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Oklahoma / Developer will ask Norman City Council for high-density district

Developer will ask Norman City Council for high-density district

NORMAN — City council members Tuesday will consider a request from a Kansas developer to create a special planning area near Campus Corner to accommodate his plans to build a high-rise, high-density apartment complex.

The council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building’s council chambers, 201 W Boyd St.

Chris Elsey, of The Prime Company of Manhattan, Kan., said if the council approves the special planning area, his company will file a rezoning application that would detail plans for the project.

The project likely would be similar to a student-oriented one being built in Stillwater near the Oklahoma State University campus, Elsey said. 

The Prime Company is asking for a special planning district to be created for the block between Boyd Street and McCullough Street from Monnett Avenue to the Boyd Street railroad tracks.

The district would allow as many as 100 dwelling units per acre, well above Norman’s current limit of 26 units per acre. Elsey Partners also is asking that the district allow buildings up to six stories in height.

City planners say they are recommending further discussion between the council, the planning commission and residents before a special district is created.

High-density developments featuring high-rise apartments combined with retail establishments are becoming more common across the United States, said Susan Connors, Norman’s planning director.

Because of this — and because Norman’s current zoning regulations don’t address this type of development — the city sponsored a series of public discussions in June to gauge sentiment toward high-density developments.

The general consensus was that most residents opposed them or wanted strict regulations imposed, including limiting the height of buildings and setting design standards.

Connors said guidelines for this type of district have not been set.

In other business Tuesday, the council will consider setting a 6 p.m. start time for meetings, instead of the current 6:30 p.m. time.



The Oklahoman