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Fox Lake Homeowners Fight Edmond Hotel Proposal

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EDMOND, Oklahoma -

As the metro area continues to grow, Edmond city councilors are now considering a pair of new hotels along I-35.

They would be built just north of Buffalo Wild Wings along Fox Lake Lane, but neighbors there are fighting back against the proposal.

Homeowners in the Fox Lake neighborhood say the new Walmart, Sam’s Club and surrounding businesses have already disturbed their peace enough, but say these proposed hotels are where they have to draw the line.

On the 29-acre parcel right outside of the subdivision, much of which is in a flood plain, developers are looking to build two hotels and an office park. Only part of it is dedicated to the kind of park neighbors thought would be going there. “That ground was broken for a Wellness Park and that was two and a half years ago, and it’s been nothing since then but dirt and weeds and trash,” says Richard Divilbiss, who has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years.

Their main concern is the land simply is not big enough for what the developers want. Plus, the proposal aims to ignore many of Edmond's code standards. HOA attorney and homeowner Matt Thomas says, “In order to fit the two hotels as proposed would require significant zoning modifications. Height restrictions, setbacks from Fox Lake, setbacks from the access road concerns us.”

Divilbiss adds, “The back of their buildings would be literally 25 or 30 feet from Fox Lake Lane. It’s a residential street.”

Edmond planning commissioners say the homeowners have valid concerns, which is why they refuse to support the proposal as it heads to city council. Commission chair Barry Moore says, “I’m not going to vote for a project that continues to have variances along I-35. Those standards are there for a reason.”

With a group of hotels less than half a mile north, plus the brand new hotel and conference center an exit away, homeowners recognize they live in the ideal location for Edmond's imminent growth, and they acknowledge change is inevitable. “We’re all for progressiveness and addition of businesses, but let’s put something in there that’s proper,” says Divilbiss.

City council is set to vote on the proposed development March 26.

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