By Betty Jane Harvey
Journal Record Staff Reporter
A prospective planning department for the City of Oklahoma
City was presented to members of the finance committee of the
Oklahoma City Council Tuesday.
A meeting of the finance committee was held after the Oklahoma
City Council meeting. Finance committee members are members of
the city council.
Presentation of a city planning department was made during a
discussion of the City of Oklahoma City budget for the fiscal
year beginning July 1. Discussion of the Neighborhood Initiative
was also held.
Each week following city council meetings, the finance
committee is scheduled to hear presentations of two items or
departments covered in the budget. The proposed budget has been
The total budget _ including operating costs, capital and debt
service funds and various restricted funds and amounts
reappropriated from prior years _ is $374.6 million, an increase
of 8.5 percent. The proposed operating budget totals $301.2
million, an increase of 1.5 percent or $4.4 million over the
present year's budget.
A total of 4,514 full-time permanent city positions would be
allowed for the year. This is a net increase of 69 from the
amended budget for the year that ends June 30.
Oklahoma City Manager Donald D. Bown appointed a committee,
led by Jim Twombly, assistant to the city manager, to look at
establishing a planning department within the city. A planning
department might establish a check-andbalance type area that
would all be within one building and one department, Bown said.
"The proposed planning department will increase the
organizational importance placed on the planning function, unite
the long- and short-range planning functions in the same
department with zoning and subdivision approval and enforcement,
and tie together the planning function and the administration of
federal grants for housing and development," Bown said in a memo
to Mayor Ronald J. Norick and city council members.
It would also contribute to the Neighborhood Initiative and
Urban Land Institute projects, he said.
Proposed expenditures for the fiscal year beginning July 1
would be $11.7 million.
Members of the committee talked to officials of planning
departments already under way in Kansas City; Wichita, Kan.;
Little Rock, Ark.; Austin; Fort Worth; and Birmingham, Ala. They
also talked with two national associations.
Common cores in each department were found. They included plan
preparation; project planning, such as Bricktown and The Paseo;
community development planning; land-use development and
regulations; policy analysis; and research and information
activity that is a repository available to developers, builders
and real estate professionals.
The committee put together an organization that under a
planning director would embody grants management, urban planning,
subdivision and zoning, and planning resources. …