Route 66 rezoning proposal raises concerns

Tuesday, September 27th 2005, 12:35 pm
By: News On 6

Some residents are upset about a rezoning effort along a stretch of old Route 66 in Creek County. The land is just north of Kellyville along Route 66.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says a clump of trees may not look like much, but what's behind it is worth saving, according to some folks in Creek County. They're worried they'll lose any chance of saving some old cabins along Route 66 if a factory moves in next door.

Frank Gierheart: "Day by day hour by hour another piece of Route 66 is sucked up and gone forever and from a historical standpoint, obviously once these places are gone, they're not going to be replaced."

The cabins are just down from a 40 acre field that Webco Industries wants to buy. The company plans to build a tubing factory at the site, but they have to get the land rezoned first.

There are other industries nearby, but just as many pastures. Some residents would like to see more homes instead of factories. Rezoning opponent Nita Denham: "We would like for Kellyville to be a bedroom community for Tulsa, and when people get on the turnpike and get on Route 66 headed for Kellyville to think this is a place I would like to bring my family to live."

A team of Webco representatives who was looking at the property didn't want to speak on camera, but told the News on 6, they need to build at the site because of the available labor.

The area has steadily lost good jobs over the last few years. Webco officials say the plant they want to build would create about 150 jobs. They say they would careful stewards of the land.

The opponents of the rezoning worry about this whole are going industrial. They want to protect their rural lifestyle and believe the only way to do that is to have the company build somewhere else. Nita Denham: "We would like to pick a different location; we think this is just not the right location for their business."

The opponents worry Route 66 can't accommodate more traffic, but know they have an uphill battle keeping out a factory and the good jobs it would bring.