The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 2, 2013

Stonebridge Village housing project is a go

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The developer of the multi-million dollar Stonebridge Village housing project has compromised, opening the door for the development to begin.

Gene Anderson made concessions to his opponents and agreed to place a buffer zone between his development and the high-priced homes in the Rolling Oaks and Quailwood neighborhoods.

His revised Planned Unit Development largely mollified their concerns, earning praise from several neighbors who spoke against Stonebridge Village in planning meeting last month.

Alterations

In a revised plan presented by city staff, Anderson agreed to remove almost 90 homes and install what likely will be a city park along the north side of his development.

Enid City Commission unanimously adopted the modified PUD Tuesday night, after lengthy discussions in both the study session and regular meeting.

Rolling Oaks Homeowners Association President Greg Hodgen commended Anderson for working with them, and because he had “taken some real arrows” during the PUD’s confirmation process.

“I think most of our residents are pleased with the results,” Hodgen said. “There are some details that need to be worked out, but this is exciting for Enid.”

More space

Anderson garnered support by essentially turning the north third of his development into a public park surrounding a stormwater retention pond. Doing so, he eliminated 56 single-family homes and 30 more multifamily units intended for senior living. The apartments will remain.

The city of Enid likely will take over all or a portion of that northern pond and convert it into a park, thereby ruling out the possibility that registered sex offenders could take up residence in the apartments. The city also will move the exit of Rolling Oaks further south from the rail line and add a turning lane to divide northbound and southbound traffic from that street.

‘Make whole’

City Manager Eric Benson said Anderson came to the city asking to be “made whole” from ceding so much land to green space. Negotiations allowing Anderson to take over land on the other side of Cleveland are close to complete. The city originally purchased the land east of Cleveland so it could put in its own stormwater detention facility, despite its long-term plan of keeping a runoff pond to the west — right where Anderson originally wanted to build his homes.

“This project is far more attractive, in every respect, than it started out being,” Benson said.

Landlords

In a surprise public announcement, Tulsa-based Vector Properties officials told the city commission they would be developing the apartment complex.

Vector also is working to turn Oakwood Mall inside out by creating stand-alone stores in a “demalling” process.

Vector President Brenda Dill said the 200 apartments would cater to executives, doctors, military officers, young professionals and empty-nesters.

“This will offer a $250,000 living experience without having to buy a home,” she said.

The cheapest unit would go for $800 a month, Dill said, and residents would have to prove their income is three-times what they would pay for rent.

Dill said a market study of housing showed there are no open apartments for high-end renters. The gated community probably will take about a year to build and then about 10 months to stabilize at 93 percent occupancy, she said.

Area improvements

City Planner Chris Bauer said the city has plans to expand Cleveland from Chestnut to Willow, improve the Cleveland-Chestnut intersection and build a retention pond in the area to prevent flooding.

Anderson’s development gives a catalyst for the city to finish all of those projects, he said.

“We’re going to do these whether this is a pasture or these are houses,” said Bauer.

Bauer also recommended making Cleveland a boulevard-type street with a landscaped median.ꆱ