"To clear the record up: William does not live South of I-44, has no trust fund, and is only rarely a diva. ;)
The amount of hatred over a proposed zoning change is amazing. If you have paid any attention at all over the last 8 years or so you would have at least caught wind of this plan. To say otherwise is to say you just weren't paying attention.
I understand the landowners concerns. If I owned a business in the Pearl I'd want to make sure my business was not negatively effected. They, by and large, want more information and apparently don't know where to get it. Clarify the code, make sure existing businesses can do the things they need to in order to continue functioning, and work this out. There is a happy middle ground between McDonalds/Sonic/QT argument that in Tulsa they never, ever have to change their designs or they will take their ball and go home... and simply forcing them to build what you want. There are hundreds of cities around the country with sensible building codes that give areas a certain feel.
Of course, Tulsa's "feel" is "whatever." Development is all equal and what business owners want has to be what is best. Ignoring that fact that the most beloved parts of town (Cherry Street, Brookside, etc.) simply wouldn't exist under current rules. Also ignoring that the RESIDENTS of the Pearl want this change. When a person visits a city they don't go and check out the subdivisions or the suburbs, you go to vibrant places.
And to anyone who belittles the value of urban living and wants to pretend it is a pipe dream for baby boomers reliving their youth... please try leaving Tulsa every now and then. In Minneapolis, Kansas City, St. Paul, Chicago, St. Louis, Portland, Denver, Des Moines and all over the place the walkable urban areas are largely inhabited by the young professionals earning good wages who leave places like Tulsa to find that vibrant lifestyle.
Next you will say "but Tulsa isn't a hip urban place so it can't happen," we cannot cater to people that want to live like that, we cannot support those property values, we cannot compete with "real" cities. Instead of stating that as a sad conclusion, let's try to change that. We have made some really bad development decisions (Zoo 20 miles from the Aquarium, tore out trolley lines, more road miles per citizen than we can maintain, discouraged redevelopment), so let's start making it right.
This is a positive process. The complaints from the businesses can add to the process and make it better."