Tulsa Planning Commission Removes Helmerich Park From Zoning Map

Wednesday, August 17th 2016, 8:01 pm
By: Tess Maune

With big changes being made along the Arkansas River, Tulsa wants to make sure there are guidelines for future development.

Wednesday, a zoning map went before the planning commission for approval, but, after comments from the public, the commission sent one zoned area back to the council for review.

The area in question is Helmerich Park.

4/26/2016 Related Story: Plans For Tulsa's Helmerich Park Addressed In News Conference

The River Design Overlay shows exactly which pieces of property would be subject to building regulations along the river in Tulsa.

There are three designations - one for parks and recreation use, so, minimal development. Another for recreation and development, and, lastly, a zone for private properties like homes.

The idea behind it all is to make sure any development interacts with the river.

Susan Miller with INCOG said, "That they don't turn their back on the river, that they don't put their dumpsters on the river. They don't just put their overflow parking on the river so that really the river is integrated in all the future development."

The map has Helmerich Park designated as an area for both recreational and development use.

Tulsa Public Facilities Authority owns the park and is currently in litigation with a group of citizens who oppose any kind of retail development on the property.

1/7/2016 Related Story: More Names Added To Sale Of Helmerich Park Lawsuit

Several people asked that any zoning treats Helmerich Park as nothing but a park.

Planning Commissioner John Dix said the members “ought to toss that hot potato to the council to deal with.”

The commission voted five to two to remove the zoning designation from the park and send it to the city council to review.

The issue will likely be addressed during next week's council meeting.