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After a few contentious City meetings, Chris Key’s upscale townhome development off 33rd West Avenue, just north and west of 81st Street, had its preliminary plat approved at Tuesday evening’s Planning Commission meeting.
One neighbor did attend and spoke to the commission about questions for the applicant, but he appeared pleased with the answers he received from project engineer Mark Capron of Wallace Engineering.
The development will have 71 units—a few less than originally planned. Capron said that there were no conceptual changes to the original plan, but that a few small details have been changed.
He gave updates on the construction, explaining stormwater runoff management tactics and the location of the sewer system. He and Urban Development Director Nikki Howard also confirmed that a certified civil engineer has reviewed and approved all plans.
Francisco and Benjamin Olmos applied for an SUP to convert their restaurant, La Margarita, to a commercial marijuana grow facility. The restaurant is located just south of the movie theater, at 10233 Highway 66. The owners plan to move the restaurant to a new location in Sapulpa if the SUP is approved.
Staff recommended denial of this application because it would allow industrial use in a commercially-designated zone on the City’s all-important Comprehensive Plan. Howard spoke about the City’s reluctance to set a precedent for not adhering to the plan and inadvertently setting off a domino effect of non-retail business in this area. The problem, Howard stated, is “that before you know it, this planned ‘retail corridor’ becomes an industrial park.”
Commissioner Carla Stinnett said that she respects the comprehensive plan and would like to uphold it, but that as a frequent patron of the restaurant, she can “attest to the fact that it’s empty all the time.”
The younger Mr. Olmos agreed, saying, “you hit the nail on the head. We believe we can best maximize our profits in this space with a grow facility,” not a restaurant.”
The elder Mr. Olmos, Francisco, who started the restaurant in 1997, said he will be involved with the growth process and emphasized the difficulties of owning a restaurant. “I’m just trying to stay in business,” he said.
After a lengthy discussion between the commissioners, applicants, their attorney, and one of their neighbors over security measures, waste disposal processes, the potential for additional traffic in the area, the positive or negative impact of a grow facility at this location, and the best use of the building, Stinnett requested to table the application until more information can be gathered and studied. This motion passed and the SUP is expected to be reexamined at December’s meeting.
Ted Fisher represented the Kante Group for an application to allow short-term rentals in their building at 116 East Dewey Avenue, on the southwest corner of Dewey and Park. Fisher said that the ground floor will remain office space and that the second and third floors will be renovated into 1,500 square foot “really first class” apartments to be listed on sites such as Airbnb. This will provide much-needed lodging downtown, which is expected to be more in demand as the Downtown Master Plan and GO Bond Plan are implemented. This passed unanimously.
Six lot splits were approved. Howard reported that these will ultimately result in nine new homes.