Council addresses rezoning issues

Lawton_With BRAC promising to increase Lawton's population by 10 %, the city council has started rezoning areas to bring in more housing, and more businesses.

Tuesday City Council discussed three areas around town. The lots on SW 52nd Street, south of Bishop Road, were rezoned as residential, to bring in more housing for BRAC. A small plot of land on SE Lee at Flowermound near the Sullivan Farm was rezoned as commercial for a new gas station or restaurant. But the most controversial was the area along SW 11th street, where residents were fighting the city to prevent rezoning it as industrial.

The residents who live along SW 11th Street say what that area needs is more housing, some new businesses, even some hotels. Last week they saw a second airline land at the Lawton Regional Airport. But they say the idea of creating industrial land in this part of town is taking Lawton in the wrong direction.

"We have a lot of children, a lot of adults, who live there," one woman said. "We work very hard improving that neck of the woods, making it safer, making it more secure. And we are very concerned about any kind of heavy industrial down there."

"I feel that this particular business would drive our property value down," one man said.

"Not only would this be a blight to our neighborhood, depreciate our area value, but also it would be a health hazard to the people that live in that area," one woman added.

These are just a few of the 92 people living in that area who sent a signed petition to the city asking them to deny the industrial rezoning. "So I want to move that we deny the request for rezoning," said Ward 7 Councilmember Stanley Haywood. "I second that," backed Ward 3 Councilmember Janice Drewry.

The denial passed, so that area will stay residential for now.

Also accomplished at city council tonight: the council members elected Janice Drewry as Mayor Pro-Tem. And newly elected Jay Burk took the Ward 4 seat for the first time.