Rezoning for housing development in Broken Arrow denied


By John Dobberstein, Editor

The Broken Arrow Planning Commission rejected a rezoning request Thursday for a proposed housing development on Tucson Street across from two schools in south Broken Arrow.

The developer -- Fort Smith, Ark., and Dallas, Texas-based Bridger Development -- asked for 37 acres of undeveloped land, which is currently zoned as agricultural but surrounded by homes and schools, to be rezoned for high-density single-family residential for the proposed Tucson Acres.

The Planning Commission voted 4-1 to deny the request, after the first motion by member Robert Goranson to approve it was not seconded. Members Mindy Payne, Jason Coan, Jaylee Klempa and Jonathan Townsend voted for the denial and Goranson voted “no.”

The developer has 10 days to file an appeal with the City of Broken Arrow to bring their request before the token Arrow City Council.

According to its website, Bridger Development specializes in building "building high-value rental communities" across the southern U.S. 

The Tucson Acres development is proposed to include single-family, detached homes on individual lots. The maximum number of lots permitted by the Zoning Ordinance is 204, with a minimum lot frontage width of 55 feet and a minimum lot area of 6,500 square feet.

Tulsa attorney Lou Reynolds speaks during Thursday's Broken Arrow Planning Commission meeting.

Numerous residents in the area spoke out against the development this month in petitions, emails and in person during Thursday’s hearing, relaying concerns about increased traffic, overcrowded schools, lowered property values and other issues. They also opposed duplexes that were proposed for the acreage by the same developer before the most recent plan was announced. 

Since it was only a rezoning request, no site plans have been submitted the city yet. But Lou Reynolds, a Tulsa attorney representing the developer, argued the project was consistent with the city’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan and surrounding housing developments in that area.

In addition to school overcrowding, much of the opposition to the development by residents centered around the fact that Tucson Street is only a two-lane road, save for about 1,200 feet in front of Spring Creek Elementary and Childers Middle School where additional lanes were added.

The city has no plans or funds set aside at the current time to widen Tucson Street. 

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