NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Split vote denies Edmond 37.13-acre development

EDMOND — City council members said they don't want 379 houses, apartments and townhouses to be built southeast of Danforth Road and Interstate 35 by refusing to amend the city zoning plan.

Developers Happy Land, LLC, met tough opposition from nearby neighbors who were against the additional traffic and the density of the 37.13-acre project.

The request failed with a 2-3 split vote. Council members Victoria Caldwell and Darrell Davis voted yes to amending the zoning plan. Mayor Charles Lamb and council members Elizabeth Waner and Nick Massey said no.

More than 100 people turned out to voice their opinion against the development that included 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.

An advantage of the project was Saints Boulevard was going to be opened from Second Street to Danforth Road, giving the city the connectivity officials have wanted for years.

Developers also agreed to pay for and install a signal light at Sleepy Hollow and Danforth.

Still, there are no immediate plans or money to renovate the I-35 off-ramp at Danforth or reconstruct the two-lane bridge west of the ramp.

"Without appropriate infrastructure in place it really does not support a development with this intensity and density," said Kelly Work, attorney for the Arbor Creek at the Summit homeowners association.

Work calculated the overall density as 11 units per acre.

"Both intersections, the exit ramp and Sooner and Danforth, presently need signalization," Work said. "If no solution is found, these problems will be exacerbated."

Arbor Creek property owners are concerned that, with the continued problems on Danforth, there will be more traffic affecting their housing addition on Saints Boulevard, Word said.

"Good-looking project, wrong place," said Mark Livingston, who lives in Hidden Lake housing addition. "Although they have made changes, the density of this land and the bridge over I-35 hasn't gotten any bigger or any wider. All of a sudden you are doing multifamily."

Livingston told council members he wasn't against development. However, he wanted the land developed like it was designated in 2006 when the city zoning plan was created.

Massey voted against the plan amendment because he said he was concerned about public safety in the area.

"There have been a number of projects in Edmond I liked and voted against because of public safety issues," Massey said. "I think we need three traffic lights there. Don't know how to get three traffic lights there.

"Public safety is the overriding issue for me."

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 ›

Comments