Ponca City Commissioners hold public hearings

May 14, 2024 | Headlines

PONCA CITY — The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on May 13 with Mayor Homer Nicholson, commissioners Stephanie Austin, Robert Bodick, Garrett Bowers and Kelsey Wagner present. Commissioners held public hearings concerning zoning on two locations and heard from three citizens during public comments.

Public Hearings

3607 Lake Road Zoning

Commissionets conducted a public hearing and approved an ordinance zoning real property located at 3607 Lake Road, from C-1 Local Commercial to C-2 General Commercial, and directed the Development Services Director to change the official zoning map of the City accordingly, and directed the City Clerk to file of record. 

The applicant purchased the property in 2003 and subsequently developed it as a carwash. The carwash later closed and has been for sale since 2022. The owner would like to use the property and building to store vehicles and materials associated with his local commercial roofing business.    

In 2003, vehicle washing facilities were a permitted use in the C-1 Local Commercial district. In 2009, the City adopted a Master Plan that contained a number of land use recommendations, one of which suggested there be a more distinct separation and difference between the local commercial district and the general commercial district when it came to permitted land uses. In 2012, the Zoning Code was amended to achieve this goal, and in the process, a carwash was no longer a permitted use in the C-1 Local Commercial district, because of its negative characteristics including long hours of operation, significant nighttime lighting, and noise generated by the operation. As a result of amendments to the Zoning Code initiated by the City, the carwash has operated for years as a legal non-conforming use.

The Zoning Code permits Specialty Building Trade Contractors, such as roofing companies, in the C-2 General Commercial district. However, the perimeter of the site must be screened from view by a suitable fencing material or vegetation, so the vehicles and materials stored onsite cannot be easily viewed by the public. The owner is aware of this requirement for screening and will erect a chain link perimeter fence and gates with interwoven slat materials to significantly reduce the view of the vehicles and materials stored on the site.

The current zoning pattern along the north side of Lake Road is primarily C-1 Local Commercial, with the exception of one parcel located immediately west of the Dollar General retail store. That parcel has been zoned General Commercial since the Ranchwood Manor subdivision was originally developed back in the late 1970’s. In 2018, the corner, where the Dollar General store is now located, was considered for general zoning, specifically for a marijuana dispensary. The petition was denied by the Planning Commission (under heavy protest by area residents) and was later withdrawn before it could be heard by the City Commission. The zoning petition did have merit, considering it was adjacent to an existing parcel zoned C-2 General Commercial and the site fronted upon a heavily traveled roadway.

On May 7, 2024, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended the approval of the ordinance zoning 3607 Lake Road C-2 General Commercial.

3802 North Pleasant View Road Zoning

Commissioners conducted a public hearing and approved an ordinance zoning real property located at 3802 North Pleasant View Road, from R-1 Single Family Residential to C-2 General Commercial, and directed the Development Services Director to change the official zoning map of the City accordingly, and directed the City Clerk to file of record. The zoning petition concerned a portion of a largely undeveloped 60-acre parcel of land located north of Knight Ave. and west of north 14th Street. A 5.07-acre parcel has been carved out, immediately north of the former Vining Rental building and property, for the relocation of a local body shop and storage yard. In 2019, the Vining property was zoned to C-2 General Commercial to make way for the placement of a new cell tower.  

The current zoning pattern in the area is primarily residential, with the exception of the Vining tract and further south, the Lowe’s store, both of which are zoned C-2 General Commercial. Similar zoning districts can also be found directly to the east, across the divided portion of the highway, and at the corner of north 14th Street and Hubbard Road, where the boat dealership is located. The property is identified in the City’s Master Plan as suitable for future commercial and industrial growth opportunities.

On May 7, 2024, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended the approval of the ordinance zoning 3802 North Pleasant View Road to C-2 General Commercial.

Public comments

Resident Edward Dean Hulbert spoke to commissioners about the need for trash cans at certain locations. Hulbert said he hates shoes and shouldn’t have to worry about stepping on trash.

April Moore addressed the commission about the refurbishing of Ambuc Pool and the possibility of lap swimming being eliminated. Moore said that her daughter is a competitive swimmer and that the sport is losing ground with places to practice. She asked commissioners to consider leaving a few lap lanes at Ambuc Pool.

Joel Si McBlair approached with his Bible to speak as he has at many recent meetings. As McBlair prepared to speak, Nicholson instructed him to speak about city business only. McBlair ignored Nicholson and proceeded to read Proverbs 24. McBlair said that he went to Kay County Court on April 24 for reading the Bible and that he has a court date set for June. Court records show that McBlair is appealing a sentence that was levied on Jan. 9, 2024 on a charge of disturbing the peace, reading the Bible. A non-jury trial is set for June 28. McBlair shared his thoughts on Ponca City police and stated that reading the Bible is not a crime.

Fiscal Year 2024-25 Budget

Commissioners conducted a public hearing on the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25. The Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget process is in the fifth month of preparation and is nearing completion. Most recently, the commissioners met in open meetings on April 15 and 16, with every department to discuss operations and the proposed budget. The proposed budget was summarized in the format required by State law and published in the Ponca City News on Saturday, May 4, 2024. A public hearing is required by the Municipal Budget Act to be held not less than five days after publication and at least 15 days prior to the beginning budget year, which will begin July 1. Although there have already been several open meetings where the budget was discussed and the City Commissioners receives public input throughout the year, the public hearing meets the official State requirement and gives any person a chance to present to the governing body any comments, recommendations or protests on any part of the proposed budget. The City Manager is slated to present the budget to commissioners on May 28.

Nicholson presented a proclamation proclaiming the week of May 19-25, 2024 as Emergency Medical Services Week and asked all Ponca City residents to recognize the contributions of those who work on the medical front line.

Consent Agenda

Under the Consent Agenda, commissioners approved the minutes of the April 22 meeting and work session held May 6; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the City of Ponca City; a resolution amending the operating budget of various funds for Fiscal Year 2023-24; a resolution appointing members to various boards and commissions and establishing the terms of office; a resolution designating certain fund balance accounts of governmental fund types, and directing the Finance Director to implement the terms of the resolution; a resolution authorizing the Finance Director/City Clerk to destroy municipal records under his control and according to State Statute; a resolution designating certain City employees as purchasing officers with authority to make purchases against City and municipal trust appropriations for annual Fiscal Year 2024-25; a resolution setting non-utility rates, fees and charges for the City of Ponca City and the Ponca City Utility Authority; and a ratification of the City Manager’s action taken to renew a contract with HCC Direct, for individual and aggregate re-insurance on the City’s health insurance benefit plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Reports

Under Reports, City Manager Craig Stephenson reported that the City of Ponca City will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 27. 

• City Hall Offices, the Ponca City RecPlex, and the Ponca City Landfill will close and will reopen Tuesday, May 28.

• Residential Refuse will not be picked up Monday, May 27, and will resume on Tuesday. As there will be no residential trash collection on Monday, May 27, residents are asked to put trash out on the scheduled day of collection. Trash left out overnight or for several days is susceptible to scatter from animals and/or weather which can result in a City code violation.

• The Ponca City Senior Center and the Ponca City Library will be closed Saturday May 25 and reopen Tuesday, May 28.

• Marland’s Grand Home and the Marland Mansion and Estate will be closed Sunday, May 26 and will reopen Tuesday, May 28.

• Lew Wentz Golf Course will be open Monday, May 27.

Stephenson invited the public to attend the Ponca City Library’s annual Touch-A-Truck event, to get an up-close view of large trucks and cars, 9 a.m. until noon on June 1. A quiet hour will be held from 9 a.m-10 a.m. for those with auditory sensitivity. Registration will be available during the event for the Library’s summer reading program, Adventure Begins At Your Library. The reading program begins June 1, and those who finish the program by Aug. 2 will receive coupons and an entry for one of the raffle prizes.

Stephenson said that the Ponca City Senior Center and RSVP Senior Resources will host a monthly Retirement Series: Retire Happy – Make Retirement the Best Years of Your Life at the Ponca City Senior Center, 319 W. Grand Avenue at 5:30 p.m. The monthly sessions will include Retirement Planning Part 2 on May 16, Estate Planning – Legal Documents on June 20, Navigating Social Security and Medicare on July 18, Preparing Emotionally for Retirement on Aug. 15, Planning with the End in Mind on Sept. 19, and a Retirement Fair at the Carolyn Renfro Event Center on Oct. 17.

PONCA CITY UTILITY AUTHORITY

PCUA Consent Agenda

Under the PCUA Consent Agenda, the PCUA Trustees approved the minutes of the PCUA regular session held April 22, 2024; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the PCUA of Ponca City, and a resolution setting non-utility rates, fees and charges for the Cityand the PCUA.

To watch the meeting visit the city’s website here.