The newest rezoning request of Spring Creek Plaza East property goes to the Edmond City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This property is located on the north side of E. 15th Street, east of Bryant Avenue and east of Spring Creek Plaza Shopping Center
The request was approved 4-0 at the Oct. 22 Edmond Planning Commission after applicant SC Plaza East LLC had a second Community Connections meeting.
SC Plaza East requests the city council to rezone the 3.4-acre property from a single family dwelling district to restricted commercial, said Randy Entz, city planner.
Edmond Plan 2018 projects the site for activities that may include offices, restaurants, shops and services. The property is surrounded by a restricted commercial planned unit development on the west, east, and north sides. Entz pointed out that the surrounding area includes existing commercial developments, office developments, and churches.
Kent Ward, representing the applicant, explained there are some things SC Plaza East in not willing to go on record yet at this stage of proceedings. Edmond Neighborhood Alliance representative Lydia Lee asked for more transparency from the applicant; however, SC Plaza East is not bound to discuss site plan issues at this time. Although the developer chose to discuss the site plan at a Community Connections meeting, he said not all details had been settled.
Bradley Merritt of Ivy Wood Road, asked the city carefully consider the consequence of new development added to the intersection without proper infrastructure in place there during rush hour traffic.
Lee said she left the Community Connections meeting with more concerns than she previously had. But SC Plaza East agreed to be consistent with Spring Creek Shopping Center’s territorial style architecture of brick and masonry, she said.
“We also asked that they would agree to limit the height of the building to what’s provided by code — 35 feet,” Lee said. “And the response to that request said that they would most likely stay below that, but they just couldn’t make a good faith promise to do that, which really led me to believe that although they led me to believe this was going to be a straight zoning, that they’re going to be coming back at site plan with a number of issues that are going to be called variances.”
SC Plaza East agreed at the Community Connections meeting not to have 24-hour operations at the site. The lighting will reflect the existing Spring Creek Plaza. Lee said she was concerned when the applicant did not commit to not asking for lighting variances at the time of the site plan.
Spring Creek Plaza preserved large trees and exceeded the city’s landscaping code. Lee said she became concerned when SC Plaza East said they would do their best to meet the city’s landscaping code instead of saying they would meet or exceed the code standard.
“They also said they weren’t going to make any promises about tree preservation — only to do their best to limit or reduce any removal or damage of trees,” Lee said.
The northern half of the property is part of the Cross Timbers ecosystem and remnant forest.
“Tree canopy is likely to decrease with the proposed use. However, there is opportunity to incorporate existing Cross Timbers species into the site design to retain the natural character of the area and some of the mature tree canopy,” Entz said.
Ward said the applicant fully intends to make SC Plaza East a beautiful shopping center in line with Spring Creek Plaza.
“The issues Ms. Lee raised are obviously site plan issues,” said Barry Moore, commission chair. “You know full well on the landscape and the tree preservation — those types of things — we don’t want people up here with pitchforks and lanterns over that thing, so I know you’re going to do your best.”