Controversial Street In Norman Renamed

Tuesday, December 19th 2017, 11:05 pm
By: Bonnie Campo

A controversial street in Norman has been renamed. 

De Barr Avenue, named for Edwin De Barr, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and Dean at the University of Oklahoma, will now be called Deans Row Avenue.

It’s taken months to get here. News 9 first reported on this story back in March. Tuesday night, an amendment in the passage provides that the measure be implemented in 30 days.

To be renamed, a petition with at least 75 percent of property owners living on the street had to support the change.

Mayor Lynn Miller and all members of council unanimously voted to approve the name change. The old De Barr stretches from Boyd St. to Duffy and contains 32 parcels of property, 28 with a De Barr addresses, 21 of which had a Norman Public Works verified signature on the petition.

There is a $40 fee for new street signs.

Councilwoman Clark said she will fundraiser the money $2,000 so residents living on the street don't have to foot costs associated with the change.

"If you think about it drivers licenses are 20 bucks a piece. There are 28 properties times two is over 50. Then in there's the cost of the sign, which is minimal, but as I said up there change is hard but that shouldn't be an obstacle moving forward on this issue but we do want to be as helpful as possible," said Ward 6 Councilwoman Breea Clark.

Clark has also suggested moving the signs to local museums so that Norman recognizes its past while moving forward.

Councilman Robert Castleberry, Ward 3, called tonight's decision "historic" while Councilwoman Serta Wilson, Ward 5, added this was one of her favorite moments to serve Norman.

Councilman Stephen Holman, Ward 7, says he once lived on De Barr and that this change was invaluable to Norman's future.

Emergency services, 911 dispatch, utilities and the post office will all be notified by the city to update their records. Officials say residents will have to update records with private retailers, such as Amazon, if they had previous services associated with a De Barr address.