More Names Added To Sale Of Helmerich Park Lawsuit

Thursday, January 7th 2016, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

The lawsuit into the sale of Helmerich Park is expanding, as four more people joined the suit against the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority.

The petition was filed around 3:00 Thursday afternoon - the initial lawsuit was filed about five months ago.

It was Craig Immel vs. the TPFA; now, in addition to the four new names, the City of Tulsa is now listed as the second defendant.

Can a portion of Helmerich Park at the corner of 71st and Riverside be sold for retail purposes?

The TPFA says that section of the park isn't parkland, so yes, it can be sold. But Save Helmerich Park supporters, like Terry Young, say no, it can't.

"It's not OK. The Helmerich family, a very respected family in Tulsa, is not unanimous on this," he said.

So, to fight the sale, park supporters filed a lawsuit.

Young is one of four people to jump on the lawsuit against TPFA's attempt at selling the land to the outdoor retailer REI.

“We have dramatically expanded the lawsuit that was filed back in August. Judge Sellers will now take a look at our filing and give the City of Tulsa a chance to respond to our filing," he said.

12/18/2015 Related Story: Council Looks Into Sale Of Tulsa's Helmerich Park Land

Young said the lawsuit still claims the city attempted to sell the land without council approval. He said, in the meetings, that the sale was discussed and the notes weren't clearly written.

"Those of us who have joined Craig Immel are simply as concerned citizens as he is about Helmerich Park, the future of it and what we believe is an incorrect use of the land - for commercial retail development," he said.

Young said there are times where the city can sell park land. The park has to have not been used for a certain number of years. 

From there, other steps have to be followed; something the lawsuit claims the city didn't do.

We did reach out to the City, but they weren't able to comment just yet considering the suit was filed late in the day.

Young said, with these changes, it could be several more months before the hearing.