OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Neighbors in the Oakdale community in northeast Oklahoma City banded together to stop a development on the corner of East Britton and North Sooner Road.
The ordinance on the agenda during Tuesday’s city council meeting caused rows of people in red to fill the seats, speaking out against the project, which would bring 655 new homes. The development was proposed by Ideal Homes.
“By building more homes on less land and having smaller lots,” said David Box, attorney for the city’s zoning committee. “These are tools that could make housing more affordable for people in our community.”
Natalee Hitchcock moved into her home in Oakdale three years ago. She is a realtor and said she supports new developments in her community but not ones that hurt their homes.
“This particular proposal was so dense that it had just damaging effects on our environment,” said Hitchcock.
Sixty concerned neighbors, like Hitchcock, spoke out against the plans during the city council meeting.
“Yes, there should be development of this property, but not one that rips the land and leaves the current nearby residents worse off,” said one concerned Oakdale resident.
Neighbors complained the new homes would increase traffic, affect well water that was feeding into homes in the area, and cut down acres of century-old trees which were considered part of the Upland Forest.
“These sections and several more have been cleared of all trees and replaced with a sea of rooftops,” said one Oakdale homeowner.
Another big concern was the potential for the plan to triple the population size of the small community school. The plan did offer 20 acres of land to the school but Oakdale superintendent, Carl Johnson, said developers never discussed how much those acres would cost the district.
“We don’t have that money sitting in the budget right now,” said Johnson. After three hours of public comment, city council members voted down the ordinance by a 3-3 vote. The measure needed seven “yes” votes to pass. Ward 8 council member Mark Stonecipher and Mayor David Holt recused themselves from the vote.