The Woodward News

Local News

August 14, 2012

Commissioners reject rezoning bid

Woodward, Okla. — The Woodward County Commission meeting had to be moved to a larger room in the courthouse Monday morning after a large crowd gathered for a public hearing.

The hearing was held to discuss a request from Justin Howard to rezone some property north of Woodward in the NW/4 of Section 18-T23N-R20W, from agricultural to commercial for use as an RV park.

Howard was on hand to explain his request, saying he wants to put in an 11-spot RV area along with 5 cabins similar to those at Boiling Springs State Park.

"I've talked to my direct neighbors and I feel that it is a legitimate use of my land," he said.

However, there were several concerned citizens who attended Monday's meeting to protest the rezoning.

Dick Lodes presented a petition to the commissioners with 30 signatures.

Speaking on behalf of other protestors, Lodes said their main objects to the rezoning were over concerns that multiple-dwelling complex such as an RV park would reduce neighboring property values, contaminate the water supply, and that the area might become a dumping ground for old, abandoned trailers when the oil boom is over.

Howard said he understood the public's concerns, and tried to address a few of them.

As far as water contamination issues, Howard said he planned to install 2 separate 1,000 gallon septic tanks, one for the RVs to use and one for the cabins.

When an issue of soil erosion was brought up, he said that he planned to try to keep as many of the trees on the property as possible to help avoid erosion problems.

"I want to keep demolition at a minimum," Howard said.

Others were concerned that if Howard were to sell the property, the new owners could turn it into some other type of comercial venue.

Betty Ward said, "We have invested in over 30 years in our homes and would like to keep the value of our homes for when we might sell one day."

After hearing all of the public's concerns, the commissioners closed the hearing and voted to decline the re-zoning of Howard's land.  However, the commissioners said their main reason for rejecting the rezoning was due concerns over erosion.

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