Neighbors Fight Penn Square Mall Rezoning Plan
OKLAHOMA CITY - At a time when city sale tax numbers are dropping, a plan to get much needed revenue from a Penn Square Mall expansion is on hold.
Some Northwest OKC neighbors are against the 23,000-sq. foot building in the far northwest corner of the mall. They say it impedes upon a 300-foot buffer zone, and the area is zoned for office space not retail space.
“This zoning has been in place since before Simon Properties bought the mall in 2002,” said Mary Ann Carter, who is fighting Simon Properties efforts to rezone the space.
Carter has collected more than 80 signatures from neighbors near Penn. and NW 56th Terrace against the project.
“The true test of zoning is when someone challenges it. And if when it’s challenged, it's overturned- it had no value to begin with,” said Carter.
Simon Properties, won't say which store would be moving into the space. It tells the city its willing to build a fence to the north of the property to keep trash from blowing into the creek, dividing the mall property from homes.
The driveway accessing Penn. would also be eliminated to help traffic flow.
Planning commissioners are now asking developers and neighbors to meet again before their Thursday, January 12 meeting.
OKC City Council has the final say on the project.