By Jacob Sturm
One of Mustang’s potential developers will have to wait another month to learn a verdict on the current proposed plans for a new Planned Unit Development.
The Vineyard development would add 417 households, including duplex properties and single-family housing. The additions have not yet been approved, and the Planning Commission could choose to remove the duplex properties from the proposal in an effort to decrease density.
The Vineyard PUD hit another obstacle in the process that would change the zoning of the Southeast corner of Morgan Road and SW 59th St. from General Agriculture and Oil and Gas District to a Mixed Use Planned Unit Development.
Originally heard by the Planning Commission on Nov. 9, 2021, the application to change the zoning has been revised multiple times to comply with the Planning Commission, and has yet to meet the standard requested, stopping it from progressing forward to the Mustang City Council.
After the original hearing, the applicant dropped the application for the zoning change. The company then resubmitted the application in February. That application went in front of the Planning Commission in March.
Mustang’s Community Development Director, Melissa Helsel, said the group made changes to the application from the first go around.
“They made changes, not many, (but) they made a few tweaks and then it came back before Planning Commission in March,” Helsel said.
Those tweaks mainly consisted of removing a section of multifamily apartments the Planning Commission didn’t like. The updated proposal would still contain duplex housing.
That wouldn’t be the end of the revisions. The Planning Commission asked the developer to make more changes when they heard the updated proposal and tabled the discussion for May 10.
Derek Turner, Owner and President of Turner and Company, is doing contract work and development work for STK Development including the Vineyard planned development. He said the main things they’ve had to fix in the project to this point are typical planning work.
“The process that they (the City of Mustang) put together is a very good process,” Turner said. “It’s very self-explanatory. It’s been easy to follow, but all these things are complicated of course. So, we wanted to just make sure that everything got in the way they wanted it.”
Citizens came out to the Council Chambers at Mustang’s City Hall to make their voices heard in opposition of the development.
Mustang City Attorney, Jonathan Miller, had asked the company to submit a list of companies who had rights to drill on the land where the development would go. The submission of the requested list came in May 9, which wouldn’t have allowed citizens to receive notice 20 days before the meeting. That forced the item to be tabled again.
“We sent those letters out this morning to all of the owners of rights to drill on the land,” Helsel said. “This affects their rights to drill because here we are changing the zoning to a different use.”
The dramatic shift from an Oil and Gas District to a planned unit development is not unusual for zoning changes. In fact, Gabe’s Crossing also had an active oil well on its site before the Planning Commission changed the zoning.
Helsel said she looks at Planned Unit Developments as a negotiation process. Turner said something similar.
“PUD’s are somewhat complicated because there’s so many moving parts to them,” Turner said. “To get the PUD together, we’ve gone back and forth.”
Helsel said people are concerned about increasing the density of housing in the area. The new proposal would add about 417 households.
They were also concerned about the traffic increase the new development would add. Turner addressed the concern, and said Morgan and 59th St. are two-lane roads that are both planned to be widened to four lanes in the future.
“From what we understood from one of the Planning Commissioners last night, (is) that there is plans underway for Oklahoma City to widen that street (59th St.),” Turner said. “I assume that they’re probably going to. Once they put that Turnpike in, we’re only seven-tenths of a mile from the entrance to the new turnpike.”
Building schedules make it tough to project the issues the development may face. Turner said the development will only have two entries going off Morgan Road in the half mile the development will cover if approved. There will also be three entries off 59th St. Turner said that will help control their traffic points to where they hit the roads.
Some people were concerned with the schools getting inundated with more people. Turner said they heard plenty on the concerns of additional people the development will put into the schools. His solution revolved around the units the development is putting in.
Turner said “100 or so” units in the development will be strictly for seniors.
“Mustang is a unique situation because you have a town of only a certain size, but you have a school district that is probably three or four times the size of the city,” Turner said. “So, the growth of the school system is greatly controlled by other forces other than what’s in Mustang.”
Others voiced concerns about the development impacting the drainage system. Helsel addressed that concern.
“The thing about that is that our code requires that they engineer it in such a way that there is no more run-off at any faster rate post-development than there was pre-development,” Helsel said. “So, they have to keep it at the pre-development stage. That’s kind of the basis of our strong water code that you just can’t create more of a problem.”
The proposed zoning is smaller than some of the surrounding lots, making some concerned the development will hurt property values.
“Mustang is the kind of city where we really want to protect the quality of life of the citizens, and citizens have caught on to that and they really want to make sure that we do continue that quality of life,” Helsel said.
The next hearing for the proposal is set for June 14. If it passes Planning Commission at that meeting, it’s anticipated to be heard by the Mustang City Council on July 12.