Owasso citizens spoke against a proposed zoning amendment at the Owasso Planning Commission on Tuesday, July 9, that would limit the amount of vehicle dealerships along a corridor of US 169.
The City of Owasso’s US-169 Overlay District was established in 2012 under Ordinance 1004 to preserve the property along the highway from E. 86th St. N. to E. 126th St. N., and to protect the investment of the Tulsa Technology Center.
As such, the Overlay prohibits or restricts certain land uses by requiring the approval of a Specific Use Permit, or SUP, by City Council in order to locate within the district.
The current language in the code, however, does not specify where or how these types of uses could locate, or what kinds of vehicles are restricted.
Owasso Planning Manager Karl Fritschen on Tuesday told the Commission that certain uses requiring large areas of land for sales inventory, such as campers or boats, can create a negative impact along the corridor if they are located adjacent to each other.
“What you could end up with is car lot after car lot or dealership after dealership, if you will, off the highway stacked on each other,” he said, “and then before you know it, you have a large swap of land that’s consumed by vehicle sales and inventory lots.”
Fritschen proposed an amendment to Chapter 10, Section 10.4 of the Owasso Zoning Code, recommending the uses be separated by a distance of 2,640 linear feet and not be located on any parcel or land that abuts the Tulsa Tech property.
This includes: auto, aircraft, boat and recreational vehicle, camper, construction equipment, motorcycle, truck rental and agricultural sales.
Allen Robinson, a landowner in the Overlay area, opposed the proposal during the meeting’s public hearing, stating that it would interfere with his, as well as others’, plans to bring business to the area.
“This action that’s proposed restricts what I can do with my land. You have eliminated many of the potential buyers with this proposal,” Robinson said. “I would like to ask you vote it down and leave things the way they are.”
Stephen Pucket, who lives close to the Overlay, also opposed the amendment, adding that he finds the idea of multiple dealerships in one area convenient as well as fair for other businesses looking to expand in the district.
“I think putting in these types of land restrictions will only serve the dealership that is already out there,” Pucket said. “I’m personally in favor of having some dealership competition out there and easier access for people in Owasso and the surrounding area.”
City staff will host a second public meeting for the proposed amendment at City Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, July 16.