By Michelle Charles
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Lakeview Ridge residents were disappointed Tuesday when the Stillwater Planning Commission recommended approval of The Avenue, an apartment complex for students they’ve been fighting.
Park 7 Development Group wants to rezone 30 acres at 799 E. Mercury from industrial to multifamily zoning to build 293 units of deluxe student housing. It will accommodate 848 residents.
Hal Ellis, an attorney representing property owner Bob Kerns and the developers, said the project will have an economic impact in the millions of dollars, generate $300,000 in direct payroll and generate up to $481,000 in ad valorem tax, which benefits local schools. He said the project is a logical infill between two already developed multifamily areas.
Lakeview Ridge homeowners have said that isn’t accurate.
Their addition is multifamily in name only because the land was actually developed with single family homes, resident Brian Frehner said.
Lakeview Ridge residents expressed their concerns about the potential impact on their neighborhood.
Bridgit Miller said most of her windows face the proposed apartments.
“I shouldn’t have to live like a prisoner with my blinds closed,” she said.
Frehner cited police activity logs that showed 183 incidents since last August at nearby Aspen Heights.
“What they’re hanging their hat on is that everyone is just going to obey the rules,” he said. “It doesn’t take a genius or a real estate expert to know that people don’t want to live next to this.”
Planning Commissioner Mike Buchert included conditions for larger setbacks, higher fences and more evergreen trees for screening before the commission gave its approval.
The application goes to the Stillwater City Council on April 7.