View Full Version : OKC City Council approves plans for more development at Lake Hefner

07-17-2007, 06:05 PM
I was just watching the 6pm news. It appears the OKC City Council today voted for more development on the South Shore of Lake Hefner. It should NOT detract any lake views from Hefner Parkway. They also mentioned that they are building a new skate/BMX park in NE OKC at Trosper Park.

07-18-2007, 08:35 AM
Trosper is SE.

07-18-2007, 08:43 AM
Yes, my mistake.

07-18-2007, 09:27 AM
The new development at Trosper Park will not be a "skate" park, but a BMX dirt track. The City will not build it. They are contracting with the local BMX Riders' and BMX Parents' associations, who will pay for the construction of the track and maintain it.

The City does have plans to construct a new "skate plaza" at Route 66 Park, located on the West side of Lake Overholser off of 23rd. Unlike the Mat Hoffman Action Skate Park, however, this new plaza will be designed for beginning to intermediate-level skaters/boarders.

07-18-2007, 09:47 AM
The original post here is all bungled up. The City Council actually voted to ban any further development along the East Wharf area and limit development to the South Shore which cannot even be seen from the Lake Hefner Parkway.

Here's the Oklahoman story:

City shores up Hefner trails
By Bryan Dean and John Estus
Staff Writers
There won't be another development like East Wharf at Lake Hefner any time soon.
A master plan approved by the Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday strictly limits development at the lake.

A five-acre area on the south side of the lake along the Northwest Expressway just east of Meridian Avenue is the only spot where any commercial development will be allowed.

Boaters, runners, cyclists and others who use the lake for recreation spoke in favor of the plan at Tuesday morning's meeting. Those groups also oppose further development on the east side of the lake, near the East Wharf restaurants and office building.

Council members said the plan sends a strong message that the city is committed to making the lake a recreational area first and foremost.

"With the adoption of this plan, it will truly be an asset uncomparable to anything around us, Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman said.

About two dozen stakeholders, mostly trail users and boaters, applauded as council members approved the plan. The city included the various groups who use the trails, boat docks and other recreational areas as the plan was drafted.

Dale Birchett, a member of Friends of Lake Hefner, said he was glad the council decided to put a limit on development near the lake.

"I really feel that it's time to just put an end to it, Birchett said. "There is no reason to chip away at this corner and that corner. Unless it's stopped now, it's just going to continue.

City Planning Director John Dugan said the group that drafted the plan looked for appropriate areas for commercial development. Any such areas had to have access to major roadways, sewage and drainage lines and could not encroach on existing recreational areas or compromise water quality at the lake.

The five-acre site on the south side of the lake was the only area that met all those criteria, Dugan said. It is not lake-front property and is screened from view of trails and recreational areas by trees. It is right next to other commercial developments, including a Red Lobster.

Joy Allen, 36, jogged on the Lake Hefner trails Tuesday. She said the trails and other recreation opportunities were part of the reason she moved near the lake.

"Just having it all here, in one place, is something I think a lot of people take for granted, Allen said. "I hope the city council is really serious about, you know, keeping all the land open for these uses and improving all the options we have here.

The council approved a moratorium on further commercial development at the lake in 2004 pending an updated look at the 1991 master plan governing use of the land near the lake.

The moratorium came after a controversial decision to expand the East Wharf development to allow an additional restaurant on the east side of the lake near Britton Road.

The 1991 plan contained few limits on commercial uses of land surrounding the lake.

The more restrictive plan adopted Tuesday is not binding. The council and the city's water trust could still vote to approve new developments, but would have to be convinced the merits of the development outweigh the concerns addressed by the master plan.

"The plan is not a law, Dugan said. "It's a recommendation, a guideline, a policy.

Chris Miller, 20, rode his bicycle on the trails Tuesday. Miller said he sees a place for more commercial developments like the East Wharf. He said the restaurants on the east side of the lake are unique and bring people to the lake who otherwise wouldn't use it.

"It helps to have a little of everything, Miller said. "People deserve more than a ton of trails and parks. That's boring.

The council also discussed establishing a citizens' committee to review any future land use changes at the lake, but delayed a vote on the idea. Ward 1 Councilman Gary Marrs said he would like to see such a committee include all the groups interested in using the lake who helped draft the plan.

This was a major victory for those fighting to halt development along the East Wharf. The South Shore has all the needed infrastructure for development and will compliment it nicely.

07-23-2007, 04:51 PM
You can view more about this and read the actual plan at Friends of Lake Hefner (LAKEHEFNER.ORG (