The Duncan Banner

October 10, 2012

Rezoning discussion dominates council meeting

Joshua Kellogg
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — A discussion about rezoning land for commercial use dominated more than half of the time used for the Duncan City Council and Public Utilities Authority meeting as area residents voiced their concerned about the expansion of Murf’s Guns Tuesday night.

As an item previously brought before the council on Sept. 25 and tabled, the city council members voted to remand the rezoning request for 1406 Hudson Ave. back to the Duncan Planning Commission for further discussion.

The applicants, Ken and Kreg Murphree filed the rezoning request for the land to be rezoned to C-4, general commercial zoning from its current zoning of R-1, single family residential zoning.

The proposed rezoning would allow the owners to expand east from the southwest corner of their property, onto the south side of Hudson and touching the property line of homeowners on Mimosa Ave.

City Manager Jim Frieda said some potential legal issues were brought up by letters addressed to the council members after the planning commission made its initial decision, including water drainage issues present in the neighborhoods.

“Our main concern is to do the right thing for everybody,” Mayor Gene Brown said. “The only right way to do it for everybody is to get the right information.”

Before the councilmen voted to remand the request back to the planning commission, several area residents spoke against the rezoning request.

Pam Kendrick, a resident on Mimosa Ave., was one of three ladies who came to the microphone and shared their concern for the rezoning of the land near their neighborhood.

“I think it’s a clear encroachment onto residential living,” Kendrick said. “It would lower property values of the neighborhood. It would change the character of our neighborhood to add commercial businesses on the street.”

Kendrick also listed several other reasons for being against the commercial rezoning, including light and noise pollution, regard for the safety of the children in the neighborhood and increased traffic on the streets.

Jessie Murphree, owner of the property in question, asked the council if everyone had an opportunity to voice their opinion before the planning commission and why they were referring it back to them, back tracking on the issue.

“We certainly want to be a good neighbor but it looks like we are going back instead of going forward,” Murphree said.

Frieda reminded Murphree the letters received and passed onto the council raised issues they would like to address and by sending it back to the planning commission, questions can be asked and a new recommendation be made to the council.

Murphree left before the council meeting was over, after this item was addressed.

Council also approved:

- A contract with First Baptist Church for the annual Fall Festival, set for Oct. 28 and allowing one fire truck and police vehicle to be on display to help educate the public on safety.

- A payment was approved for WW Builders for work they did to prepare five floating boat docks to be installed at area lakes, as part of a cost-sharing agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. This was also approved in the PUA meeting.

- Payment to WW Builders for $19,020, for work on the Eastside Force Main.