City Hall report
BY P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writer
Friday, April 13, 2012
4/13/12 at 2:27 AM
Read continuing coverage of Tulsa’s City Council.
Development moratorium: City councilors appeared Thursday to support a proposed ordinance that would put a six-month moratorium on demolishing downtown buildings specifically to create surface parking lots.
City Planning Director Dawn Warrick said she thinks "it's doable" to put the necessary regulatory controls in place that would address surfacing parking lots in a fairly tight time frame.
During a committee discussion on the issue, Councilor Blake Ewing said he wanted it clear that his intent for the temporary moratorium is to give the city ample time to complete a parking plan for downtown.
"Pause for now until the plans are put in place, and once those things are satisfied, the moratorium goes away and we're under the protection of the plan," he said.
The council was told that even with such a moratorium, a property owner could appeal to have the moratorium lifted for a specific project.
Councilor David Patrick said he thinks moratoriums send the wrong message to builders and that while he could support one for six months, "certainly I will not vote for an extension of it."
Warrick said both the Downtown Master Plan and PlaniTulsa, the city's comprehension plan, "address the desire to reduce downtown parking lots."
The council will vote on the issue later this month.
Municipal elections: The city councilors were told Thursday that there is a need to call for a Nov. 6 municipal general election for only two of the three council seats that drew candidates during this week's filing period.
District 1 incumbent Jack Henderson will face challenger Twan Jones, and District 7 incumbent Tom Mansur will face challenger Adrianna Moore. District 4 incumbent Blake Ewing drew no challengers and wins the seat for another term.
This will be the first time the city has had nonpartisan municipal races, a change that was made last fall when voters approved a City Charter amendment put forth through an initiative petition by a group called Save Our Tulsa.
Under the new nonpartisan system, if only two candidates file for a seat, they automatically advance to the general election. Otherwise, two or more candidates would vie in a primary election, which could result in a winner or a runoff election to determine which two candidates advance to the general election.
The three council seats are part of a staggered election process that was negated by a recent voter-approved City Charter amendment to revert to two-year terms with all councilors up at the same time. However, that change won't go into effect until 2014.