The Woodward News

Opinion

November 12, 2011

To rezone or not rezone

Woodward, Okla. — By Rich Macke

This week’s city commission meeting on Monday got me thinking about rezoning and whether all lots on Oklahoma Avenue should be considered for commercial use or not.

The main topic of this meeting was on the agenda before in 2008, the possible rezoning of property in the 500 block of Oklahoma Avenue from R-2 (General Residential District) to C-2 (General Commercial District). The property in question is owned by Kris Wood, owner of Woodward Auto Mart and the request to rezone this property is for the intent of expanding his business. As was also the case in 2008, a handful of residents that live on the other side of this property facing Texas Avenue, came out in force to oppose this rezoning request. Ultimately this request was denied by the city commissioners.

But not all of them agreed. Commissioner Michelle Williamson, said during the meeting that she felt all of Oklahoma Avenue should be allowed to be zoned commercial. Now, not that it matters much, but I personally agree with her.

Woodward is not the same community that is was 10, 5 or even 3 years ago. Oklahoma Avenue is a major thoroughfare for Northwest Oklahoma. The more business opportunity we allow along Oklahoma, the more opportunity there is for money to come into the community. And that is good for everyone.  

Add that to the fact that 85 percent of economic development comes from existing businesses. That’s business growth, exactly what Woodward Auto Mart was trying to do. Allowing local business to grow is our future. Business growth of Woodward is growing to the South on Williams and to the West on Oklahoma. Why not East? A lot of people come into Woodward from that direction.

There’s not many areas left on Oklahoma Avenue that are not currently zoned for commercial use.

Decisions like this, to rezone certain properties or not, are definitely not easy ones to make. And our city commissioners, as a team, make the decisions that they feel are best for the entire community. That is the reason we elected them into their current roll in the first place, to make decisions like these.

But, The Woodward News would like to hear from members of the community on this topic of whether or not all of Oklahoma Avenue should be zoned for commercial use. Please sign your comments so we can print them in the Letters to the Editor portion of the paper.

Rich Macke is publisher of the Woodward News.

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