'It’s Not A Win, Not A Loss:’ Del City Mayor Responds To OKC Planning Commission’s Approval Of Jail Site

The new Oklahoma County jail site near Del City got the green light from the Oklahoma City Planning Commission but with conditions. One of those conditions involves releasing inmates away from the new jail. However, is that enough to stop Del City officials from taking legal action?

Friday, April 12th 2024, 6:33 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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The new Oklahoma County jail site near Del City got the green light from the Oklahoma City Planning Commission but with conditions.

One of those conditions involves releasing inmates away from the new jail. However, is that enough to stop Del City officials from taking legal action?

“We're not giving up, this was just a battle in a war,” Del City Mayor Floyd Eason said.

It’s a war Eason says is against the chosen site for the new county jail at 1901 East Grand Boulevard, just 800 feet from his city.

“We're concerned about those citizens feeling safe in their neighborhood,” Eason said.

On Thursday, the planning commission addressed that concern in their approval to recommend the special use permit request for the new jail by adding conditions. One of those conditions included releasing inmates at the Oklahoma County Courthouse and not at the jail.

“We don't want those people walking through our neighborhoods at a time when our school kids are walking to school, or the seniors are out walking their dogs or the neighborhood,” Eason said. “We have quite a few people who enjoy those trails out there and they enjoy being out in the park.”

During the meeting, other city officials and residents spoke out against the jail site due to its proximity to schools, daycares, and neighborhoods. However, lead architect Curt Pardee with HOK, said the site was the best one out of 20 others they reviewed in terms of cost, site preparation, infrastructure, and space for expansion.

“It's really important as you develop a new detention center and behavioral care center for Oklahoma County that there is availability for future growth should that happen,” Pardee told the commission. “This facility will be there a long time so having proper planning is really important for that.”

David Box, attorney for the landowner, answered questions about a shuttle service that will transport released inmates.

“The goal is to take as many people downtown to a predetermined location or multiple locations,” Box told the commission. “We can offer the services and we can offer the shuttles; we can offer to take them where they want, ultimately if they don't want to go, we cannot force a free person onto that bus.”

This didn’t sit well with some, which prompted the conditions on the recommendation, that the Oklahoma City council will consider next.

“We're hoping they will uphold the conditions that were placed by the planning commission,” Eason said.

Even if they do, Eason says he's not giving up on protecting his city.

“We're going to be watching what the county does,” he said. “If they stick to the rules, then we'll see, if they don't then lawsuits are coming.”

Other conditions attached to the planning commission’s approval include having a 12-foot minimum security fence around the jail and no loud outdoor speakers permitted on the site.

The Oklahoma City Council will make the final decision and is expected to consider the jail site next month.

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