By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The City of OKC wants to enlist the public’s help in preserving the City’s historic places. The City is asking for public input on why these sites are important and how to protect and revitalize them.
The first citywide historic preservation plan, preserveokc, kicks off with a public discussion from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 in the Civic Center Music Hall’s Meinders Hall of Mirrors, 201 N Walker Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Preserveokc is a recommendation of planokc, the City of OKC comprehensive plan adopted last year.
The Comprehensive Plan is the City’s main policy document that ensures growth and development to achieve long-range goals, such as provision of efficient City services and enhanced quality of life. Only three comprehensive plans have been adopted since Oklahoma City’s inception.
The City’s current comprehensive plan, The OKC Plan, 2000-2020, was an update of the 1977 plan. The planning process involves extensive public participation. For more information and to learn how to be involved, visit planokc.org.
According to the City website, the Planning Department works to improve the welfare of people and the community by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive place for present and future generations.
The new preserveokc plan will outline policies and incentives encouraging the preservation of OKC’s historic places.
“Every part of the city contributes to our character and our identity,” says City Historic Preservation Officer Katie Friddle. “Anyone interested in preserving Oklahoma City’s historic places should attend this meeting and help us shape the City’s future approach to preserving our past.”
The Oklahoma City Historic Preservation (HP) Commission oversees the City’s Historic Preservation District and Historic Landmark (HL) Overlay District, as well as other preservation-related activities. These two districts preserve places and areas of historical, cultural, architectural, engineering or archaeological significance throughout Oklahoma City.
HP and HL zoning requires review and approval of proposed changes to the exterior of a property by the Historic Preservation Commission. In the review, the Historic Preservation Commission applies the Design and Sustainability Standards and Guidelines for Oklahoma City Historic Districts.
City leaders believe that the kickoff meeting is the first step in one of the most important parts of preserveokc and that community input will continue to be essential to the process.
Interested residents can also complete an online survey for preserveokc.
For questions concerning Oklahoma City’s Historic Preservation Program, contact Katie Friddle at 405-297-3084 or [email protected].