilitating the financing of development projects.

“We have a Planning Commission and they have staff. We have a lot of experienced people in our Planning Department, people involved in zoning and different things,” Bartlett said. “What concerns me about having another entity and giving them a tremendous responsibility is, I don’t see a need for it yet.”

The visit to the Trinity River Vision Authority was one of nearly 10 stops city councilors and Tulsa Regional Chamber officials made in Dallas and Fort Worth on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The trip was arranged by Lakin to give councilors an idea of how Dallas and Fort Worth are handling commercial development along popular trails and waterways.

City councilors seemed genuinely impressed with the outdoor restaurants they visited, including the Katy Trail Ice House, The Rustic and the Woodshed. But the REI store in South Lake elicited less enthusiasm.



City councilors visited the Katy Trail Ice House restaurant on Tuesday night as part of their two-day visit to Dallas and Forth Worth. The stop was intended to provide an example of what types of open-air venues could be built along the Arkansas River. The Ice House is built up to the edge of a popular pedestrian/bike trail that runs along an abandoned railroad line. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier Trail

Councilors — on their last stop of the trip — peppered an REI official and the developer of the 71st Street and Riverside Drive project with questions about the design of the proposed Tulsa store, the design of the entire 71st and Riverside development, and whether REI would cut into the sales of other Tulsa sporting goods stores.

Lakin — to no one’s surprise, perhaps — was not among the councilors underwhelmed by the REI store.

He said Friday that he hopes that when councilors envision the store at the Riverside Drive site, they also envision the other businesses that could potentially be its neighbors. Among them, councilors learned while in Dallas, could be a restaurant owned by the same people who are behind The Rustic.



City councilors Wednesday visited an REI store in Southlake, Texas. The shape, size and interior layout of the store are the same as the REI store proposed for construction on the southwest corner of 71st Street and Riverside Drive in Tulsa. The exterior of the building would look different. KEVIN CANFIELD, The Frontier

So Lakin, for one, is not giving up on developing the southwest corner of 71st Street and Riverside Drive.

“I don’t know why we don’t continue to look at that for exactly what it was designed for – development,” Lakin said. “Its highest and best use in many respects is really smart, good development.”

He added: “The vast majority of Tulsans will never go to that site because there is absolutely nothing to do, and I want to change that.”


City Councilor Phil Lakin (right) speaks with Janet Hopkins, REI retail director for the Southwest district, (center) and others during a City Council visit to an REI store in Southlake, Texas, on Wednesday. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier

https://www.readfrontier.com/debate-on-arkansas-river-development-standards-begins-this-week/
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PonderInc
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2016, 04:12:39 pm »

The River Design Overlay was approved unanimously by the TMAPC today without amendment.  Now on to the City Council.
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2016, 07:54:03 pm »

The River Design Overlay was approved unanimously by the TMAPC today without amendment.  Now on to the City Council.

Good news.


Thought this quote by the Mayor brought home my point in another thread about how local developers can derail this thing....


(The mayor said he wants to be sure the development community is onboard with the proposed overlay.

“They are the ones who invest the money, risk the money,” he said. “I want to make sure that there is a representative group that has the ability to take a look at it.

“If they feel comfortable with it, good. If not, than I think we need to revisit it.”)

« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 07:55:52 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2016, 10:00:40 pm »

Good news.


Thought this quote by the Mayor brought home my point in another thread about how local developers can derail this thing....


(The mayor said he wants to be sure the development community is onboard with the proposed overlay.

“They are the ones who invest the money, risk the money,” he said. “I want to make sure that there is a representative group that has the ability to take a look at it.

“If they feel comfortable with it, good. If not, than I think we need to revisit it.”)



I can only imagine if the mayor of say San Francisco... or New York... or DC... or well any major city - h*** probably even Dallas and this would not go over well. Typically old guard of Tulsa though. This is just another reason everyone who cares about Tulsa at all better be telling everyone they know to vote for GT. Do we really want 4 more years of this BS?
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PonderInc
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2016, 01:42:55 pm »

Oh, one thing I forgot to point out.  The ordinance LANGUAGE for the RDO passed TMAPC this week.  Not the zoning map amendments, which will indicate the specific boundaries of the overlay. (That comes next.)

They will consider the actual boundaries of the overlay (what's included in RDO-1, 2 & 3) at the next TMAPC  meeting.  This will be interesting to watch. However, I think they were smart to separate the two issues, so we can get the language first, and then worry about the map.

During the TMAPC meeting, a few people hinted at what's to come.

Councilor Lakin spoke in favor of the RDO (he was one of the councilors on the steering committee), but he suggested that the land at 71st and Riverside (aka "the REI site") should be put in RDO-2, rather than RDO-1.  RDO-1 is specifically designed for park land as a way to ensure that any development is compatible with the park.

This gets confusing because Helmerich Park has an existing PUD (from the 80's)  that allows crappy commercial development to be done (IF the COT...er...TPFA can actually sell the land).  The river overlay does not impact existing PUDs (they are grandfathered in), unless they seek a major amendment, in which case, new additions would have to come into compliance with the overlay.

For this very reason, I think it's critical that all park land should receive the RDO-1 designation.  If anyone can talk me out of this, please speak up.

Also, I'm betting that QT will request to be exempted from the overlay (the current map shows they would be RDO-3, since they're on the east side of Riverside.)  Or, perhaps this is why RDO-3 doesn't have the limit on number of driveways or the distance between curb cuts?  They're basically already grandfathered in as a truck stop with the current design.  However, we know that QT likes to reinvent itself and demolish and rebuild their stores...at that point, it would matter whether or not they're included.

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Conan71
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« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2016, 10:05:40 am »

I had several people ask me about a zoning change sign near Turkey Mountain, this is what is going on.  Here’s the new Riverside Design Overlay package:

http://www.tmapc.org/tmapc/SA-1.pdf

The hearing date is August 17 in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

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« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2016, 10:49:11 am »

What happened to Lakin's proposal for an umbrella authority to oversee development? I thought that was insightful.
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2016, 08:29:49 pm »


The TMAPC recommends removing two properties from the RDO standards ... August 18, 2016 Tulsa World article by Samuel Hardiman

I haven't been following this issue very much.  Anyone know why the TMAPC wants the Olympia condos excluded from the overlay zoning?
 
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