The Woodward News

October 9, 2013

Commission turns down rezoning request

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Woodward city commissioners denied a rezoning request, approved a plat map and voted in the Woodward Municipal Authority session to purchase a tract of land during the regular meeting Monday night.

A rezoning request from Bryce Hodgden was turned down by a 4-1 vote after  a somewhat lengthy and contentious protest process that began months ago.

Hodgden requested in early summer to rezone the roughly 200 foot by 230 foot tract of land located in the approximately 300 block of Downs. His request was for the tract to be rezoned from R-1, single family to C-2 commercial.

Hodgden's hope was to have the small strip of land, situated just east of the Hampton Inn, match six acres he owns adjacent to it so he could better market the property, he said during a commission meeting in July.

Hodgden said in the meeting Monday he has no idea how the property might be used.

A group of neighboring property owners including, Kline Mechanical Contracting, Inc., Darrin Kline, Megan Kline, Dawna Nelson, Scott Kline and Susie Kline protested the zoning change early in the process.

Represented by Woodward attorney Shane Smithton the group claimed in July and again Monday night that their property value and marketability could diminish if the land is zoned commercial.

The vote on the issue had been tabled during at least two previous meetings because of the need for a full quorum to consider the vote.

Mayor Gary Goetzinger lamented that the two parties, who have had more than four months to negotiate, have not done so.

However, the open ended prospect regarding the type of business which could wind up on the property if it was sold as a commercial tract, didn’t lend itself to any negotiations Monday.

"My clients have a $300,000 total investment in their property," Smithton said. "If they wanted to build a dentist office and we knew that, it might be different but 'I don't know what it's gonna be,' is what we have right now and I  don't think any of us wants, 'I don't know what it's gonna be,' next to us."

"If there was any interest on their part to negotiate, I haven't heard about it from them," Hodgden said.

The motion to deny the rezoning request came from Commissioner Michelle Williamson, was seconded by Commissioner John Meinders and supported by Commissioners Roscoe Hill and Steve Bogdahn. Mayor Gary Goetzinger dissented.

In other business, a final plat for a new housing addition known as Southfork Addition was approved Monday night. Owner and developer, Don Swanson appeared pleased and said later he has sold nearly 60 lots in the new addition.

"We have finished phase one and two and now are starting into phase three of the work there," he said in a later interview.

Woodward Municipal Authority trustees approved the purchase of a small piece of property of property that is on the north side of the property the Authority purchased for the new fire department headquarters.

The parcel of land, purchased for $42,500, will allow easier maneuvering for fire trucks and emergency vehicles as they move into traffic, said City Manager Alan Riffel.