The Edmond Sun

Local News

November 30, 2010

Negotiations seek Round Barn resolution

EDMOND — Parties are attempting to resolve a dispute that erupted last month when a billboard was erected in the shadows of Arcadia’s Round Barn.

Last month, during a Town Council meeting Everette Altdoerffer presented five options for resolving the dispute on behalf of Fred Mazaheri, owner of Zoom Media, official owner of the billboard and the real estate located just east of the Route 66 landmark.  

They ranged from a revenue-sharing deal involving the sign remaining where it is to relocating the sign to land currently available to Zoom Media. Other options involved donors buying the sign from the company at cost — $57,719.20, with the company donating $10,000 toward that cost. Removing and relocating the billboard would require a payment of $12,000.  

Round Barn supporters were given 30 days to consider the options. Then negotiations began.

Arcadia-area resident Lisa Price confirmed that efforts to relocate the billboard on alternate property are ongoing.

“It was a very amicable discussion,” Price told The Sun. “Both parties are willing to find a mutually beneficial agreement.

Mazaheri replied to The Sun’s request for comment on the current situation through a statement.

“Over the past few weeks, we have demonstrated that we are more than willing to resolve this matter as quickly as possible,” Mazaheri said. “We are pleased to announce that currently we are in talks with the Arcadia Historical Society regarding the sign placement and they are going very well. We hope to come to a solution soon that benefits the Town of Arcadia, the Round Barn and Zoom Media.”

Jennifer Dennis-Smith, a spokeswoman for Mazaheri, said the parties are talking, hoping to move the billboard.

Price said negotiations paused during the holiday period and there were no planned meetings during the current week. She said as part of a solution she hopes Mazaheri will donate the property. If not, the Arcadia Historical Society would have to buy it.

Attorney Barry Rice, who has an office in Edmond and lives near Arcadia, spoke during the Town Council meeting.

Rice said he hadn’t heard about the negotiations. He said while working to find a palatable solution is the best approach, it would have been nice if that route were not even necessary. The owner could have donated the land, he said.

“I just think it’s an important landmark that needs to be protected,” Rice said.

Supporters call the Round Barn, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1977, a national treasure.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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