Sapulpa City Council approves Project Edge master plan for former Town West area

By Caleb Wortz

After declining to vote on a contentious new 5G tower proposal, the council discussed and heard public comments on the approval of Project Edge. Project Edge is a new development plan and brand strategy for the development of Town West. 

“Project Edge Master Plan is intended to outline a clear vision with achievable action items to facilitate and attract the best quality development and redevelopment to the future Edge District,” overview documents for the project said.

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 Documents for Project Edge cite visibility and access, improved connections and recent momentum as some of the inspirations behind the new planning area. It also states that it is meant to create a “gateway” for visitors entering Sapulpa. 

Some of the methods used for this include signage, lighting, fencing and public art. The plan looks at several areas for improvement in the project area, including faster travel options for walking and biking. 

Excerpt from the Project Edge documentation, available from the newly-approved Master Plan. (provided)

“Project Edge offers convenient and fast travel on highways for travelers passing through and on railroads for shipping freight,” project documents said. “However, improvements are needed to improve connections for driving, walking, or biking.”

Much of the project focuses on transportation development but also aims to improve other infrastructure like visibility and access. The plan outlines a wide array of options for funding these developments via various organizations, grant programs and incentive programs. 

Public commenters introduced several concerns with the project such as misuse of eminent domain, obligations tied to grants and the plan’s alleged connection to the UN’s proposed sustainable goals. 

“I asked Julianne Romanello, she’s a former university professor, and she has also studied these plans extensively throughout the state,” said Elain (Burbus, its hard to hear), a local resident. She said when she saw this picture, she knew exactly what it referred to, the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

This concern references a UN guideline that declares itself a blueprint for achieving sustainable development goals. The commenter alleged the Project Edge plan shares a resemblance and color scheme with the UN guideline. 

In response to a commenter’s concerns about misuse of eminent domain, Sapulpa City Attorney David Widdoes offered some clarification about how that would be applied. Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property and develop it for public use. 

“They would not be used in that process, it would have to be land the city acquired through voluntary acquisition, or a willing landowner to obtain that,” said Widdoes. “You can’t condemn by eminent domain something for economic development purposes.”

Another concern mentioned was the possibility of having “strings attached” to the grants the city receives for these developments. 

Despite several concerned public comments, the council chose to approve the Project Edge plan which you can read on the city’s website.

Other items that were approved Monday include the repair of roadways in The Lakes of Cross Timbers subdivision and the purchase of field lighting for two new soccer fields as part of the Bartlett Sports Complex.

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