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Edmond neighbors fight to stop development with 379 residential units

EDMOND — Property owners near a proposed housing development with 379 houses, apartments and townhouses, southeast of Danforth Road and Interstate 35, made it clear this week that they don't want a large housing addition in their neighborhood because of the added traffic.

More than 120 people gathered before the planning commission and in a designated overflow area to make sure their concerns were known before there was a vote to change the city's zoning plan and rezone the property from general agricultural to a mixed use planned unit development.

Planning commissioners approved the zoning plan amendment with a split vote of 3-2. Planning Chairman Barry Moore and commissioner Bill Moyer voted against the change while Commissioners Mark Hoose, Rob Rainey and Kenneth Wohl supported it.

On the rezoning request by developers, Happy Land LLC, Rainey voted no, along with Moore and Moyer, causing the item to fail with a vote of 3-2.

Rainey said he voted differently on the two requests because the rezoning was not consistent with the traffic study and he felt adding apartments would overburden the traffic situation that the city is currently facing.

City council members will make a final decision on Monday.

The development is proposed to be built on 37.13 acres which includes 1.54 acres of commercial property. There would be 254 multifamily apartments, 55 townhouses and 70 single family houses.

The land is surrounded by I-35 on the west, Arbor Creek at the Summit housing addition on the south and Sleepy Hollow housing addition to the north.

"I think this is a good use for this property and I understand people's traffic concerns," said Randel Shadid, attorney for the developers.

Shadid has repeatedly told city officials that once water and sewer services were expanded to the east side of Edmond there was going to be new development bringing more traffic to the area.

Developers have agreed to make Saints Boulevard a collector street through the proposed project and pay for one traffic signal light.

Kelly Work, attorney for the Arbor Creek at the Summit homeowners association, a neighborhood with 246 single family homes and 76 townhouses, urged the planning commissioners to deny the project.

Initially, planning commissioners had denied the project when it was first presented last June.

This round the developer added 7 acres, increasing the residential units from 322 to 379, a 17.7 percent increase, Work said.

Danforth Avenue has not been upgraded and is inadequate to handle the traffic, Work said.

Alisa Blevins, who lives in the nearby Leawood housing addition, warned that if each of the 379 residents have two cars each that would add 758 more vehicles to area roadways.

"I frankly feel like this is a fatality waiting to happen," Blevins said.

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Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›