Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stockyards Proposal Hits Snag

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stockyards Proposal Hits Snag

Article excerpt

The Bible and booze have a long history in the development of Oklahoma City and perhaps it's fitting those same subjects caused a snag Tuesday in plans to initiate new commercial development regulations in the Stockyards.

City officials and Stockyards area businesses have been working for months to implement the plans, which in short would turn the Stockyards into a development district with special regulations governing signage, new buildings, remodeling of older structures and remove the requirement that new restaurants acquire an ABC-2 overlay district designation from City Council.

The proposed deletion of that alcohol-related requirement and the protests raised by two Stockyards-area religious missions caused the council to postpone implementing the new district rules. The city had been hoping to implement the new regulations today to build on previous development work in the area. City Planner Bob Mier told the council that previous work has generated 170 jobs and over $2 million in private investment in the Stockyards area. The city has also funded sidewalk replacement for new businesses. "The basic intent is to protect the strengths of Stockyards City as well as to promote new growth in that area," said Mier. "Another thing the ordinance does is it brings the ordinance back into line with the existing needs of the commercial development in that area along with future development. For example, heavy industrial uses will not be allowed to come into that district and damage those existing retail uses." The proposed plan is actually two separate ordinances; the first is for the "core" development area while the second concerns itself with the gateways leading into the Stockyards. The ordinance also creates a "design review process" similar to that employed in Bricktown to protect the architecture. Perhaps more importantly the ordinance is more "driver friendly" as it removes several parking restrictions such as the restriction contained in the ABC-2 alcohol rules, which force restaurant owners with an ABC-2 designation to provide off-street parking. …

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