Jenks council OKs apartment complex zoning change
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
11/20/12 at 5:55 AM
JENKS - Surprisingly to some city officials, a zoning change for a proposed 260-unit apartment complex generated no public opposition Monday night.
"I can't think of a better place to put an apartment complex," Councilor Lonnie Sims said before the City Council approved a change from a commercial district to a planned unit development for the Reserve on Elm in the 300 to 400 block of South Elm Street.
It will be by far the biggest apartment complex on the open market in Jenks, which does not have an abundance of rental properties.
"For an apartment complex that size in the city of Jenks and not have anybody oppose it to me is pretty incredible," Sims said.
Perhaps the lack of opposition is because of the location.
"We do believe in the site. It's a great site for Jenks," said Scott Case of developer Case & Associates, the developer.
The apartments will border stores, a supermarket, a convenience store, a bank, and the Jenks levee and Park West, where baseball fields are located.
"The apartments will help support the retail establishments in the area," City Planner Robert Bell said. "The apartments will provide an element of citizenry there that is lacking."
Councilor Mike Sharp cast the lone dissenting vote. He said he thinks the project is great but that it would be a mistake to put it on commercial property.
"It's always been a concern of mine. We're a bedroom community, and we need commercial, and we need to protect our commercial base," he said.
But City Manager Mike Tinker said "big box" stores have not expressed interest in the site.
"They wanted big frontage on Elm, and much like the city of Tulsa has experienced in downtown, they know they have to have people living in that area," he said.
Case said the layout and prices will be about the same as the developer's Nickel Creek apartment complex near the Tulsa Hills shopping center in southwest Tulsa. One to two-bedroom flats will range from $750 to $1,200 a month, with garages optional.
The developer will be required to build a public road over the Jenks levee to connect to Beaver Street as well as a new road to access Elm Street.
The city requires that the development be gated and fenced and have a landscape plan that addresses lighting, medium to large trees, and sidewalks.
Councilor Brian O'Hara, who initially expressed concern about the increased need for police protection, said he could support the project because of the estimated $192,000 that would be spent in Jenks if the complex's residents do 35 percent of their shopping locally.
Filling a council seat: It was the first council meeting without former Mayor Vic Vreeland, who resigned last week. Former Vice Mayor Greg Bowman automatically assumed the mayoral post.
The council elected Councilor Kevin Rowland as vice mayor.
In a 4-2 vote, the council decided to seeks letters of interest from people interested in serving the rest of Vreeland's at-large council seat until April 2, when a city election will decide the seat.
O'Hara and Sharp, who cast the dissenting votes on whether to seek applicants for the seat, said the city should leave the seat open, noting that the election is near and that appointing someone could give that person an unfair advantage.
Councilors Lonnie Sims and Rowland said it is more important to have the seat filled.
Original Print Headline: Jenks zoning change has sparse opposition
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381