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Some Tulsa Residents Express Concerns Over Proposed Zoning Changes

Some people who live in a Tulsa neighborhood are concerned about proposed zoning changes.

The proposed changes would allow more developers to build apartments and condos in the area.

Cathy Skalla has lived in the Riverview neighborhood for 30 years. She loves the area’s historic and eclectic feel. She said it’s really a tapestry of homes with different colors and sizes, many of them build before World War II.

“Our neighborhoods are all unique from each other and this one in particular has the greatest diversity of residential housing in the entire city of Tulsa,” Skalla explained. 

Skalla is now spending her days going door to door getting neighbors to sign a petition against the city’s new proposed Neighborhood Infill Overlay.

The plan changes the zoning restrictions in five Tulsa neighborhoods, including Riverview. The city said its goal is to bring more apartments and condos to the area.  

The overlay would reduce lot area requirements, lot widths, and reduce the distance buildings can be from the street. Skalla and some neighbors said there are already enough apartments, and they don’t want more.

“We just don’t want to see the charm and the singular look of pre-World War II single-family homes overshadowed by modern construction. It will eliminate the voice that the residence currently has,” Skalla said. 

On its website, the city said the overlay will help people of all income levels have more housing options. Skalla said she just doesn’t want to her neighborhood to lose its charm. 

“We have a blend of all that this overlay is trying to encourage, so we are going to ask to be excluded from this overlay,” Skalla added. 

The Tulsa City Council will vote on the overlay proposal Wednesday night.