By Conrad Dudderar
A lawsuit challenging the Oklahoma City Council’s denial of a rezoning request for a mobile home park just east of Yukon has been dismissed.
Attorney Cooper T. Hahn, who represents the plaintiff DACT, LLC, filed a dismissal without prejudice on Sept. 22 in Canadian County District Court.
The plaintiff “hereby dismisses all of its claims against defendant in the above styled action, without prejudice as to the refiling of the same,” the dismissal reads.
DACT, LLC filed the civil action Sept. 30, 2021, against the City of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma City Council. No other court filings were made until the recent dismissal.
The suit stems from the city council’s denial of a developer’s application to rezone 51.5 acres of land north of Old Highway 4 and west of the Kilpatrick Turnpike to allow a manufactured home community.
The site is within Yukon Public Schools’ boundaries but inside Oklahoma City limits.
A dismissal without prejudice means the lawsuit is closed only because the plaintiff does not wish to proceed with the case at this time. The plaintiff is not prohibited from later filing a new claim on the same grounds as the dismissed claim.
The case is on Canadian County District Judge Jack D. McCurdy’s Thursday, Oct. 27 disposition docket.
“We hope the developer will continue his search for a more appropriate location,” said Suzanne Cannon, who lives in nearby Sun Valley Acres.
On Aug. 31, 2021, council members voted 6-2 to reject applicant David Syler’s request to rezone the undeveloped property not far from Yukon High School.
Cannon was among Oklahoma City Ward 1 residents voicing opposition to the proposed rezoning before the city council.
“As a community member who lives close by, I’m concerned about the additional traffic that would be generated by that development,” Cannon said recently. “The roads and infrastructure are not there to support that.
“It would require a lot of cooperation with Oklahoma City to provide water, drainage, streets, and signal lights, to manage the increased traffic. And 10th Street, where they propose to have the ingress and egress of that community, is two lanes.”
Cannon, a member of the YPS Board of Education, referred to an “additional influx of student population” from the development further straining a school system that’s already taxed.
“As a school board member, I am concerned about the number of children it would bring into the district,” Cannon added. “In Yukon Public Schools, our goal is to provide a quality education for every student.”
Cannon previously shared fears that this manufactured home community would not generate sufficient ad valorem tax funding for YPS to educate another 200-500 students, creating a potential “hardship.”
In its 11-page petition appealing the rezoning denial, the plaintiff’s attorneys wrote:
“The City Council’s decision to deny the application was based on factors not appropriate for consideration in zoning and land use matters. The City Council’s decision to deny the application was arbitrary, unreasonable and capricious.
“The City Council’s decision to deny the application bears no reasonable relation to the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare.”
The developer contended this rezoning request is “consistent and compatible” with the land use pattern of the general surrounding area, constitutes a reasonable zoning designation for the property and conforms with Oklahoma City’s Comprehensive Plan.
The Oklahoma City Council has not approved any new manufactured home communities in more than 20 years.
Attorney David Box referred to Ward 1 residents who attended Oklahoma City Council hearings last year to oppose the rezoning request.
“City Council may not confuse the right to be heard with the idea that the party who shouts the loudest deserves to prevail,” Box said.
DACT, LLC had proposed developing about 250 manufactured home lots as part of the new development. The corner of the property was proposed for commercial use.
The undeveloped site – now zoned I-2 (moderate industrial district) – is in Oklahoma City’s Ward 1.
Syler, of S.W. 15th Terrace in Yukon, was seeking a planned unit development (PUD) zoning designation to allow both the manufactured housing and commercial uses.
He told city council members this new manufactured home community would provide “quality affordable, workforce housing” in a clean, structured environment.
These would be two-, three- and four-bedroom factory-built homes with three-car driveways, Syler added. There would be professionally trained management and maintenance crews on-site.
Syler has developed other mobile home parks in Oklahoma City, including one further east on N.W. 10th in eastern Canadian County.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorneys argued the city council’s refusal to approve new manufactured home communities:
- Serves to artificially impose a moratorium on such communities and developments thereof despite no such moratorium being adopted by ordinance or other municipal action;
- Is contrary to adopted zoning ordinances; and
- Is contrary to the polices and goals of the (Oklahoma City) Comprehensive Plan.
The Oklahoma City Council did not base its decision “upon its adopted planning policies, the basic physical facts of the property and surrounding area, nor any other legitimate consideration in determining whether to approve a rezoning application,” the suit reads.