Owasso Residents Concerned About Annexation Of Flood-Prone Land

Tuesday, August 21st 2012, 11:04 pm
By: News On 6

Things got heated in Owasso, as residents took issue with the city trying to annex a portion of land, and possibly re-zone it for residential purposes.

The city held a public hearing on the issue Tuesday night.

Owasso city leaders are asking the council to annex 50 acres of land, but people in the nearby neighborhood say that could have a drastic effect on their homes.

Sandy Brown has lived in her Owasso neighborhood for 26 years.

"We have lived here in this house for all these years, without worrying about a flood," Brown said.

But soon, that may change. The City of Owasso wants to annex nearly 50 acres of nearby land that they say is prone to flooding.

So, people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding that area say they are concerned by what will happen to their land if that is allowed to happen.

"If they start building up this land, so it will be capable of building houses on, I'm afraid we're going to have some major blockage upstream, forcing FEMA to re-map our area, putting us in a flood zone," Brown said.

Brown said it doesn't take much rain for the land in question to flood.

The city explained that there's still a long process that has to take place before development can actually begin there.

"We understand that this is a difficult piece of property, so we're just going to take the necessary steps that we take, and listen to what the comments say in the public hearing tonight," said Chelsea Harkins, of the City of Owasso.

Even though the city is listening to public input, Owasso resident Robert Higgins said he doesn't think it's enough.

"I don't think they like hearing what we have to tell them," Higgins said. "They have all been presented with the same factual information and the same historical information, with regard to water and flooding. They get the same pictures, and yet they're still pushing forward with it."

Brown said, "It's frustrating, because you feel like you vote for these people to represent the people, and it looks like all they're representing is a handful of developers. And all they're seeing is the dollar signs."

City Manager Rodney Ray said he plans to have a meeting in the neighborhood before the council makes their final decision.

The council plans to vote on the annexation in September, and if that is approved, it will go to the re-zoning stages.