Eminent domain? City Council hears from Tulsans irate over north Tulsa development plans

“The City Council on Wednesday heard from dozens of Tulsans who are vehemently opposed to two development plans proposed by the Tulsa Development Authority. It was Councilor Ben Kimbro, however, who best summed up the emotions of the hundreds of people who attended the meeting.

“I am profoundly disappointed in this calamity caused at the hands of TDA,” Kimbro said.

Then, in his inimitable style, he added: “In fact, if I ever needed guidance on p—— off a bunch of people, you all would be the first people I would call.”

Kimbro made his remarks after listening for 90 minutes as speaker after speaker railed against the two development plans — the Crosbie Heights Sector Plan and the Greenwood/Unity Heritage Neighborhoods Sector Plan — and what they claimed was TDA’s failure to communicate the details of the proposals.

The speakers’ main concern: language in the development plans that empower TDA to acquire blighted property — by purchasing it or through eminent domain — for private development and other revitalization efforts.

The council, at Kimbro’s behest, voted to table the development plans, but not before he made clear that things would have to change before TDA would ever get council approval for anything again.

“It is my want and desire — it is my insistence — that TDA is going to shape up its ship — that you radically reform how you do business and how you engage the community,” he said.

Many speakers said they had no idea the plans were even in the works and questioned TDA’s motives in using eminent domain to acquire properties.”
read the entire article
Canfield, Kevin. Tulsa World 27 March 2019