Development To Help Single Mothers Facing Opposition In North OKC

Monday, November 25th 2019, 5:38 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A proposed development to help women in need is facing heavy opposition by nearby neighborhoods in the North Oklahoma City - Edmond area. Several neighborhoods have hired an attorney and are circulating a petition to fight the development by the charity Beautiful Restoration. 

The development is proposed to go on a piece of property by Danforth and Western Avenue. There are several neighborhoods and high-end homes in the area. Neighbors wouldn't go on camera, but said they aren't against the mission, but they just don't think this type of development belongs in the area.

Beautiful Restoration already owns the land and the former Governor's Mansion just off Danforth east of Western Avenue. They want to expand their ministry by building 25 tiny homes to help single mothers get back on their feet.

“It would be someone who might have to leave the house because of abuse or drug use in the home is going on,” explained Tim Johnson, the engineer on the project. “They need a safe place to take their kids and get away.”            

The plans also call for a mechanic's garage, where the women can get their car fixed, and an events center to help raise money and provide job training. That requires a zoning change.

Neighbors who live the area have been circulating a petition, arguing the development is inviting ex-cons, recovering addicts and homeless into our neighborhood.

“The property owners around us, their biggest fears are things that aren’t true,” said Johnson.

Still, Johnson said after meeting with neighbors they reduced the number of tiny homes from 50 to 25 and moved them to an area where those who live in adjoining neighborhoods likely won't even see them. The homes will be fenced in for security, and trees and landscaping will stay intact.

Other neighbors argue it doesn’t matter who is living there, this isn’t the place for an events center and multiple homes.

Johnson said his clients believe this is exactly the place.

“They feel very strongly that it’s going on in their neighborhood whether you want it or not, and they just want to be available and local enough to this part of town that they can help,” said Johnson.  

A lawyer representing a couple HOA's said right now, they just want information about what exactly is being proposed.

The zoning change will go in front of the City Planning Commission on December 14. Right now, city staff is recommending the commission approve the zoning change.