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Pearl District homes could be in danger

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 19:23:45-05

TULSA, Okla. — Homeowners in Tulsa's Pearl District are worried they may be forced to leave their homes.

The city says a flood plan has been in place for decades, and these homes were just recently purchased.

"It's really terrifying, the idea that everything could change and you don't have any control over it. It's really hard for just a family, my families done really well," John Dawson said.

Dawson bought his home in the Pearl District two summers ago, he says he spent a long time remodeling.

After learning his home is in the middle of the cities flood redevelopment plan, he decided to fight back.

"To get the condemnation papers is really a gut shot and just a really scary, because we wanna live there, we wanna live in the neighborhood," said Dawson said. "We like it exactly where we are."

The cities engineer Paul Zachary says he realizes it's frustrating, so they've put all plans on hold for now.

"I mean we appreciate anyone who wants to invest that kind of money and wants to rebuild their homes," Zachary said. "We just want to make sure that they are caught up on the processes of what's been going on now for almost 20 years plus."

Zachary says the plan is to give city counselors, and residents the chance to get informed of the data collected over the last few decades.

He's hoping they can find a new plan to move forward in January.

"We need to look at, is there anyway to save their properties, and one of them that sits right in the middle of the facility. We've looked at that enough to know there is not much we can do for it," Zachary said.

The city is using eminent domain to redevelop the area.

Which means the city has the right to take away private property for public use.

"We are not going out and acquiring more land than what we need just to reconstruct the facility," Zachary said.

"We are just kind of concerned that based on the cities plans and the way that they wanna proceed, we won't be living anywhere near where we live now," Dawson said.

The city says when this neighborhood was originally built, the storm sewage was too small.

Which explains why a master drainage plan was created back in the late 1980s.

At tonight's city council meeting, residents will have the chance to voice their concerns for the future of their homes.

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