The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 12, 2013

Proposed North Cleveland apartment complex protest filed by some homeowners

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — More than a hundred people have signed objections to a new housing development along north Cleveland, citing a lack of “harmony” with their own neighborhoods.

The group, made up from the nearby Rolling Oaks and Quailwood homeowners associations and other land owners in the area, filed an official protest with the city of Enid just an hour before the deadline Wednesday afternoon.

In their objection, the homeowners said an earlier agreement with Gene Anderson and AC Development LLC would have nixed plans for an apartment complex north of Chestnut along Cleveland. When Anderson filed his first outline documents with the city, however, the diagrams and description included mention of up to 210 apartment units, along with 130 single-family homes and 30 more dwellings intended for senior living.

Neither Anderson nor the homeowners association leadership could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Anderson’s plan will be considered Monday by Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. The 120 objections will go up against Anderson’s Planned Unit Development, or PUD. Developing land under a PUD allows for the builder to combine multiple zones into one package.

The number of protesters is key. While anyone can speak against the PUD, the opinions of landowners within 300 feet of the development are given more weight. The city’s planning administrator will evaluate the area of land within that 300-foot boundary, then analyze the percentage of opposition based on how much of that land the protesters own.

If the city determines that owners of at least half the land are opposed to the PUD, it becomes more difficult for the city to approve.

In that case, the development will require a three-fifths vote of MAPC members to pass rather than a simple majority.

In a brief filed alongside the petitions Wednesday, attorney Michael Bigheart argued the homeowners and Anderson agreed in previous meetings that the apartments would not appear in the PUD. Rather, as the brief states, a proposed commercial zone at Cleveland and Chestnut would be expanded.

The plans Anderson eventually filed with the city do not include a commercial district.

“The neighbors thought the matter was resolved, but the PUD that has been submitted by the developers fails to honor the commitment,” Bigheart’s brief states. “The proposed PUD retains apartments which they agreed to remove.”

The MAPC meeting begins at the city commission chamber at 6 p.m. Monday with a study session.