After months of heated debate, Oklahoma City has amended its historical preservation ordinance.
The debate was sparked by First Christian Church at Walker Avenue and Northwest 36th Street. The church’s owners fought attempts by the City to give the church landmark distinction, because they thought it would make the property less marketable.
The church is currently for sale.
When property owners do not want landmark distinction, the case goes to the OKC City Council within 20 days.
The amended ordinance is designed to eliminate the potential for properties to sit untouched for months.
OKC Councilmen David Greenwell and Mark Stoncipher collaborated on amending the ordinance.
“When an individual owns property, do they have the right to control it?” asked Greenwell, who feels the amended ordinance helps protect the city from lawsuits.
The amendment passed 6-3 and will go into effect in 30 days.