TULSA - The Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission decided to re-examine a controversial zoning proposal in the Pearl District.
The controversy surrounds a regulation known as a form-based code, which currently exists in a small area of the Pearl District.
For the last several years, city officials have talked about expanding the form-based code to more areas of the district.
The talk eventually led to a proposal, which was supported by several small business owners.
"Our vision is for a walkable, healthy, compact, much more integrated kind of neighborhood, the kind of neighborhood many other cities are developing around the U.S.," said Jamie Jamieson, a Pearl District developer, and ardent supporter of the form-based code.
But opposition to the proposal mounted last year, with some business owners and the Tulsa Regional Chamber and others, concerned the code would present a huge burden and limit growth.
Opponents expressed their disapproval at public workshop meetings.
On Wednesday, a large group of opponents showed up to a planning commission meeting at city hall and urged board members to hold off on approving the proposal.
"We support FBC but not this one. We clearly prefer a Chicago style code," said Brooke Hamilton, an opponent of the form-based code.
Hamilton's family started their business in the Pearl four decades ago.
The Chicago-style code to which Hamilton referred is seen by many opponents as less complex and easier to understand.
At times, planning commissioners didn't seem to agree on what option to take themselves.
After hearing from both sides, commissioners finally decided to re-examine the current proposal.
The re-examination means several issues brought up in public workshops will likely be addressed and the proposal could be amended before it is brought back before the planning commissioners for a vote.
With neither side willing to back down, the controversy over form-based codes will likely continue.
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