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OKLAHOMA STANDARD: Viewer helps Tulsa County man's journey to housing

PROBLEM SOLVERS: Camper electricity (Man & Dog)
PROBLEM SOLVERS: Camper electricity (power poles)
PROBLEM SOLVERS: Camper electricity (camper)
Posted at 6:33 PM, Jun 11, 2024

TULSA CO., Okla — As temperatures started soaring, Terry Crow believed he found an affordable housing solution for himself and his dog, Zeus.

A home where the two could live in air-conditioned comfort instead of sweltering without it. He bought a small plot of land in Tulsa County and a 5th wheel camper to put on it until he could afford to build a house.

PROBLEM SOLVERS: Camper electricity (camper)

"The land is paid for, the trailer's paid for, the electric pole is all paid for, it's all paid for." Terry Crow said, " I just need electric."

He had a power pole and breaker box installed to supply electricity to the camper, but the county inspector denied its installation.

PROBLEM SOLVERS: Camper electricity (power poles)

Why? The land is zoned as residential. Normally, that requires a permanent structure in order to hook up electricity. The county does not consider a camper a permanent structure.

Crow called 2 News Problem Solvers for help.

We learned he can ask the County Board of Adjustment for a variance, but it takes time.

The soonest Crow can get on the agenda is July 16. But, only if he paid $816 in fees by June 13 to cover the variance application and pay for mapping and notices of his request to go out to neighbors and be published in the newspaper.

Money he does not have.

WATCH: 2 news tells Crow's story:

Tulsa County man's affordable housing solution hits big snag

Once 2 News told his story, the public stepped up to help.

"Someone generously stepped up and decided to donate the fee for him," said Jay Hoyt, with INCOG's Planning Office. The person only wants to be identifed as Sheila from Ft. Gibson.

When he heard about the gesture, Crow's eyes welled up, "It's great that there are some kind people out there in this world."

The payment came in the nick of time.

The fee to get a hearing before the Tulsa County Board of Adjustment must be paid more than a month before the actual hearing date to give the county time to map the property, send out notices of the variance request to neighbors within 300 feet of the lot, and post notices in the newspapers.

Until the July 16 meeting, Crow and Zeus anticipate sweltering in the camper since there is no electricity to run the air conditioning.

PROBLEM SOLVERS: Camper electricity (Man & Dog)

His brother loaned him a small generator, it isn't powerful enough to run the A/C but can run a couple of fans.

Even with his chance to plead his case ensured, the outcome is not.

"It's unknown before the meeting whether they'll go for it or against it, and so there's no guarantee," said Hoyt.

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