EDITOR’S NOTE: The Oklahoma City Council voted 7-0 at its Aug. 17th meeting to delay action on the rezoning request. The item has been moved to the council’s Aug. 31st agenda. Read more in upcoming print and online editions of The Yukon Progress.
By Conrad Dudderar
A request to develop a manufactured home park just east of Yukon – postponed last week – will again be considered at next Tuesday’s Oklahoma City Council meeting.
Property owner David Syler is seeking council approval to allow single-family manufactured (mobile) homes on a 51.53-acre property northwest of the Kilpatrick Turnpike and Old Highway 4 adjacent to N.W. 10th.
Syler on Aug. 3 told city council members this development would provide “quality affordable, workforce housing” in a clean, structured environment.
“We are ready to put our money where our mouth is,” Syler said.
These would be two-, three- and four-bedroom factory-built homes with three-car driveways, he added. There would be professionally trained management and maintenance crews on-site.
Syler emphasized that a factory-built home is “not your grandpa’s trailer” but a quality home built in the most economical, efficient way.
“Our clients are teachers, firemen, retirees, single moms, single dads,” he added.
Plans call for 246 manufactured home lots – pending Oklahoma City Council approval. However, the developer could reduce lot sizes after the property is rezoned.
Some neighboring homeowners are worried about the impact this development would have on their property values and whether it would attract criminals like pedophiles and drug addicts.
They’ve voiced their concerns to Oklahoma City officials and the applicant in e-mails and during recent city council and neighborhood meetings.
“This is not a case about appropriate use,” said attorney David Box, representing developer Dact LLC. “Unfortunately, this has become a case about the type of person that is going to live in a home. I would submit to you that is just absolutely not something for this city council to consider in their deliberations.”
The applicant has heard neighbors’ concerns about the “type of person” who will live in this community and “unsubstantiated fears that property values will be diminished” because of the type of home, Box said during the council meeting.
“This is single-family (residential) next to single-family,” he reasoned. “It’s just a different form of single-family.
“It would be unique for there to be a significant buffer (with single-family next to single-family). Currently built, the closest home is 820 feet away.”
The property has a Yukon address but is in far west Oklahoma City in an area represented by Ward 1 City Council Member Bradley Carter.
At the city council meeting, Carter related neighbors’ concerns about the impact on property values and possible flooding of nearby housing developments.
“Yukon doesn’t allow for manufactured homes, so this was a shock to everyone when our planning and zoning commission even considered it,” he said.
Yukon’s Craig Horton – retired after 34 years as a YPS administrator, counselor, teacher, and coach – voiced strong opposition during the Aug. 3rd meeting.
“If this was such a great idea, there wouldn’t be a moratorium on new mobile home parks in Yukon, Edmond and Mustang,” he told OKC Council members.
“We don’t want this; we don’t want it in our neighborhood.”
Horton described as “horrible” another mobile home community further east on N.W. 10th inside Yukon Public Schools’ boundaries.
“When it moved in, our academics went down. Our discipline referrals went up,” he added.
Horton cited existing traffic congestion where the turnpike, Sara Road and Old Highway 4 converge across from a concrete plant and railroad crossings. He also shared concerns about the possible destruction of 51 acres of wildlife and already-slow police response times.
Oklahoma City Council members voted 9-0 to defer until their Aug. 17th meeting the rezoning request for the planned unit development (PUD) at 10801 Old Highway 4.
They asked the developer to provide more detailed information and expert testimony to support the application.
BURDEN ON YPS
The site is directly west of the Sun Valley Acres Addition, south of the Mar-A-Lago Addition and east of Yukon High School.
Yukon Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth wants citizens to be aware this development could place a financial hardship on the district.
That’s because the only Canadian County tax assessment would be on the land – not the structures themselves.
“Even if they develop the 51 acres and put 500 mobile homes on there, the county won’t be able to receive any property taxes on those homes because they’re manufactured homes,” Simeroth explained.
“Therefore, we won’t receive any ad valorem in our district – the aid providing for the education of those students. So, we could get 500-750 students without any of the tax base that goes with that, and that would put a stress on our district.”
YPS district leaders will not formally oppose or protest the proposed Old Highway 4 manufactured home community.
“We don’t want to turn away students for any reason,” Simeroth noted. “We’re a public school. That’s what we do.
“The only issue that concerns us is how we’re going to continue to provide the top-quality education that we do without the resources that go along with other types of developments.”
Further east on N.W. 10th are several other mobile home communities within Yukon school district boundaries.
TURNPIKE ‘SPLIT’ SITE IN HALF
The Old Highway 4 property is now vacant, and the current zoning is I-2 (moderate industrial district).
If a new PUD is approved, tract one will be developed in accordance with Oklahoma City’s C-3 (community commercial) zoning district and tract two will be developed in accordance with the manufactured (mobile) home subdivision district.
The site – part of a 133-acre PUD that was zoned for residential and commercial uses in 1985 – was “split in half by the Kilpatrick Turnpike and cannot be constructed as was originally envisioned,” according to an Oklahoma City staff report.
“The proposal would rezone 51 acres out of the original PUD to allow for a manufactured home park (tract 2) and commercial uses at the corner (tract 1),” the report reads.
Oklahoma City development regulations require the proposed single-family homes to have minimum 4,000-square-foot lot sizes and 40-foot lot widths, 75% maximum lot coverages, 10-foot front yard setbacks, and 8-foot rear yard setbacks.
The Oklahoma City Planning Commission on May 27 recommended approval of the proposed new development, adding several conditions the applicant has agreed to.
This includes having an open space/recreational area “around the riparian area”, locating gasoline sales and drive-through uses “at least 100 feet from residential structures with a 10-foot landscape buffer” and installing trees on “20-foot centers”.