The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 17, 2014

MAPC approves land use amendment

ENID, Okla. — The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission approved a land use amendment Monday night despite a staff recommendation against it.

City Planner Chris Bauer said Grand Energy plans to use a plot of land at Chestnut and 30th as a secure truck yard and maintenance site. The land currently is planned for commercial use and Grand Energy requested a land use change for industrial use.

The problem, Bauer told the MAPC, is that there is no sewer available at that site and there are no plans for Grand Energy to install one.

Chip McCoy with Nicholas Commercial Real Estate, who is representing the energy company in acquiring the land, said there are plans to install a septic tank system. McCoy also said state regulators have given the OK for that type of wastewater disposal.

One commissioner raised a legal question about the city’s liability in bringing sewer service to the land if they authorize it for high-intensity industrial use, in case a future landowner needs a sewer line.

“They could argue, ‘Why did you change it to a higher intensity without requiring it?’ That’s a very fine legal question, and I would need to talk to our legal department to give you a proper answer,” Bauer said.

He noted that an ongoing study by the planning department shows there are existing commercial and industrial lots throughout the city that do not have adequate water or sewer infrastructure — based on the city’s own guidelines.

“Those sites are out there. How this occurred, I don’t know,” he said.

There now is a city ordinance that requires sellers to notify prospective landowners of infrastructure capability.

“That’s a response to that issue. We have done rezoning, for whatever reason over the years, and the infrastructure isn’t there,” Bauer said. "So now you’re aware of it, and here’s one in front of you. Do you want to continue that pattern? I don’t have an answer for you.”

He added that once a plot of land is changed, it could be used for any number of uses. However, he said, industrial enterprises typically are not heavy wastewater users.

The land use amendment, along with a companion rezoning request were approved unanimously.

The planning commissioners also approved the rezoning of 10 acres of land at 54th and U.S. Highway 412 so that FedEx can build a terminal and service site. The land currently is zoned for “planned industrial park district,” but FedEx needs the parcel to be zoned for light industrial use.

The area has sufficient water, sewer and road infrastructure. Bauer said the FedEx trucks will be entering and exiting the lot from 54th.

The changes now go to the Enid City Commission for final approval.

During the meeting Monday, the MAPC also voted to retain Marvin Kusick as chairman and Cole Ream as vice chairman. There were no other nominations.

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