City identifies space for needed growth
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, October 29, 2012
10/29/12 at 2:39 AM
For Tulsa to expand or even stay even in its tax base, there needs to be additional residents and shopping. That's why identifying areas of the city that can be developed is important.
There is evidence throughout the city of change. For instance, there is a good deal of infill development taking place in some of Tulsa's residential neighborhoods. And there is a movement here, and across the country, of young people and empty nesters moving to downtown living.
In Tulsa, however, that is not enough. Fortunately, there is public land in the city that is ripe for development and the city has targeted it.
The areas identified by the city are the former Evans-Fintube industrial site north of downtown; the west bank of the Arkansas River and the Eugene Field neighborhood on the west side, and Turkey Mountain and the 71st Street corridor.
Progress already has begun as the city is cleaning up the Evans-Fintube, a brownfield site, and a small-area plan is being developed for the Eugene Field neighborhood.
City Councilor G.T. Bynum is correct when he cautions that the city ought not be in the development business. City Planning Director Dawn Warrick, however, made the salient point that the city can make properties more attractive for development. "We may be able to ensure that there is adequate infrastructure, look at the logistics of accessing the site or pre-zone properties for certain kinds of use," she said.
For sure, the city must be careful when making public land open to commercial development. For instance, no one, including the city, wants to see the area of Turkey Mountain turned over to commercial development.
Still, ways that promote a larger tax base and offer more residential possibilities must be balanced between the needs of Tulsa and its environment and already established neighborhoods.
For our population to grow as well as the city, new ideas and new prospects are necessary.
This ought to be a good, but careful, step.
Original Print Headline: Space to grow