Stillwater News Press

Local News

March 4, 2013

Stillwater city councilors will not reconsider Mercury Avenue rezoning decision

STILLWATER, Okla. — Lakeview Ridge subdivision residents urged Stillwater City Councilors Monday night to once again say no to rezoning 31.5 acres adjacent to Mercury Avenue from industrial to multifamily residential.

On Feb. 21, the Stillwater City Council voted 4 to 1, with Mayor John Bartley as the dissenting vote, against a zoning change that would have allowed Park 7 Group of Westin, Conn., to build a 275-unit, three-story apartment complex at 799 E. Mercury Ave.

The rezoning issue was on the agenda for reconsideration when it was made public last week.

The Lakeview Ridge subdivision residents returned Monday.

Five passionately addressed city councilors. Councilor Philip Pina made the motion to reconsider the Feb. 21 vote. Vice Mayor Chuck Hopkins seconded it.

The issue was brought up for reconsideration, Pina said, because he wanted more information about the proposed apartment complex.

At the Feb. 21 meeting, representatives of the developer focused on the zoning issue — not the design of the proposed apartment complex.

“I have to know that what we vote on is for the citizens best interest,” Pina said. “In order to do that, I have to re-look at both sides of the equation because I saw not enough on Feb. 21st. I didn’t see enough.”  Councilors discussed the issue and then voted 3 to 2 against bringing it up again. Pina and Hopkins voted to reconsider.

“We are relieved,” Lakeview Ridge Neighborhood Association President Ross Harper said after the vote. “... The motion to rezone was denied two weeks ago. We felt a huge relief then. To see the motion to reconsider on the agenda tonight was obviously distressing for many of us. We are very happy that that motion was denied and for awhile at least we can relax.”

The association will continue to monitor the Mercury Avenue property and zoning, Harper said. The developer may resubmit the plan after 12 months or start anew with a lower density plan. Another developer also could show interest in the Mercury Avenue acreage.

“We can’t take our eyes of the goal entirely,” Harper said. “... We need to stay on top of this. We are adamant that we would like to see single-family homes behind us.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News