The Edmond City Council voted 3-2 recently to approve rezoning from suburban office to planned unit development on the southeast corner of 33rd and Bryant. Councilwomen Victoria Caldwell and Elizabeth Waner voted against the item.
“It’s a hard property to work with but we knew that when we got it,” said attorney Randel Shadid, representing developer Neal McGee Homes.
Plans call for a sidewalk and a retaining wall with room for utilities. Waner said pedestrian space on the sidewalk would be crammed beside the retaining wall.
“I don’t think it’s going to contribute to our health, safety and welfare for the people who walk along that sidewalk,” Waner said. “They’re going to have a street on one side and cars going 50 mph. They’re going to be on a sidewalk with a 24- to 30-inch drop off.”
Caldwell said she would agree to a bank with office use but not retail use beside the bank. There will be no fast food store, drive-through food service, liquor store or tattoo parlor, Shadid said.
“We didn’t eliminate a sit-down restaurant, and that’s not something we think will go here, but if it should, it changes the whole dynamic because we would have to reduce square footage and allow for parking,” Shadid said.
Waner objected to a landscaping variance that normally would go along the frontage. Fifty percent of the landscaping will be along the front of the building, Shadid said.
There is no room for landscaping due to space limited to the sidewalk, retaining wall and utilities, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
“He’s not asking for a variance on landscaping requirements, the 10 percent for plant use,” Schiermeyer said. “They will be clustered around the buildings and many of those will be against the sides, and obviously where space is available in the front.”
A bank would be a partial use of the 24,500-square-feet of land, Schiermeyer said. Parking with 122 spaces will allow for the bank with drive through and small retail shops. There will be two driveway access points on 33rd Street but none from Bryant, Schiermeyer said.
“With the easement I’d be willing to give it a chance,” said Charles Lamb, mayor, who is up for re-election today against Richard Prawdzienski.
McGee Homes will provide 70-feet of right-of-way for 200 feet before tapering to 150 feet of right-of-way, Schiermeyer said.
A right-of-way is required in order to grant a variance to the standard transportation study, Schiermeyer said. A construction or utility easement will be provided as needed on the southern portion of the property for future construction and paving of Bryant, Schiermeyer said.
Road construction at the Bryant site is not a project being considered by the Capital Projects and Financing Task Force, Schiermeyer said. But, he asked what if the city suddenly decided to work on the road in the next 90 days.
A PUD is good for five years. City Attorney Steve Murdock said the city needs to know how to design a road project based on the easement it has on hand.
“We’ll do whatever you want to do, quite frankly on that,” Shadid said.
Six months or less would give McGee enough time to provide the basic engineering information that the city needs for an easement, Shadid said.
“If you can’t build your project, we can’t build ours,” Shadid said.
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