On Monday, after a public hearing, Shawnee City Commissioners approved an ordinance to rezone 7109 N. Kickapoo from A-1; Rural Agricultural District to A-1; Rural Agricultural District with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a variety of temporary open air market uses.

On Monday, after a public hearing, Shawnee City Commissioners approved an ordinance to rezone 7109 N. Kickapoo from A-1; Rural Agricultural District to A-1; Rural Agricultural District with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a variety of temporary open air market uses.

According to the permit filed Dec. 11, 2017, the proposed use would be for a craft, flea and farmers market. Events are planned to take place up to twice per month.

Though the property is 157 acres, the owner's focus at this time concerns using the southwestern-most portion. The goal is to operate the events on the 10 acres at the northeast corner of Kickapoo and Garrett's Lake Road.

“If the venture proves successful, the applicant may explore commercial rezoning in the future,” City Planner Justin DeBruin said in his staff review.

In a submitted letter to DeBruin, applicant Nelmon Brauning said, the overall intent for the 157 acres on N. Kickapoo & Garretts Lake Rd. is to develop a very nice area for the citizens of Shawnee and the surrounding area to enjoy a relaxing time with their family and friends, to shop and sell their goods to the public and have fun doing it.

“It will also bring revenue into Shawnee businesses such as hotels, restaurants and shopping,” she said. “(The owner's) plan is to someday have something like the one in Canton, Texas.”

To start, the hours will probably be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, she said.

At this time, she said, “we are only doing a temporary site, testing the market before going to the expense of engineering and building permanent structures.”

She said gravel roads will be created on the property and parking will be on the grass.

“There will be a porta pots service and employees to pick up trash as well dumpsters on the premises,” she said.

At this time, Brauning said the owner cannot see any excessive noise concern that should be addressed.

DeBruin appeared to agree.

“Because the property is quite large, it seems evident that temporary events will be located in manner that creates a significant degree of separation from neighboring properties,” DeBruin said.

He said the use request conforms with City Zoning Code, as well as the Comprehensive Plan.

Because the City does not have a permitting process for events on private property, aside from those involving the use of public property, he said the city's major concerns are ensuring appropriate hours of operation, honoring the temporary nature of the this request with limited event frequency, providing adequate on-site parking and circulation, limiting adverse effects on neighboring land and generally ensuring proper health, safety and welfare standards.

“With that in mind, staff has spent time reviewing private event permitting guidelines from appropriate Oklahoma municipalities to assist in conditioning such a use in Shawnee,” he said.

If approved with the 12 conditions, the applicant will be required to submit an Event Plan (with map), ensuring a well-planned and safe event that minimizes adverse effects on surrounding property owners, DeBruin said.

When determined necessary by the Planning Director, said plan will be distributed to appropriate city staff for further review. If conditions of the event do not

change, the EventPlan may serve to satisfy requirements for additional events in the same year, up to two times per month, he said.

Until the process can be refined by city staff in the future, DeBruin recommended to limit the CUP to one year.

There was one area resident who came forward in opposition to the request during the meeting.

Peggy Baker shared her trash and traffic concerns with commissioners.

She said living near the industrial park, she already sees a lot of trash gathering along her ditches in front of her home and traffic is already pretty heavy.

“There's a lot of traffic on Garrett's Lake Road; if I'm not mistaken, there's been more deaths at that corner (Garrett's Lake and Kickapoo) than just about any intersection north of town. There's been quite a few over the years,” she said.

She said she's not against business, but wishes these types of markets might establish themselves on Main Street in the community's older historic buildings.

“I wish people would populate downtown Shawnee a little bit more, in some of these beautiful old buildings,” she said. “We have several open-air markets around.”

Baker said she would rather see a legitimate business that brings lots of jobs to town than individual vendors.

“I'm not saying they wouldn't be a source of income, but I have nightmares of seeing trash all over; the wind blows like crazy out there. Not getting trashy, I think is a pipe-dream. And I think the parking in open dirt will be more of an eye-sore to the city.”

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