OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — The Oklahoma City Council is closer to turning Hefner Parkway into a scenic corridor. Once the rezoning of that stretch of parkway, from Northwest Expressway to Memorial, becomes the designated corridor billboards will not be permitted along the side of the road to obstruct the area’s beautiful views.

Friend’s Lola Adeyemi and Rachelle Nichols walk along Lake Hefner every week.

“It just clears your mind, allows you to connect with nature,” said Nichols.

“Green space does stuff to our bodies,” said Adeyemi. “We need it. We need the oxygen, we need the water, mind, you know, just more clarity.”

The city has been fighting for years to keep the sky above the parkway clear of distractions, like booming billboards.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, council members voted unanimously to continue a six-month moratorium on billboards along the parkway.

It was a step the council has taken for many years, while an effort to rezone the area to a scenic corridor continues to move forward. The city can regulate the use of signs or cell phone towers in areas with the corridor distinction.

“Community appearance was a consideration,” said Lisa Chronister, the city’s assistant planning director.

Chronister said in the coming weeks communities around the lake will get the chance to speak up, either in favor or against, turning the parkway into a scenic corridor.

“Property owners in and around the proposed boundary will be sent public notice,” said Chronister. “There will be two Planning Commission hearings and there will be three city council hearings. And through those hearings, everyone will have an opportunity to speak.”

The city also adopted a new sign code, which regulates the type of signs going up across the city. Chronister said the planning committee talked to outdoor advertising companies and sign companies to hear their concerns with the change.

You may remember, back in 2019, Lamar Outdoors attempted to put up a billboard near Hearts for Hearing, a facility for children who are hearing impaired. Controversy and legal concerns with the city stopped the billboard from going up. The city has been working to rezone the parkway ever since.