Tulsa kicks off small-area plan process
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
2/29/12 at 4:24 AM
The city of Tulsa formally kicked off its small-area plan process Tuesday night before about 200 people at the Greenwood Cultural Center.
"I'm glad to see you are all still enthusiastic, as you have been over the last couple of years," Mayor Dewey Bartlett said.
Bartlett was referring to the public participation that was key to the development of PlaniTulsa - the citywide effort to update the city's comprehensive plan.
The comprehensive plan, adopted in 2010, provides guidelines for the city's development over the next quarter-century.
The use of small-area plans is among six strategies proposed to implement the comprehensive plan.
Dawn Warrick, the city's planning and economic development director, said small-area plans are intended to enhance and clarify the policies of the comprehensive plan as they apply to a particular area.
"Small-area plans are the appropriate way to apply those policies at a finer level of detail regarding the unique needs of specific areas with the community," she said.
The city has worked with neighborhoods and interested parties to develop 12 small-area plans during the past 20 years.
Last year, the City Council approved $300,000 to create three more.
One is the Utica Corridor Plan, which will cover roughly two blocks east and west of Utica Avenue from 11th to 21st streets.
The second is intended to address development concerns near the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, and the third will cover a stretch of 36th Street North.
Warrick spoke for about 20 minutes, outlining the process the city will use to create the plans, and she stressed that it will be consistently applied.
The steps include defining the area to be covered by a plan; community participation; assessing the area for its existing conditions and needs; creating a vision statement; and recommending a plan for implementation.
Citizen advisory teams of 15 to 20 people will be key to the process, Warrick said.
She encouraged residents who would like to be on a team to contact their city councilor.
During a question-and-answer session, Warrick was asked how the city could be moving forward with new small-area plans at the same time it is modifying its zoning code.
She said it's an issue that she and her fellow planners have been mulling.
"We don't feel like we need in the recommendations of those (small-area) plans to be so specific that we are locked into designations that may be adjusted within the change to the zoning code," she said.
Warrick also was asked to explain why people who might live outside of an area to be covered by a small-area plan would be allowed to participate in its development.
She said she would expect that most of the people involved with the process would have ties to the area for which the plan is being developed.
But she noted that the process is in line with the one used in PlaniTulsa and that "we think it is important that it not be exclusionary in any."
The City Council is expected to approve the boundaries for the three latest small-area plans within the next few weeks.
Soon thereafter, residents can expect the public engagement portion of the process to begin in the form of public meetings.
Original Print Headline: Tulsa kicks off small-area plan process
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313