Group Collecting Signatures To Overturn University North Park Funding Vote

Friday, December 13th 2019, 9:02 am
By: News 9

A Norman group is collecting signatures, hoping to overturn a city council decision on the University North Park development.

The group called Better Deal for Norman is hosting a news conference Friday at noon. They say the goal is for their petition to repeal the council's decision made in November, and put it to a vote in April.

Critics say the University North Park development has been a problem for many Norman residents for more than a decade. Plans for the acreage along Interstate 35 originally included an arena, expo center and parks, plus office and housing spaces.

On November 26th the Norman city council met for more than seven hours. They eventually decided in a narrow five to four vote to end the Tax Increment Finance District appointments for the North park development.

The council says this means they will reduce funds for Legacy Park, the lifestyle center and economic development. However, subsidies will continue until pre-negotiated projects in the area are completed

The Better Deal for Norman group believes any taxpayer money used to fund private developments in Norman should go to a vote saying in part quote, "It's time to plug the drain and use the money to support public services that benefit everyone. Not just an elite group of developers or their wealthy partners and political allies."

Better Deal for Norman says they need more than 3,000 signatures in less than two weeks.