Lou Reynolds:Attorney 2

Lou Reynolds


Q: Why should people care that the Zoning Code is changed?

A: People should care about the new zoning code because of its relationship with the Comprehensive Plan and private property rights. At its most basic level, the purpose of Tulsa’s recent Comprehensive Plan was to put land to the use for which it is best suited. The new zoning code contains the procedures and substance necessary to implement the Comprehensive Plan without unduly impeding private property rights.

Q: What do you believe is the most important proposed change made to the Zoning Code? Explain why the change is significant and its impact on the community.

A: The mixed-use commercial zoning categories are probably the most important proposed change in the new zoning code. These new categories are well crafted, and are significant, as they introduce a measured and appropriate amount of form-based elements into our zoning process. Hopefully, this will facilitate more of the exciting and necessary infill development that some Tulsans have been reticent to embrace.

Q: What proposed change was not made to the Code that you wish had been made?

A: I wish that the new zoning code was simpler. The new zoning code contains considerably more regulations than the old zoning code, and I have rarely seen a community regulate its way to the intended result. Along with these additional regulations, unless managed properly, will come more bureaucracy, expenses, delay and resultant risk.

Q: Do you believe the Code changes have made developing a project in Tulsa easier or harder? Why?

A: We can only hope that the new zoning code will make developing a project in Tulsa easier. However, this may not happen since so much of the opposition to projects is based on emotion, misinformation and other personal interests, and the best interests of the neighborhood and certainly the city as a whole are often ignored, not to mention the property rights of the developer.

Q: What issue in the proposed Zoning Code update would you encourage City Councilors to examine most closing? Why?

A: I would encourage the city councilors to examine the work of the Citizens Advisory Team, which over a period of months worked with the consultants and city staff to maximize the potential of the new zoning code and to minimize the potential negative and unintended consequences of the new zoning code to our city and its citizens.

The expertise, effort and work of the Citizens Advisory Team was performed in open public meetings and should be respected over later efforts to work around or otherwise manipulate the work of the Citizens Advisory Team. These later efforts were affected by later amendments that were submitted after the Citizens Advisory Team was disbanded. This prevented such amendments from being thoroughly vetted and discussed openly by the Citizens Advisory Team.

Q: If you were king or queen for a day and you could change one thing about the new Zoning Code, what would you change?

A: I would change the new zoning code to simplify it and eliminate the influence politics can have on the decision making process.