theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

December 18, 2013

City directs zoning board to review classification for annexed land

Eric Swanson Staff Writer adanewsreporter@cableone.net
www.theadanews.com

Ada — Ada officials are looking at whether the city should retain the current zoning classification for land that was annexed into the city limits earlier this year.

The Ada City Council directed the Metropolitan Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday to review the zoning for four properties along Stonecipher Boulevard in keeping with the city’s comprehensive plan. The zoning board will make recommendations to the city council, which will decide whether to retain the current classification or change it.

Under city regulations, all annexed property is designated as a residential zone unless the council decides another classification is more appropriate. That designation remains in place for up to a year while the zoning board reviews it.

After the zoning board studies the designation and recommends possible uses in keeping with the city’s comprehensive plan, the final decision rests with the council. The council will conduct a public hearing on the issue, then decide whether to retain the current classification or change it.

The outcome could affect the way landowners use their property, depending on whether the council decides to keep the current classification, planning and zoning coordinator Roger Abbott said Wednesday.

In this case, the city is studying uses for four parcels of land along Stonecipher Boulevard that were annexed into the city limits in February. All four parcels were zoned as a suburban district, reversing the Pontotoc County Commission’s early decision to zone them as a general commercial district.

The people owning the land — including Pontotoc County resident Nathan Dial, who is building an auto repair shop on his property — have filed a lawsuit challenging the annexation decision. A second lawsuit concerning the Chickasaw Nation’s participation in the annexation dispute is also under way.

It was not clear how the council’s action on Monday would affect the lawsuits.

In other business, the council:

• Outlawed distribution of tobacco products and e-cigarettes on public property within 300 feet of a playground, school or other zone for children.

The ordinance also outlaws the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to people younger than 18.

The penalty for breaking the ordinance begins with $100 for the first offense and rises to $200 for a second offense. Distributors who violate the ordinance a third time in two years would pay a $300 fine.

• Barred businesses from granting customers access to tobacco products or e-cigarettes without assistance from the owner or an employee. The ordinance does not apply to businesses that are off limits to people younger than 18.

Businesses that violate the ordinance will be fined $200 for each offense.

Councilman Bryan Morris said the tobacco ordinances reflect state law with the exception of the restrictions on e-cigarettes.

“They go further than state law in that respect,” he said.

• Scheduled the city’s primary election for March 4, 2014, and the general election for April 1.

In the spring, Ada voters will choose the next council members for the 2nd and 4th Wards. Councilman Shane Sweeney currently represents the 2nd Ward, which covers the northeast section of the city.

Councilman Guy Sewell represents the 4th Ward, which covers the southwest section of the city.

The filing period for the primary election begins at 8 a.m. Feb. 4 and closes at 5 p.m. Feb. 6.

• Voiced support for a tax credit award for Cornerstone Associates, which is planning to build a 48-unit housing complex in the 1900 block of North Country Club Road.

• Appointed Dick Scalf to a slot on the Ada Water Resources Board.