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December 4, 2013

Council votes 4-3 in favor of zoning change

CLAREMORE — The Claremore City Council narrowly approved a zoning change at 809 S. Muskogee to allow a small engine repair shop during Monday’s meeting.

The council voted 4-3 to pass the zoning change request from AG (Agricultural District) to CG (Commercial General District).

The surrounding area is zoned AG, according to City Planner Jill Ferenc.

“The property is along Muskogee and, while residential in nature, is classified a minor arterial street,” she said. “To the north is a municipal park and to the west is a complex of municipal buildings.”

Ferenc said the applicant plans to use the 1.98-acre property for a lawn mower repair business.

“The Future Land Use Plan indicates this area should become ‘low intensity commercial,” Ferenc said in her staff report.

A public hearing was held Sept. 16 at the Planning Commission meeting.   No one from the audience spoke for or against the project and the Planning Commission unanimously voted in favor of the zoning change request.

A public hearing was then held Oct. 7, with one property owner speaking against the rezoning and cited traffic concerns in the residential area.

Another hearing was held Oct. 21, with one property owner speaking in favor and one in opposition.

After a deadlocked 4-4 vote by the council, the item was carried forward to be re-voted on at this meeting.

Voting yes were Mayor Mickey Perry, Terry Willis, Mark Lepak and Bill Flanagan. Brian Callender, Don Purkey and Paula Watson voted no. Buddy Robertson and David McComb were absent.

In other business, the council approved naming the street on the west side of Lynn Riggs Park (Gazebo Park) from 3rd to 4th Street in honor of former attorney, city attorney, councilman and veteran T. Jack Graves.

Tom Pool, a relative of Graves, spoke to the council on Nov. 18.

“I have a lot of interest in seeing him honored,” Pool said. “His education started in Claremore. He served the city of Claremore in many ways.”

Since there are no businesses or residences on the street, the naming will not require any address changes, while providing “good visibility from Main Street,” Perry said.

Several other high profile former Claremore residents are honored in the neighboring park, including Lynn Riggs, who the park is named after, G. Waide Sibley (the G. Waide Sibley Gazebo) and Stan Thomas (the Stan Thomas Fountain). The park is adjacent to the new Claremore Museum of History.

The street will be called the “T. Jack Graves Parkway.”

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