The Board of County Commissioners of Creek County unanimously agreed to deny the Planned Unit Development and Preliminary Plat for Childer’s Creek, a proposed single-family subdivision off South 49th West Avenue, in Kiefer, at their meeting on Monday, March 22nd.
Wendy Murray, Creaky County Planner, said that the applicant, Select Designs, of Bixby, requested rezoning to allow a housing development to be built southwest of Kiefer High School on 24.51 acres, to contain 23 to 24 lots and four reserve areas for a private street and a retention pond.
Murray further stated that the application was denied at the Creek County Planning Commission meeting on February 16th in a 7-1 vote. She then submitted a letter to the Board from Dexxon, Inc., highlighting issues with unplugged or unidentified oil wells on the land and interference with surface rights.
District #1 Commissioner Newt Stephens stated that these matters violate state statutes that protect oil producers and property owners. “This needs to be addressed,” he said. “We are not about violating statutes.”
Richard Willhite, a neighboring land owner, summed up his problems with the development, saying, “poorly executed progress only hurts the future.”
Ryan McCarty, of Select Designs, spoke to the Board, and said that he was “blindsided” by the Dexxon letter, as he was just hearing of it. He said, “we were not aware of any unplugged wells and existing lines before today,” and asked for a copy of the letter.
Despite McCarty’s protestations that he and the owners have addressed a multitude of the issues cited by neighbors and others, that they “have developed over 200 additions and have made things like this work,” and his request that the Board send the application back to the Planning Commission to give them more time to solves some of the problems, ultimately, the Board was unwilling to let the project go any further.
“We have to make the best decisions for the county and citizens that we serve, and with the information presented today, legally we cannot approve this,” stated Stephens. “There are just too many issues here that could create more issues.”
Sapulpa Times Editor and website designer Micah Choquette made a presentation to the Board regarding a project to update the County’s webpage. Choquette said that he completed a technical audit of the current site and spoke to several County employees about their needs and wants for an improved website.
He reported that the current version was built in 2005 and that the code is old and outdated, and therefore not secure. Additionally, it is not “mobile friendly,” which is “an issue, as a large majority of internet use comes from phones these days.” He said his vision for the new website includes more transparency for the community, an easier way for residents to get in touch with their Commissioner and Highway District, a better way for people to fill out and submit important forms, and a community calendar of events.
Choquette stated, “Your website currently receives 5,000 views [a month]; I think we have the ability to market the community, while being in touch with issues that affect our County. Sapulpa just passed the GO Bond, and great things are happening here. I would like to see this extend beyond Sapulpa into the County where people live, work, and raise the next generation of our community.” In addition, he said, “There’s no history on the website. I think we’re missing a big opportunity here. Some of these smaller communities can’t do their own marketing and websites. We should be doing something to entice people to bring their families here.”
Stephens said that he would also like to see the website offer more information for the public, such as agendas, minutes, notifications of building closures and meeting cancelations, bid information, and links to other important offices.
There was discussion of who would maintain the site once it is built and updated, and Choquette explained that County administrators could perform the maintenance, that he could do it for them for an ongoing fee, or that some combination of the two could be arranged.
The overall cost of the project was discussed, including the initial cost of building the site, monthly hosting fees, and the possibility of ongoing site management. Warner announced that several more meetings would be needed to make a decision on everything that this would entail, and that Choquette will need to draft a proposal that outlines the fees and options for service.
Choquette said that he’d like to have some more conversations with the employees involved in the day-to-day operations of the website to determine its scope, but that he would most likely propose a flat fee for the development of the site and then an ongoing monthly fee for maintenance and hosting. He concluded his presentation by saying that once a deal is reached, it would take 30-60 days to build, set up, and launch the site.
This item will be brought back on a future agenda.
An application to rezone and allow a lot split on a 10 acre parcel of land on South 161st West Avenue in Sapulpa was approved unanimously by the board. Jason Redman, applicant, went before the CCPC on February 16th, at which time they recommended approval, on the condition that Redman remove several inoperable vehicles located in a flood zone on the property.
Murray informed the Board that the majority of the vehicles have been removed, and that the rest will be gone soon, depending on the weather. She presented before and after pictures as evidence. The Board stated that this alleviated their concerns and that they were now comfortable moving forward with the application.