Affordable housing

State Sen. Adam Pugh of Edmond discusses the affordability of housing at the Edmond Economic Development Authority Tuesday morning as EEDA Executive Director Janet Yowell listens.

 

 

EDMOND, Okla. — State Sen. Adam Pugh often hears from young military families and others that if Edmond is going to attract young families and entrepreneurs to live in the community, then the city must be more flexible with housing.

One of the challenges of living in Edmond is finding affordable housing, Pugh said before board of the Edmond Economic Development Authority Tuesday. The Edmond Republican recalled being single and trying to find an affordable home in Edmond.

“A 26-year-old captain in the Air Force can’t afford to buy a $450,000 — 3,000-square-foot house. But can I find a beautiful 1,500-square-foot townhome?” Pugh said.

City Councilman Nick Massey agreed with Pugh. Massey said the Edmond City Council faces a challenge. “You just say the word whether it’s townhomes or apartments and the knives come out,” Massey said.

Massey said the battle lines are drawn at the northwest corner of Kelly and Coffee Creek. The property is currently zoned PUD for the Oak Tree Park Offices.

“It went bankrupt and people would like to convert it to housing — nice condos, townhomes, and the battle lines are being drawn,” Massey said. A nice road was built at the location but not a single lot was sold, he explained. BancFirst foreclosed on the property.

On Tuesday night the Edmond Planning Commission was set to consider the rezoning for the Abbey at Coffee Creek planned unit development at the location. According to the Planning Department, the proposed residential PUD will allow for 43 residential units to be built on the 8.826 acre tract. (Because of print deadline, The Edmond Sun was not able to follow up on this meeting in time for Wednesday publication.)

Massey said he has not thoroughly studied the issue that will eventually come before the Edmond City Council.

Residents will generally say they don’t want apartments next to them because it will ruin their property values, Massey continued.

“We have to get past that as a community. We can’t be an upscale community of all big wealthy homes,” Massey said. “We need a cross section of people from all walks of life and a place for them to live. It’s our challenge to educate people why it’s important.”

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