The Woodward News

Local News

July 2, 2013

County sets hearings on rezonings

Woodward, Okla. — Two requests for public hearings on zoning change considerations were held at Monday's county commission meeting at the courthouse.

The requests, made by two separate entities, are for lots located south of Woodward just off of State Highway 270. It is an area where several industrial businesses have begun to locate.

James a Slattery is requesting a zoning change from Agricultural (A-1) to General Industrial (I-2), while Fisher-Baker Limited Partnership is requesting a change from General Commercial (C-2) to General Industrial (I-2) for a total of six lots.

The public hearings will be held at the commission meeting on July 15.

In conjunction with those changes, one of the owners of Fisher-Baker Limited Partnership, Carmen Collins, requested information about any possible code enforcement regarding aesthetics in that area.

Collins had concerns regarding how Woodward appears to outsiders as they drive into town from the south.

She asked if the county had any code enforcement arm and if they did, would they begin to apply those codes.

According to County Clerk, Charolett Waggoner, however, the county does not have codes related  to how private owners keep their property.

"You would have to include covenants in the sales agreement of your land when you sell," said District 3 Commissioner Vernie Matt.

A legal covenant restriction is a legal document made a part of the contract of sale for the property, said Edmond Real Estate expert, Victoria Caldwell. For instance a seller can put some restrictions into sales contract.

Caldwell said, however, problems with covenants such as these are that there is only one way to enforce them and that's by going to court.

Counties can, and some do have codes, however, for a county to have codes like the City of Woodward has, the issue must come up for a vote of the public.

While Matt and the other two commissioners agreed that there was a desire for landowners to consider the appearance of their land, the only way to begin to address the problem is through neighbors working together voluntarily.

"I agree, we all want Woodward to look good as people come in here," Matt said.

Commissioners also acted on a request from Oklahoma Natural Gas for a permit to bore a gas pipeline under Hunter Road, east of Jim's Salvage.

"The request was approved with a fee for the permit," Matt said.

In other business, Oklahoma Department of Health, Local Emergency Response Coordinator, Kerry Stafford requested guidance on how he should properly manage $4,000 in grant funds issued by the state for items such as folding chairs, storage containers with lids, vests, a television with a dvd player and a canopy.

The commissioners brought into the meeting County Treasurer Sonya Coleman to explain the proper process through which Stafford can access the funds.

Also in other business-an update regarding the office USDA Soil Conservation Office's move from the Woodward County Fair Grounds office complex to the old Knight's of Columbus building near the south end of Woodward.

Commissioners also approved the budget for the OSU Extension Office. They also addressed a recent concern in an earlier meeting in June, regarding the ongoing work between the Woodward Municipal Authority and the FAA to clarify land use agreements entered into more than 20 years ago on the plot of property where the Juvenile Detention Center is now located.

"That document (the letter) was delivered to the D.A.'s office for an opinion," Matt said.

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