By Conrad Dudderar
The City of Oklahoma City is a step closer to officially removing restrictions on property in west Yukon planned for future development.
The Yukon City Council recently approved a memorandum of understanding with Oklahoma City requesting these restrictions be lifted “on the use of 184.5 acres at the southwest corner of Highway 66 and Frisco Road.”
“I’m very pleased that Oklahoma City has agreed to allow public use of the property, as well as various sports and some retail,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said.
Yukon council members voted 5-0 to approve the action, which city attorney Roger Rinehart recommended after 1-1/2 years of negotiations.
Development restrictions will be lifted on what has been known as the “sports park property” upon the Oklahoma City Council’s formal approval.
The newly proposed memorandum of understanding includes language under which the City of Yukon “may allow for development of a portion of the property along Frisco Road for commercial retail establishments, restaurants, hotels and similar businesses (excluding ‘retail power centers’),” attorney Rinehart wrote in a Jan. 9th letter to Yukon city officials.
“However, Yukon would need to agree that all Yukon sales, use and hotel tax generated by any development within the commercial section shall be split evenly between Yukon and Oklahoma City for a period of 15 years, even though the commercial section is located within Yukon.”
In 2015, Oklahoma City de-annexed 243 acres at the southwest corner of Highway 66 and Frisco Road to the City of Yukon.
The introductory language in a June 2015 memorandum of understanding states Oklahoma City would de-annex the property in exchange and consideration for Yukon’s promise and contractual commitment “to use said property exclusively for the development of a sports complex.”
The stated purpose for the acquisition – as shown in the 2015 memo signed by mayors of both cities – is “developing a world class soccer complex to become a premier destination for youth and adult soccer in the southwest.”
Yukon city officials agreed to develop the property “exclusively for a sports complex” with construction expected to begin by March 1, 2016, the document shows.
Development patterns in Yukon have changed since the 2015 memorandum of understanding between Yukon and Oklahoma City, Rinehart explained in his letter.
In March 2017, some 73% of Yukon voters defeated an $18 million bond issue that would have funded construction of a sports complex on the Highway 66/Frisco Road property.
The Yukon City Council is now considering other possible uses for part of the site.
City Manager Kretchmar “has brought up the options of allowing Yukon to develop the property for other public uses outside of a ‘world class soccer complex’ and the possibility of allowing commercial development on part of the property with sales tax (revenues) being shared between OKC and Yukon for a specific time period,” Rinehart told the Yukon City Council in his letter.
The de-annexed property originally contained 243 acres but was reduced to 184.5 acres after the 2017 sale of 58.5 acres (agreed by both parties) for public utilities owned exclusively by the City of Yukon.
These public utilities could be libraries, parks, fire stations, public trails, city government office buildings, museums, and sports complexes.
As part of the 2015 de-annexation, the City of Yukon agreed to allow the private developer of the Market at Czech Hall to build necessary street improvements and install a traffic signal on N.W. 10th in Yukon city limits at the entrance of that retail development.