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Midtown video billboard draws controversy, raises questions about approval process

Posted at 10:09 PM, Aug 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-11 08:26:16-04

It's up and running now-- but this video billboard near 41st and Yale causing controversy for the neighbors who live around it.

Homeowners want to know who approved the project and was it vetted through the proper channels?

The project raising eyebrows and drawing complaints.

"It just feels like now we want to make an area that's pretty hideous with a great big commercial sign,” said Claire Harkness.

HhHarkness lives four blocks north of the billboard.

"It seems like a hostile act on the landowners part to take a piece of property that by the neighborhood's covenants is restricted to residential use and to purposefully seek out opportunities to use it commercially,” said Harkness.

But the property the City of Tulsa said is considered 'restricted land'--given to a tribal member and controlled by the federal government.

This post by Tulsa City Councilor Ben Kimbro calling out the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for skirting the city's planning and zoning process.

A spokesperson for the Muscogee Creek Nation said it had nothing to do with this property and is demanding an apology from Councilor Kimbro.

“We started drilling Monday morning," said Jeff Gordon, owner of Gordon Outdoor Advertising.

The billboard owner said he went through all the proper channels, but wouldn't share the details.

“And first and foremost--I've tried every one of them that I've talked to personally I've tried to sincerely tell them we're absolutely not trying to do anything adverse here. I built the sign--we kicked it up where there's no line of sight issues," said Gordon.

Gordon said he spent three years securing this property for his billboard... and hopes it will work out.

“I know just given a little bit of time this will end up definitely being an asset to everything around here, but we get it everybody is touchy right now and I understand that and I'm wide open to any homeowners that want to talk to me," said Gordon.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation said it was aware of the lease on the land, but the process doesn’t go through them.

The City of Tulsa's legal department is already examining options to seek recourse.


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