Developer denied by planning commission to return with new proposal

Jan. 12—A developer whose request to install a commercial property near Berry Road and West Lindsey Street was rejected a year ago has a a new proposal set to go before the Planning Commission on Thursday evening.

The Norman City Council declined to approve Sooner Traditions' proposed office and retail building request in January 2022 after the developer tried to postpone the application a third time to make changes.

The failed request was protested at a predevelopment, planning commission and City Council meetings. Sooner Traditions had met with resistance since 2015 to develop the property, The Transcript previously reported.

Now, the application shows a similar proposed development down the street at 1300 W. Lindsey St., less than a quarter mile from the location of the previous application.

The commission will hear a request for a 2.19 acre land use change from a commercial and high density residential designation to commercial, according to a staff report.

The development would include commercial and office space with parking, stormwater detention and the preservation of green space between an existing office space and Rebecca Lane.

The site plan does not include access from the residential area along Rebecca Lane, a staff report stated. No negative traffic impacts will result from the development, the staff report read.

No protest letters were attached to the agenda.

Sooner Traditions' request would mean more "intense uses than the current zoning," according to the staff report. "However, the surrounding properties on W. Lindsey St. are commercial districts allowing for similar uses."

The map provided to staff from the developer shows a retail building facing Lindsey with an office building behind it.

The request is a special planned unit development, which allows for a variety of uses. according to the zoning ordinance. These include retail, services such as salons, medical cannabis "as allowed by state law," pharmacy, bar or restaurants, and tobacco sales, to name a few.

The staff report did not state which retail uses would be included in the development other than "commercial and office uses for the property" and "short-term rental is also in the proposed uses."

Sooner Traditions' previous proposal required a land use change from office and low density residential designation to commercial designation for 1.33 acres. Included in that proposal was a mixed use retail and office building.

Nearby property owners said it would aggravate light pollution, increase traffic and stormwater. Sooner Traditions addressed those concerns with changes to the property and planned to make further improvements at the suggestion of some council members.

However, the request to postpone to make those additional changes was denied.

The council voted against it with council members Kelly Lynn (Ward 3) and Rarchar Tortorello (Ward 5) voting for it. The vote meant the developer could not bring forward the request on that property again.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday inside City Council chambers, 201 W. Gray St.