JAMES COBURN | THE EDMOND SUN Coffee Creek-area residents filled the Edmond City Council Chambers, 20 S. Littler, for the Edmond Planning Commission hearing regarding proposed apartments north of Covell Road, east of Kelly Avenue and west of Boulevard.

Residents of the Coffee Creek addition packed the City Council Chambers and lobby Tuesday evening in protest of a proposed 514-unit apartments.

The Edmond Planning Commission voted unanimously to delay considering an extension of undeveloped portions of Coffee Creek Planned Unit Development. A Community Connection meeting on the issue is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Downtown Community Center, 28 E. Main St., after a request was made by attorney Matthew Winton, representing the Coffee Creek Community Association. The item ultimately will be decided by the Edmond City Council.

Worries about how the development could impact property values and create an environment for crime and traffic congestion became a flash point for those in attendance. Planning Commissioner Barry Moore said not everybody who lives in an apartment has a criminal record.

Two parcels remained to be developed on property located north of Covell Road, east of Kelly Avenue and west of Boulevard. The northern portion of the development is a separate development, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner. Schiermeyer said the Coffee Creek PUD was approved by the city in 1996.

The area is owned by different property owners at this point. And different improvements to the plat have been made in the past 13 years, Schiermeyer said.

“A majority of this development is complete with homes, business buildings, a post office and Touchmark at Coffee Creek senior housing, which is currently expanding,” Schiermeyer said.

The property was always intended to be a planned development with multiple phases and various products before any homes were built in the area, said Derek Turner, representing Covell Road Properties.

“Multi-family was on the package from day one,” he said.

Coffee Creek resident Richard Hasse said he is concerned about the safety and security of neighborhood residents. He said he knows of no studies that have been done to evaluate impact of the congestion the 514 apartments would have on his neighborhood.

“This sounds like a simple extension of a planned unit development that hasn’t happened yet,” said City Clerk Nancy Nichols, who also lives in the Coffee Creek addition. “The point that I would like to make is the rest of the planned unit development in the C2 and C3 areas did not develop as they were zoned. … In my mind this has changed the whole planned unit development.” Nichols said she doesn’t know if it’s fair for the 140 single family property owners to have apartments built next to their homes.

Commissioner LeRoy Cartwright was jeered by the crowd when he said, “There’s no guarantees about property values going up or down one way or the other.”

Cartwright said he’s read letters from folks stating they moved to the neighborhood two or five years ago. But the zoning for the area has been in effect since 1996, said Cartwright, while adding that he’s not a big fan of apartments.

“What we’re looking at here tonight is a vote on the extension. It’s not a zoning change,” he said.

Cartwright cautioned that if the Planning Commission begins denying extensions, then PUDs throughout the city would come back to the city for an extension.

Attorney Todd McKinnis, representing the management firm Turner and Company, told The Edmond Sun that the PUD has been one of the most active in the city. But Commissioner Lydia Lee said the area has been developed in a significantly different manner with more single family residences than what was originally planned.

“I agree 100 percent with the citizens who have said this is a different world in 2009 than it was in 1996,” Lee said. She said developers who wait 13 years to implement their plan should expect their PUD to be in jeopardy.

“I think the request the citizens have made to have a Community Connections meeting at this time is absolutely appropriate,” Lee said.

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