When property is developed a rezoning usually takes place to accommodate a proposed business. Many times with zoning, there can be some difficulties for applicants looking to plan and build structures in specific areas. In some cases, certain facilities are not allowed within specific places, usually outlined with the local community’s comprehensive plan. For new construction there can be several processes that must be followed to ensure the project is a success, offsite impacts are mitigated, and local codes and ordinances are met. For instance, the following zoning case that happened in the town of Owasso, OK illustrates these issues.
The zoning challenge of this particular case in Owasso, OK presented an interesting situation for Chief Urban and Long Range Planner Karl Fritschen. This case involved a mini storage facility in a location where a newly adopted overlay prohibited them outright. Being the Chief Planner, Karl worked with the applicant to package a presentation illustrating that the location of the site for the proposed storage units, would be well hidden and with certain safeguards built in, would actually be appropriate.
Given the above, Karl using SketchUP software prepared a three dimensional drawing to physically show how the mini storage facilities would not be predominantly seen, but would be hidden from the view of the main highway corridor. Additionally, Karl negotiated with the applicant to obtained higher quality architecture and landscaping .Though many questions were raised by the City Council about the location mini storage facilities, the Karl as the Chief Planner was able to show how the benefits, especially the benefit of how developing property in the right way can actually enhance property values as opposed to undeveloped property overgrown with weeds. Ultimately the proposal passed, and Karl was actually able to sway one member of the council from a no vote to a yes vote. .
Other significant accomplishments made by Mr. Fritschen that correlate with improving property values, include successfully securing he adoption of several zoning code text amendments. These amendments included a progressive landscape ordinance, a new planned unit development (PUD) ordinance, and two zoning overlay districts. In the short 3 years that these have been in an existence, the results have been impressive with higher quality developments leading to higher assessed values. This also has had the added benefit of increasing property tax revenues.