By Emory Bryan, The News on 6
TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa City Council approved the PlaniTulsa comprehensive plan Thursday, making the most significant change to city planning in more than 20 years.
The council approval was the final step in a two-year process that gave citizens unprecedented input to create a vision for Tulsa's future. Some meetings had several thousand participants taking part in hours long discussions of city planning.
"Thousands of Tulsans have shared what they want for Tulsa's future, and this is a statement," said Theron Warlick, Tulsa City Planner.
Warlick said the new plan should encourage retail development along Tulsa's main streets while encouraging more sidewalks and alternative transportation.
"The new plan will lead to changes in the zoning code, it doesn't result in changes by itself, it just says here's a new vision and a new guide," he said.
Councilor Jim Mautino was the only councilor to express concerns about the plan during the meeting. Mautino said he was concerned about plans to create a light rail system for Tulsa.
But one of PlaniTulsa's leaders says it will help Tulsa become the city that, with better planning, might have been more attractive to people who moved away.
"And with the density, we're going to see this city with enough money to actually operate this place the way we say we want it to be run," Bob Sober said.
"I personally know people who live a long way from Tulsa, who are Tulsans originally, who are looking to come back as a direct result of PlaniTulsa, so we've got a marketing tool here as well," Jamie Jamieson said.
The next step is changes to the zoning code. That goes through INCOG and will require some effort by political leaders to keep it moving.
The citizens behind the plan say they're going to make sure that happens.