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Creating an area with a flexible density of dwelling options, to provide citizens of Choctaw with more local shopping and dining opportunities, support local small businesses, and entice more diverse housing choices. The vision is to create a stay-and-play community and keep sales tax dollars local. Currently the charter restricts anything more than 8 single-family dwellings per acre in the area better known as Old Town or downtown Choctaw. For instance, a three-story building with offices on the 1st floor, retail on the 2nd floor, and apartments on the 3rd, could not be considered. This change would be restricted to the 1-square-mile noted in the proposed amendment, nowhere else in the City. If the Charter amendment is approved, it would allow Council to consider these types of proposals.
Charter of the city of Choctaw, Oklahoma; Article I: Density of dwellings; § 9-1 Density of Dwellings
§ 9-1 DENSITY OF DWELLINGS.
A. Construction (whether by original construction, alteration, or other manner), location, operation, use, or occupancy of any dwelling unit or units of a greater density than eight (8) single-family units per acre of the lot or parcel of land on which constructed or located, is hereby prohibited within the City of Choctaw.
B. Subsection A above shall not apply to any dwelling unit or units existing, or for which a building permit has been secured from the town, at the time this charter goes into effect, nor to any student housing institutions of higher education.
C. Subsection A above shall not limit the power of the city to prescribe standards of lesser density or otherwise to regulate land use within the city.
Shall Section 9.1 (B) of the Charter of the City of Choctaw be amended to read as follows:
B. Subsection A above shall not apply to: a) student housing of institutions of higher education; b) dwelling unit or dwelling units existing or for which a building permit has been secured from the City prior to September, 1973; c) developments approved by the City Council in the following described area: North Boundary N.E. 36th Street, South Boundary N.E. 23rd Street, West Boundary N. Henney Road, and East Boundary N. Choctaw Road.
This amendment allows for the City Council to consider and approve developments in this area, and this area only, to exceed the maximum of 8 units per acre. The change is in line with the Comprehensive Master Plan, focusing density of dwellings in a defined area with potential to provide more diverse housing options for citizens of Choctaw while still maintaining the rural home-town feel. The ultimate vision of Council is to create an environment conducive to growth opportunity for local small businesses and to provide options for the citizens of Choctaw to stay and shop in Choctaw, such as mixed-use building concepts as described in the Downtown Choctaw Conceptual Master Plan. As you can see in the Downtown Plan, the type of housing and density will be different than what is seen in the rest of Choctaw City limits.
This Charter amendment only applies to the one square mile bound by N.E. 36th Street to the North; N.E. 23rd Street to the South; N. Choctaw Road to the East, and N Henney Road to the West.
Great question, and Council struggled with the same thoughts. Our city charter limits residential density to 8 units per acre. The Charter, over the years, has driven the rural development nature in Choctaw—very spread-out, limited variety of housing, and less dense areas of commercial land uses. With the adoption of the Comprehensive Master Plan 2 years ago and the adoption of the Downtown Master plan after that, Citizens and Council contemplated the impact of housing/small business options in Choctaw due to the 8 units per acre limit. There is still a desire to keep Choctaw rural, but with the awareness now that some focused density is necessary to accommodate a more diverse housing need, to develop stay and play venues, and to accommodate local small business. Council focused on the proposed 1 square mile area because the Comprehensive Master Plan calls out the downtown area as the intended area of density in Choctaw.
The charter amendment does not affect your property, unless an application is filed with the City for change of zoning or a specific use permit to allow for multi-family dwelling units or a mixed-used development with residential uses in excess of 8 units per acre.
The change of zoning and/or specific use permit process will not change. The City will still publish in the local newspaper and send out notifications as required by the Oklahoma State Statutes. Additionally, the subject property (or properties) will have a Public Hearing Notice posted on it.
These notifications will provide information on the date and time of the Public Hearing.
The public is encouraged to attend the Public Hearing. Everyone in attendance is given a chance to speak. Letters of support or protest can be filed with the City Clerk ahead of the Public Hearing as well.