Owasso annexation squabble

Tuesday, January 17th 2006, 3:29 pm
By: News On 6

The city of Owasso starts a process of annexing a Tulsa County neighborhood that doesn't want to be in the city. The annexation dispute centers on a neighborhood near 96th street North and 145th East Avenue.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has the story. The signs of growth, for some people who live along 96th Street North, mean it's time for move.

"There are over 6,000 cars a day that travel this street, just in my family alone we've had three accidents just trying to get into the driveway.” Randy Dopps and a dozen neighbors all want to sell out and move. They're right on the edge of Owasso's growth, and developers want to buy their land.

Tulsa County rezoned it for business, but that prompted Owasso to start an annexation, to keep it residential. "I wouldn't be able to sell my property, it's already sold, contingent on zoning.”

Owasso wants to annex 23 large lots and the Pleasant View subdivision. The area has business development approaching from the west and higher end residential development approaching from the east. The people who live nearby are ready to move. They know the whole area is going commercial. They're practically surrounded already with big shopping areas and more are being built. They can't figure out why the city would do something to interrupt their plans.

Owasso's city manager says it's simple. The city's comprehensive plan calls for houses there, not offices, and the only way to control the process is to annex the land. Owasso city manager Rodney Ray: "The county switched gears and decided to rezone some properties that are not in compliance with our comp plan."

It would be the first involuntary annexation in Owasso in 18 years and the neighbors are upset.

"And so we feel like our property values have already declined, but if we're denied the approval of the zoning, we're left hanging so to speak." Steve Johnson knows his neighborhood is in the way of progress. What he doesn't know is whether he'll decide what happens to his land - or if the city will decide for him.

The city manager says this annexation is only the first of a series of them to square up the city's borders.