The Yukon City Council approved an appeal to a zone area close to historic Route 66 but denied another zone appeal at its Tuesday meeting.
Council members listened to David Fox with Ashton Gray, LLC about rezoning a heavy commercial district to a residential district at 200 N Yukon Parkway.
The Oklahoma City real estate developer submitted the request because they are trying to create a new duplex living area on the property.
Fox read quotes from planning commission members. One of the quotes said, “I am concerned about more rental properties in town.”
A few more said, “I wouldn’t want to live right next door to my renters;” and “If you want to rezone and build big, nice, expensive houses, then I’ll listen.”
Mayor Shelli Selby asked Fox why the current landowners chose to buy a commercial zone to try and change the zone to a residential. She added that it might be better to change the zoning because she has had first-hand experience with a loud commercial business.
“I live by an OnCue that was built in my backyard,” Selby said. “I would much rather have, personally, houses.”
Ward 2 member Aric Gilliland was concerned about property values for the surrounding neighbors, but Fox said the duplexes will not affect the value of the single-family homes in the area.
Vice Mayor Rick Cacini brought up the costs of the comprehensive plan. The city spent $100,000 on it.
“We spent a lot of money on studies by the experts and half the time, we don’t even follow it,” Cacini said. “I talked before about the water filtration thing. Two years ago, we paid out $35,000 for a study that said what to do and we didn’t do it yet. I’m just trying to get everybody to think about, ‘Let’s not spend so much on these studies if we’re not going to follow them.’”
Yukon city planner Cindy Wright said what zones were deemed were just a guideline as to what the area should be.
After significant discussion about the zone change, the appeal was approved – four affirmatives and one negative – by the council allowing the zone to be changed from heavy commercial to residential.
Fox stood before the council on the next agenda item involving another rezoning appeal.
Crafton Tull on behalf of Williams Family Investments, LLC was trying to appeal the planning commission’s denial to rezone an area of land from an agriculture district to a heavy industrial district.
Canadian County Judge Jack McCurdy lives close to the area and was joined by his neighbors to share the opinions they have about the request.
“They can dance around it all they want to, but they want to change the zoning, so they can put in a mine,” McCurdy said.
He said the place will become a mine, then become a safety hazard for the locals whenever semi-trucks drive up and down that road.
He said the homeowners, including himself, bought their land to gain peace and solitude but rezoning could ruin that.
McCurdy joked about what the Oklahoma Department of Tourism will have on its Route 66 travel guide.
“Visit historic Route 66,” McCurdy said. “In Catoosa, you get the Blue Whale. In Yukon, you get to see the oil field junkyard. That really what we want? We are a better city than that.”
The rezone request was denied unanimously shortly after residents of the area nodded their heads in approval of McCurdy’s comments.
In more council news, City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said the Smart Grid project on Garth Brooks Boulevard will start in three weeks with the 11th Street improvements beginning simultaneously.
Garth Brooks Boulevard will be down to one-lane for traffic.
In police news, Firehouse Subs’ First Responder Grant Program gifted the Yukon Police Department with $22,180 to purchase two Polaris Utility Vehicles.
“We’ll be actually able to deploy them at every special event,” Chief John Corn said. “… Where we have in the past, designated bike patrol officers to those events and it be limited to a group of officers in the department. With these vehicles, we could assign any officer to work the event.”