Proposed development near Edmond park causing controversy among residents

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EDMOND, Okla. – E.C. Hafer Park is a place Jan Bruce calls her sanctuary.

“Well, it`s beautiful, it`s peaceful. You get to see all the spring happening,” said Bruce.

But she says the peace could soon be a thing of the past.

“I don`t think it`s a good thing,” said Bruce. “I think that it will change the landscape. It will change what we hear, all of our senses we have for this park.”

She’s talking about a proposed development that would back up to Hafer Park. Centered near 15th and Bryant, the Shops at Spring Creek would have almost everything.

“It`s just a unique kind of development,” said Janet Yowell, executive director of the Edmond Economic Development Authority. “It`s a destination shopping place where you can actually live. You can shop and go to restaurants without taking your car out.”

The development would include hundreds of up-scale apartments that stand over ground-level retail. Poag Shopping Centers is the developer and proponents see cash potential.

“$150 million dollars of investment into this land is going to create another source of revenue, additional property tax revenue,” said Yowell.

The Edmond City Council approved the rezoning of the land to allow the project back in November. However, that was met with opposition.

Bruce, along with more than 1,600 other people, signed a petition to stop the development. An election will be held on April 4 where citizens can vote for or against upholding the council’s rezoning decision.

“I think that it`s a really neat idea, a great concept, but I just don`t think this is the right place to put it,” said Bruce, citing traffic as a big concern.

The city has conducted a traffic study and improvements will be made to help ease congestion if the project becomes a reality.

Edmond voters will get the final say during an election April 4.

Yowell hopes voters will look at the big picture.

“I think that as we look towards Edmond`s future, we need to look for things we don`t have in this community that can be amenities,” she said.

And Bruce wants to see you at the voting booth.

“I`m going to vote no. I do not want to see this change. I do not want to see this little part of Edmond change,” said Bruce.

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