In the zones

Oklahoma City’s voluminous zoning regulations are contained in Chapter 59 of the Municipal Code, and as the city gets bigger and new classifications are introduced, Chapter 59 becomes more cumbersome and impenetrable.

So it is with something of a smile that I report that City Council is ready to throw out the entire thing and replace it with something sort of organized. On the agenda for Tuesday’s Council meeting is a complete rewrite of Chapter 59, and [following link goes to PDF file] the City Manager explains why:

It was the intent of the re-write to make the ordinance more user friendly to the public and to the different professionals who rely on these regulations to conduct their business activities. Additionally, upon adoption of the new ordinance, it will be available online and will be designed to allow a user to select a section of the code from the table of contents and be linked directly to the applicable part of the code.

The present Municipal Code lookup has acceptable search, but the sheer prolixity of the Code means you’re going to get all manner of unrelated stuff you didn’t want. If they’re breaking out Chapter 59 separately and giving it its own interface, it’s bound to be at least something of an improvement.

No property will be rezoned as a result of the new ordinance, though there’s one substantive change: newly-platted property falling under the classification of Planned Unit Development will require the developers to submit more specific planning details, and the city proposes to collect a $500 fee for a PUD site review. Approximately 100 such reviews per year are anticipated.

The new ordinance, if adopted, would go into effect 27 December 2007, one month after final hearing.

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