City Leaders Turn Focus To Arkansas River Development

Tuesday, April 19th 2016, 10:37 pm
By: News On 6

With Tulsa’s Vision tax extension passed by voters, focus for city leaders is now shifting to the Arkansas River.

The city plans to help spur development along the banks of the Arkansas; millions of dollars will be invested towards enhancements, including dams to help keep water in the river.

One of the purposes for the River Design Overly is to support and enhance the river corridor as a lively people-oriented destination. And with Vision approved, the city wants to hear from the public.

4/5/2016 Related Story: Tulsa County, Municipalities Approve All Vision Sales Tax Propositions

“We have to put ourselves in front of people who want to and need to be in Tulsa. And now that we've invested in ourselves, we are in a much better position to make those things happen,” said Tulsa City Councilor, Phil Lakin.

In simple terms, there are three types of overlay possibilities that would help streamline what developers could do on certain areas along the river, in addition to zoning.

Susan Miller with INCOG said, "I think they’re greatly enhanced design standards and appropriately for the river with the Gathering Place and the Vision vote."

There are plans for an overlay district mainly intended for parks, recreation and open spaces near the 21st Street bridge, also a district for property that doesn't have direct access to the river but is visible from riverfront areas.

Lakin said, "If a new development is going to go in then it has to go in according to these new overlay standards, and it is very reasonable stuff."

Examples include making sure buildings interact with surrounding roads or trails and being able to see in and out of shops.

Some want the city to make more environmentally conscious considerations while drafting these overlays.

It still has to go through public hearings and get a sign off from city council.