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City Council OKs rezoning, paving way for new store on Gore

The City Council unanimously approved a rezoning request Tuesday that will allow a Lawton business to proceed with plans for a new convenience store/gas station on West Gore Boulevard.

Council members accepted the recommendation of the City Planning Commission and gave C-1 Local Commercial District zoning to three residentially-zoned lots on the northeast corner of Southwest 26th and Cornell, bringing those lots into conformity with the remaining lots contained in the tract on West Gore Boulevard that stretches from Southwest 26th to Southwest 27th streets, then south to Cornell Avenue. While the applicants initially had sought C-5 General Commercial District zoning on all the lots in that block (excluding only Arvest Bank at Southwest 27th and West Gore Boulevard), Carey Johnson told council members that he agreed with the CPC's recommendation to bring the three residential lots into C-1 zoning, then approve a Use Permitted on Review that would allow the new EZ GO facility and its convenience store with a drive-through window, car wash and gas station. The CPC recommendation on the Use Permitted on Review had been conditional upon the council agreeing with its recommendation to stay with C-1 zoning for all the lots in the tract.

The Use Permitted on Review approval covers the eastern half of the entire tract; five lots south of Arvest Bank will remain vacant.

The rezoning brought mixed reactions from residents who live on the south side of Cornell, which, like lots to the south and east, still hold residential zoning. 

A site plan shows a business that would have two access points on West Gore Boulevard, one on Southwest 26th Street and two on Cornell Avenue. It was those Cornell access points that drew the most attention from property owners who asked the council to either close those accesses or restrict the hours that vehicles could use them.

Theodore Symuleski said Cornell already is deteriorating and he fears the effect of increased traffic from the EZ GO, when matched with Cameron University students who already use the street. Symuleski asked the council to consider limiting the business to one access point, and to commit to a plan to upgrade Cornell between Southwest 25th and Southwest 27th streets.

Dr. Abbas Johari, who was representing himself and four other residents, concurred with Symuleski's assessment of Cornell and also asked the council to consider a plan that would ban public access from the EZ GO to Cornell between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Jamie Smith, who also lives on Cornell, said she also was concerned about lighting from the business, noting she lives directly across the street from what will be the new convenience store. Smith asked the council to consider Johari's suggestion or at least require barriers to block light.

The Lawton Constitution

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