Taco Bell, Christmas Chutes, and Neighbor Disputes: Sapulpa City Council deals with nuisances, concerns, and plans for the next year

The Taco Bell entrance on Birch St. in Sapulpa was under debate at the weekly Sapulpa City Council study session. The city has received a complaint from a disgruntled resident of the apartments behind the Atwoods and Taco Bell, as he has been stuck on Birch Street in Taco Bell traffic trying to get home. The fast food restaurant has three entrances, one through the adjacent parking lots, one that leads through Taco Bell’s own parking lot, and the one up for discussion: off of Birch Street directly into the drive-thru lane. There’s not as much space at the second turn off Birch into the restaurant, and the line can cause major congestion during meal rushes. The council discussed different options to prevent cars from blocking the road, because although this is the first complaint on the issue in eight years, it is a safety issue when considering fire trucks and other emergency services. They debated different ways to prevent traffic from getting clogged, from simply putting up a “Don’t Block The Road” sign to putting in a curb or partition. The council will revisit the matter at a city council meeting at a later date.

The subject of The Lakes at Cross Timbers appeared once again before the city council during their study session. My. Ayres first brought the area to the council in 2018 with concerns about the ponds, and more recently, the overflow berm and swimming pool. City manager Joan Riley said there hasn’t been evidence the swimming pool is overflowing into the pond, although Mr. Ayres says he witnessed it backwashing once a long time ago. There are regulations on how to properly dispose of chemically treated pool water, like that has to be dechlorinated or disposed into the correct sanitary sewer. If pool water was somehow entering the pond, the chemicals could wreak havoc on the ecosystems. Currently, there is no evidence for either discharge or backwash of the swimming pool in question. The other issue, the overflow berm and overflow which does drain into the pond, is not the correct height. The berm is only 22 inches, but is supposed to be 24 inches, and the drain easement must be clear of anything that would impede the flow of water to the pond. A neighbor of Mr. Ayres, Mr. Meisner, has built a wrought-iron fence that crosses over the berm into the drainage easement, and he has planted some vegetation in there. Mr. Ayres says the plants and fence will obstruct any water, causing it to overflow into homes. Mr. Meisner claims he believes he was helping, as the fence is wrought-iron and allows water to flow, and the plants would slow the water so it doesn’t assault the pond all at once. 

The council debated whether or not the fence and vegetation were legal, as well as how important the two inches of height difference on the berm was. The exact verbiage of the law states the the watercourse should remain free of excessive vegetation or other obstacles that would pollute or hinder the flow of water. Being an iron fence, the water would flow, and it is possible the vegetation would help the berm hold stronger. Mr. Meisner has discussed this issue with the city, and has agreed that if his additions cause any flooding or damage to the berm, he would fix it. City attorney David Widdoes added that the council doesn’t “really take action until there’s an event we can respond to, instead of constructing hypotheticals that never occur.” 

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Riley assured they are monitoring the situation indwell continue to do so. 

The Christmas Chute for downtown Sapulpa is pushing forward. The council agreed it’s definitely positive for the city. There are many ways the city is going to be involved and participate, and the council is excited for how different next Christmas is going to be for Sapulpa. The funding, donations, and acquisition of materials seem to be going well, everyone is just waiting for Route 66’s upcoming changes to be finalized. Councilors and city staff are aware and anticipating the change of signage and mapping, and the Department of Safety has already changed signs to reroute truck traffic. The City Council is waiting for the Chute Committee to approve the agreement with the city in their own meeting, and then the council will address the agreement in one of their following meetings. They are hopeful this will be completed and in place before March.