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Will the Bricktown Urban Design Committee Overlook Possible Past Defiance?

About a dozen years or so ago, dating back to when John Calhoun was the planner who coordinated the Bricktown Urban Design Committee, a parking lot at Joe Carter Avenue and Sheridan Avenue was written up for having a temporary shed instead of a permanent parking booth.

The owner, Joey Chaif, and his representatives sought "clarifications," and deferrals and extensions in time to remedy the situation. Ultimately, he outlasted Calhoun and to my knowledge the booth remains out of compliance with design regulations for the district.

Maybe overlooking such a violation was not a big deal at the time. The parking lot was on the fringe of the developed area of the entertainment district and surrounded by the blighted Stewart Metal Fabricators complex.

That situation has since changed and the area is being built up into a mix of hotels, housing, retail and a concert hall. Chaif still has the shed as his parking booth, and now he is asking to double the size of the parking lot to the east, presumably to capture the additional parking revenue from these new developments. The application is set to be heard in October.

Will the design committee give its blessing without addressing the ongoing violation?

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›