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City Council tables North Tulsa development plans after public outcry

Posted at 11:50 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 00:50:39-04

TULSA -- The Tulsa City Council unanimously tabled urban renewal plans Wednesday night after hundreds packed the chambers in an uproar.

"You want us to trust you, but urban renewal as you call it, for us that means urban removal," said Joy Smith Williams, a North Tulsa resident.

One resident after the next pleaded their case to the City Council on two urban renewal plans in North Tulsa, many saying they were blindsided.

"No one has discussed what’s going to happen but more importantly we didn’t even know about this," said Kristi Williams, a North Tulsa resident.

Nearly 50 community members signed up to have their voices heard. Many of them say they live in homes passed down from several generations, and hope that history doesn't repeat itself.

"Urban renewal in the 60's, our home was torn down, and an old home replaced that home, a little paint was thrown on it and that was called renewal," said Brenda Nails Alford, a North Tulsa resident.

In the plans for the Crosbie Heights and Greenwood areas, the Tulsa Development Authority (TDA) said as a last resort they'd use eminent domain and potentially condemn houses for development purposes. Residents question why they're focusing on homes when North Tulsa economically has been ignored.

"You have not seen anything come into Tulsa not even a grocery store," said Cedric Haynes, a North Tulsa resident.

After several hours of public comment, TDA offered to host town hall meetings on both plans in an effort to increase communication and transparency.

"This doesn’t work for TDA, the city, or our citizens, we need to be hand and glove with this thing," said O.C. Walker, Executive Director of TDA.

Councilman Ben Kimbro called on TDA to "radically reform the way you do business and inform the community."

Both plans were tabled indefinitely.

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