The ordinance, Proposition 1517, was the main topic of discussion at Tuesday night's Durant City Planning and Zoning Commission.
Prop 1517 has been discussed for several weeks.
“Right now the West University Corridor is prime area to develop commercially, but how far should that extend?” said Tim Young, assistant city manager. Young was referring to the amount of land on either side of University's frontage.
The West University Corridor, encompassing an area between U.S. 69/75 and 49th Street, includes parcels of land with a variety of zoning designations.
Until recently, churches and daycare centers were the only businesses allowed in residential areas. As churches grew they became more diversified and active, and the city saw the need to change the zoning.
Concerned citizen Laura Barker asked “How will the public be notified? We would like to be notified before this goes into law.” The DCPS said the notification would be part of a future agenda.
Rick Mackey, another resident has been waiting for approval for the ‘buffer zone' for six month. He explained that 2624 University Blvd. is zoned A-1, which means that “We could run Billy goats next to the bank,” said Mackey. “Whatever you are going to do, do something. Take Action!”
Mackey told the commission he has had a buyer interested in his mother's property, but only if it is zoned commercial. Mackey has been stuck in “an endless loop” for months, while the buyer looses interest.
Harold Haddock agreed.
“I have built commercially in other cities. And I have never gone into a place, bought land, and then had to wait for the zoning to be approved. Every time something is decided, and it becomes the rule, there will be a board meeting or a city council, and it will be changed. These committees have to have teeth!” Haddock said.
The city council and planning commission decided last week that they would meet soon to iron out the differences and expectations for Prop 1517, as well as decide where zoning authority lies. Should it be a political decision, or should it be a technical decision. Among the issues being field Tuesday night were questions about whether every new company should have to appear before the zoning committee or only those desiring a variance.