Editorial: Amusement park at Turkey Mountain draws opposition
BY World's Editorial Writers
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
2/22/12 at 3:45 AM
It's encouraging to hear that developers are thinking up bold and exciting new proposals for the long-neglected banks of the Arkansas River. But as public debate already has suggested, the plan should be the right one for the right place at the right time.
An amusement park featuring a race car museum and a water park might be a good fit for Tulsa. And there are locations along the river where such an attraction might work well. But the Turkey Mountain Wilderness Area is not one of those spots.
City officials addressed the proposed project and responded to Tulsans' concerns at a neighborhood meeting Monday.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilor Jeannie Cue, who represents the Turkey Mountain area, both came out against the proposal. River Parks Executive Director Matt Meyer told the gathering that the project could run afoul of the area's designation as an urban wilderness under the river master plan.
Meyer also posted a statement on the parks website saying River Parks does not support the plan.
River Parks owns portions of Turkey Mountain, located north of 71st Street on the west side of the Arkansas River, and leases other portions from the city.
The developer, Jimmy DeJarnette, said he has been at work on the idea for several years and insists it won't work at any other location. DeJarnette also said he doesn't feel the project would hurt the popular trail system on Turkey Mountain.
"I won't do it in another location. ... Those are not good locations for what we want," he said, referring to Cue's suggestion that several other sites along the river be considered.
It's unfortunate he seems unwilling to consider locating the project anywhere else on the river. The idea does have merit and surely with some tweaking, one would think, could fit at any of several locations that could be made available.
We would hope he would reconsider, but if he won't, he might have to accept that this project isn't going to happen on the Arkansas River. Tulsa has a one-of-a-kind asset with Turkey Mountain and its many unusual features, and it's highly unlikely anyone around here is going to go along with significantly altering it.
Original Print Headline: Park opposed