Development plan concerns in north Tulsa County

Wednesday, August 25th 2004, 10:12 am
By: News On 6

A planned new subdivision is too close for comfort for some residents in north Tulsa County, which is largely rural, with many acres between houses. At least for now.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg visited the area in question near 86th Street North and Sheridan. If you take a look in all directions, you see wide-open spaces, and the residents would like to keep in that way.

But a 30-year-old master plan appears to have opened the door for development. John Palovik moved to a 10-acre spread west of Owasso for the country setting. He has a horse and barn and rolling pastures on all sides. Except maybe for one pasture. "That would be all houses, 150 foot lots. For a rural area, that is a little bit small."

Palovik says the smallest property out here is 2 1/2 acres and he says putting close to 200 homes in a half-mile square area creates too much congestion. "We can't even get our trash picked up. I've had two trash haulers cancel because our traffic is too heavy." You have to drive a mile-and-a-half to the east from Palovik's house to find the nearest large neighborhood. In fact, he says it would make sense to him if they built a new subdivision closer to Owasso. “Development of this type is more appropriate contiguous to the existing Owasso development or to the 75 corridor, rather than here where were totally surrounded by agricultural."

The Tulsa Metro Planning Commission though is recommending changing the half-mile square area to residential, in large part because of a 1977 master plan that provided for residential development in the area.

While it's denser than anything that's ever gone here before, an attorney for the development says the half-acre to one-acre lots are big by city standards. Attorney Kevin Coutant: "This one falls squarely in the middle, it's not on the fringe, it's in the middle of what's contemplated by this plan, and it's been contemplated for over 25 years."

Palovik wondered if the plan was "too" old. "And I'm not sure what their vision was in 1977 to know what our situation is and what we live with today which is an Ag area."

City officials though say those plans are meant to be that far-reaching. The subdivision still has to be approved by the county commission. But it looks like the suburbs have arrived in north Tulsa County.