To: Jim Couch, City Manager , City of Oklahoma City
Mick Cornett, Mayor, City of Oklahoma City
City Council of Oklahoma City
The Planning Commission of Oklahoma City
From: Rick Dowell, President,
Park Plaza Redevelopment Corp.
Re: Planning Commission Case No. SP-430, Application for Special Use Permit on 4th and Hudson, Recycling Center
March 9th, 2011
I have attached three new property owner protests to the Special Use Permit application referenced above. This case has been dragging on for over three months, so let me refresh your memory regarding this controversy.
The Park Plaza Redevelopment Corp. has membership which includes over 72 percent of private property owners in the district, as well as over 25 businesses in the district which do not own property.
- On January 18th, 2011, the Park Plaza Redevelopment Board, after consulting with membership, voted unanimously to oppose the proposed Special Use Permit. A letter was sent on that date to the Mayor, City Manager, City Council, the Downtown Design Review Committee, and the Planning Commission. In this letter (ATTACHED), our board expressed its reasons for opposing the permit.
- The Downtown Design Review Committee met in January 2011 and by unanimous vote, recommended against approval of the Special Use Permit.
- Shortly after the Design Review Committee meeting, the permit application was brought before the Planning Commission. Protesters were present for this meeting; however, without prior notice, Goodwill Industries (whose representative wasn’t present at the meeting) requested a continuance. On February 24th, 2011, the Planning Commission heard testimony both from protestors and the applicant. The Planning Commission requested a second continuance for two weeks for the application to provide further clarification on the proposed project.
- Other than the applicant, no one has spoken in support of this Special Use Permit; however, numerous property owners and business in the district have expressed their opposition:
The following Property Owners have registered (individual) protests:
Dowell Properties Inc. Peter Gianos
Willie L. Layne Revocable Trust DEI Communities (Regency Tower)
JKA Enterprises LLC Corsair Cattle Company
The Bank of Oklahoma
Robert Robles, Attorney at Law
The following businesses, which though they don’t own property in the district, operate a commercial enterprise in the district and have registered (individual ) protests:
Young Reporting Services
Welcome Home Management
Joe Brett Reynolds, PC
Wyatt Law Office
Cameron Spradling, Attorney at Law
Note that these are individuals and businesses that went to the trouble to write a letter. Except for the applicant, the Park Plaza District Corp. polling has indicated no support in the district for this permit.
If we limit the protest space to those property owners within 300 feet of the applicant’s proposed location, there is a 61 percent protest of “non public” property owners as calculated by the City Zoning Dept. (Attached). This indicated to our membership that a “Super Majority” vote of the City Council would be required to approve the measure; however, the City Planning Dept. and the City Attorney’s office were unclear. For clarification, I have attached a letter from Drew Edmondson, our former State Attorney General. His letter (ATTACHED) indicates that a “Super Majority” vote is indeed necessary.
Summing up. The process should never have gotten to this point. In July of 2010, the City Planning Dept. entered into a contract with Goodwill Industries to recycle 10 million pounds of waste per year. This contract specified seven sites, in which this recycling was to take place. The location on 5th and Hudson was one of the specified locations. It seems that in negotiating this contract, the Planning Dept. must have failed to notice that recycling in this area would require a downzoning to “industrial.” Thus as the contract stood and now stands, it is illegal, because the site is not currently zoned for the purpose intended. The City Planning Dept., as party to this contract, is really the applicant. This contract was approved by the City Council last summer as a “consent docket item.” Typically, given the volume of consent docket items, the City Council must rely on either advice from staff or protest during the meeting to take an item off the consent docket. The City Planning Dept. never called our organization to inform us of their intent; had they done so, we would have shown up at the meeting and expressed our concerns, and probably the contract would have been amended to move the Hudson location to one less controversial. None of the property owners knew of this need for rezoning until the middle of January 2011, almost 6 months after this matter was instigated by the City Planning Dept. Review of this contract reveals that the City has an “out” if the project is deemed “inconvenient to the City.” So is clearly not to late for the contract to be amended as it should have been last July. If Goodwill Industries has signed a lease, the lease would be invalid. Every attorney knows that a contract whose fulfillment requires breaking the law (operating without proper zoning) is void.
President, Park Plaza Redevelopment Corp.