View Full Version : Median use in our historic neighborhoods - whats

04-08-2008, 01:29 PM
We live the the Miller neighborhood (10th to 16th and May to Villa) in OKC and have been trying to really get involved and do what we can to help make this a great place to live. We found out last night a few interesting things about Oklahoma City but one that makes me a bit upset.

The Miller Neighborhood Association (MNA) has several events throughout the year - from a 4th of July parade to a Miller Home Tour. The Miller Home Tour is coming up quickly and there will be artists and other things going on up and down NW 12th during the tour for people to interact with, etc. This year, however, the artists will be required to set up their tents and booths in the front yards of those that live on 12th - something most people are more than happy to do.

The deal is, there is a median that runs down NW 12th (it was the old trolley route) that would be perfect. The problem is, the City of Oklahoma City charges each vendor $100.00 for using the space. Here is what I can't figure out:

1. MNA up-keeps the medians
2. MNA planted the trees
3. MNA waters the grass
4. MNA weeds the flowers
5. MNA mows the grass
6. MNA picks up the trash
7. etc

I totally understand that the area in the median is city property. I have no problem with that at all. The problem I have is that we are not permitted to use that area that we take such great care of for neighborhood functions at any decent price.

The City is claiming this area only when they see a way to make money off it.

Does anyone have any information about this? I have hears stories of Mesta Park (or maybe Heritage Hills) that used their park space and got fined awhile back as well.

Just curious as to the reasons and how it all works. I am assuming there is some explanation that makes sense...

04-08-2008, 01:57 PM
Write the mayor, city manager, somebody. Let them know about the cause.

04-08-2008, 02:14 PM
I have heard of the city charging other organizations similar vendor fees for use of city property. They did that with the OKC Pride (gay Pride) group this past year. Apparently they were able to work the system a bit, though. I was told they had one main location to buy tickets, then you used those tickets instead of cash at each vendor's booth. This resulted in only one vendor fee being charged. I know this could prove to be a big pain, though.

Here's what's odd, though... I haven't heard of them enforcing this city ordinance with any other group until you bring this up now...

04-08-2008, 02:19 PM
If this is true, (and I am not saying that it isn't) , this is a real shame for inner Okla City. Our inner-city historic neighborhoods need all the help they can get from it's neighborhood associations and the city. Both need to work hand in hand in order to make these neighborhoods the hidden jewels of Okla City.

The mayor will be at the Skirvin Thurs night @ 5:30pm , he will be addressing the Urban Neighbors of Okla City.

Ask Mayor Cornett the tough questions | (

04-08-2008, 03:23 PM
okclee, thanks for directing folks to the Urban Neighbors meeting this Thursday with Mayor Cornett. Please know this meeting is not a debate, but a Q&A with a moderator. Questions have been taken from paid members of the Urban Neighbors association (Benefits of Membership) since the organization is a direct conduit to the city of OKC. Some questions will be relevant to all parts of OKC and not just downtown.

I do encourage anyone to attend to get a better feel for how the city is run however and how to become more involved, etc.

EvokeCoffee, honestly your best bet is to attend a city council meeting every now and then (even when there is not a problem, they like that). Another thing you NEED to do is hand write a letter to your councilperson and City Manager Jim Couch. Make sure you put a P.S. "I hope you read this letter", or something similar. This advice was coming from their lips directly a week or so ago at a meeting I attended in City Hall chambers entitled "Navigating City Hall". The persons in attendance (city manager, city information officer, city councilwoman, attorneys, etc.) mentioned that a personal P.S. or something usually always makes sure they read the letter, even if it is a form letter.

There is also a thread titled the same for help on these issues. The city can't help if you don't let them know.

04-08-2008, 05:10 PM
Thanks Metro -

My wife and I do plan on attending the City Council meetings. We are still in the process of unpacking and getting settled. We think it is a great idea to be involved and agree that they can't fix something they don't know is broken.

Thanks for the information on navigating through the maze to the people that can help. I will keep that in mind.

Thank you again.

04-22-2008, 07:27 AM

I talked with City Council Person Ann Simank yesterday about the use of our neighborhood medians and parks. This is what I found out:

1. The group must "apply" for a FREE activity permit which would allow the roads to be closed. The reason you are not permited to use the public space without this free permit is that the creates a public safety situation - cars, people walking on medias, etc. Again, this is a free permit and will allow you to close off the road for a set amount of time.

2. You must pay $100.00 per vendor that is traded money for product. Ann suggests the following to get around having all vendors pay this fee.

For art shows that work is available, set up one tent and get volunteers to attend it. This tent pays the $100.00 fee to the city for a permit to sell product. Then, customers go to this main tent after visiting and selecting what they want from each vendor. They take a voucher to main tent and pays for the piece. They can then go back and pick up the goods. The main tent then can pay out the artists when the show is over.

It does not seem like that big of a deal to me. This is how the Oklahoma City Arts Festival does it and it works great - probably better than paying each vendor as you go.

So, at any rate, we have cleared up this issue!

04-22-2008, 02:14 PM
Good to hear. Ann Simank is a great Councilwoman, BTW.