POSTED ON FEBRUARY 29, 2012:
PlaniTulsa small area plans get a kick in the right direction. On Feb. 28, Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. was on hand to kick-off the public planning process for PlaniTulsa's small area plans at the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave. The public kick-off event will mark the beginning of an 18-month process for three small area plans.
Small area planning is recommended as a key strategy of the city's comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan, developed through the PlaniTulsa process, was adopted and approved in July 2010. The small area plans cover a portion of the 36th St. N. corridor, the midtown Utica Avenue corridor, and southwest Tulsa (near Tulsa Hills).
Dawn Warrick, the city's new planning and economic development director, spoke about the small area planning process, plan boundaries and the formation of citizen advisory teams for each planning area.
Small area plans are intended to provide tailored solutions for neighborhoods and are developed primarily through the input of property owners and area stakeholders. The small area plans will be adopted as amendments to the city's comprehensive plan, and will be implemented through zoning changes and other regulatory controls.
Last year, the mayor and city council identified areas of focus for three small area plans and appropriated $300,000 for the planning and economic development department to create three small area plans and present them for adoption in 18 months.
For many years, Tulsa has developed neighborhood-level plans to guide redevelopment. Since 1991, 12 neighborhood plans have been completed. The small area planning process can apply to existing neighborhoods in need of revitalization, main streets or other corridors, as well as vacant areas where new neighborhoods are anticipated. For more info on PlaniTulsa and small area plans, check out planitulsa.org.
More public input needed on possible Brownfield sites in North Tulsa. On March 6, the third public meeting on possible Brownfield sites will be held at Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave., from 6-7:30pm.
The city of Tulsa held one public meeting in November 2011 and another in January to gather input on its North Tulsa Brownfields Strategic Action Plan. So far, citizens have been offering suggestions for properties that may be Brownfield sites with potential for remediation and redevelopment.
Since January, the city has documented, photographed and noted key characteristics of these suggested sites.
At the third meeting, city officials will go over the property inventory they've developed so far, and then Tulsans will be asked to help figure out which Brownfield sites should be the focus of further study.
So far, the study area for the North Tulsa Brownfields Strategic Action Plan consists of four square miles within the boundaries of Interstate 244 on the south, East 36th St. N. on the north, N. Peoria Ave. on the east, and N. Cincinnati Ave. on the west. Other potential Brownfield sites near this four-mile area will also be considered for study.
The term "Brownfield sites" describes real property, which may be contaminated by a potentially hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. The sites may have once been home to old dry cleaners, gas stations and industrial manufacturing.
The city of Tulsa has received a pilot planning grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for this project. Tulsa is the only city in Oklahoma selected for this grant. The planning project will continue through fall, and several more public meetings will be scheduled until that time.
Planning for the assessment, cleanup and reuse of Brownfield sites supports revitalization of areas around them through improvement of environmental and socioeconomic conditions.
Music Stops. Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum falters, closes doors to the public. The Muskogee-based museum, in a repurposed, red brick Frisco Freight Depot, has put two of its full-time staffers on unpaid leave. Officials say the recession has hit the organization hard, and they don't have enough money to keep their museum open to the public for now.
Through generous donations, the Hall of Fame recently added a new children's museum. But high-dollar donations are specifically earmarked for capital improvements, not paying employee salaries or the electricity bill.
Two volunteer workers and two other paid employees remain on staff. Officials say they will continue their scheduled Hall of Fame inductions and other events as planned.
The Hall of Fame and Museum opened up in 1997, and moved to its current location in 2003.
Want to help them out? Send your generous donations to: Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 3221, Muskogee OK 74402.
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