Some Tulsa residents want smelly business out of their neighborhood

Wednesday, April 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some people who live in a central Tulsa neighborhood took their case to the city this week. They’re concerned over new manufacturing near their houses that's causing quite a stink.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says the folks in a Tulsa neighborhood that backs up to Oklahoma Installation Company - have complained about an odor coming from the building - and the noise. The company wants to move just up the street to another building - and that gave the neighbors a chance to butt in.

It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in central Tulsa - farmland in the 1940's that grew into a neighborhood. The Oklahoma Fixture Company built here in the 50's, and no one complained until last year, when a strange odor began to spread from a building occupied by Oklahoma Installation Company.

Mary Rhea Mullen, neighborhood resident: "It's a really unpleasant chemical smell, I've never smelled anything like it." The neighbors worry the smell might be a toxic chemical. They're not sure what they smell - but the noise is certain - an exhaust fan on the building, just across the street from the home where Don Farris grew up.

Speaking for the neighborhood before the Board of Adjustment, Don Farris, "This is a very loud machine, we hear it until midnight each night within our home, we can hear it inside the house."

The board was sympathetic - and listened to the arguments of the company's attorney, Charles Norman, who promised the company would make changes so the neighborhood couldn't hear, see, or smell the operation. "We would not do anything, not only hazardous to health, but anything that in any way would affect the enjoyment of their homes."

But the board listened to residents - and rejected the zoning application - and in the process, laid the groundwork for the city to shut down what the company is doing already. Shannon Cavanaugh, neighborhood resident: "I'm just so happy that the city listened to us and they do care about us midtown citizens.”

The company makes a kind of plastic used for countertops - and the Board of Adjustment thinks what's going on in there doesn't even meet current zoning - that could give the city reason to shut it down, which would make a lot people in this neighborhood happy.