March 10, 2010
Madam Chair, Members of TMAPC:
My name is Jim Beach. I have served on the PLANiTULSA Citizen’s Committee since its beginning. I work at Wallace Engineering as a land development consultant and have worked in this industry in Tulsa since 1980. Nine of those years were as an INCOG employee serving as staff to the Board of Adjustment and TMAPC. I’ve been a Tulsan since 3rd grade when my family moved here in 1962. I’m very excited about the possibilities PLANiTULSA offers.
PLANiTULSA is visionary and well conceived. It reflects the best work of over 6,000 passionate, involved Tulsans, many bright and dedicated City staff members and the leadership of a first rate consultant with experience creating first rate plans for cities of all sizes and cultures. PLANiTULSA has all the ingredients of a world class policy document. Please, adopt it substantially as written.
Reading through the many comments and suggestions, I see a tendency for many to forget that this is an overall policy document, not a regulatory document. It will guide the decisions that result in small area plans and zoning regulations that will ultimately guide individual developments. But by itself it does not contain area plans or prescriptive regulations. It lays out a sustainable strategy for land development, transportation, economic development, housing and open space. It sets forth policies that will help create the Tulsa that so many people have already made clear they want.
PLANiTULSA does not threaten anyone’s livelihood. It creates opportunity. But with that said, it’s scary to be in the development business right now because those of us who know how to make our living under the current system are facing uncertainty. As a site development consultant, I know how to advise my clients today. I can fairly well predict what processes they will have to go through to accomplish their projects. I can reasonably expect a predictable and fair profit in this familiar environment. I don’t know how I will advise my clients under the as yet unknown new regulations or whether I’ll be able to keep up with the change and remain competent. That’s a bit unnerving.
But, my gut says that with a glass half full and an ordinary amount of creativity and adaptability, I will succeed as a development consultant in the future. I, and most other consultants, will succeed because our clients will find new ways to create projects where none have been possible. The changes will occur slowly and incrementally. We will all have time to adapt. The future Tulsa will be vibrant, economically healthy, attractive to businesses large and small, and will be a community where people will flourish. The development environment will be active, exciting and more inspiring than it’s ever been. Those conditions are a great place to succeed.
PLANiTULSA clearly has all the components to help redirect us from the unsustainable status quo into a successful new future. I strongly urge you to adopt this plan so we can get on with the change!