The City of Moore has formally adopted a new plan to reshape Old Town with road and sidewalk improvements and new zoning.
The city council unanimously approved the Old Town Revitalization Plan. The move paves the way for additional projects in the future, though it does not establish an additional funding source.
It will now serve as a framework going forward. Danielle McKenzie, Council member for Ward 1 who also served on the Old Town Revitalization Plan committee, said it fulfills the need for the city and residents to establish a vision for an important part of town.
The council’s approval caps the Community Development led effort to craft the plan. That included a series of public meetings for input to determine what residents liked, disliked and wanted to see in Old Town.
“The biggest part is we hadn’t updated the planning for Old Town for some time,” McKenzie said. “It didn’t reflect the direction we wanted it to go. This plan doesn’t change anything immediately.”
The revitalization plan includes multiple aspects of the infrastructure in Old Town, which covers the area from N. 3rd Street to S. 4th Street and from Interstate 35 to just east of Turner Avenue. Some of the main goals include making the area more walkable, safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and establishing modern zoning based on what residents believe the downtown area should look like.
Part of the plan to make the area more walkable includes paths linking Central and Kiwanis Parks to the planned Old Town Park. Future street projects will incorporate bike lanes and visibility for pedestrians.
“I’m really excited about the thought put into connecting the destinations that are already there but separated,” McKenzie said. “There’s some multi-use trails that connect Old Town Park to Central Park. I’d love to see it be a destination that is walkable and connects people and can be used for those events that we have.”
Special events could use on-street parking on Main, Howard and Broadway, with parking also planned for SW 1st and SW 2nd Streets. Overflow parking would be available in lots both west and east of the railroad tracks on both sides of Main Street. This would require approval from BNSF.
The zoning changes introduce new, Old Town-specific classifications for housing, commercial and mixed use areas.
Town Center is the main retail area, with residential properties confined to the upper stories of buildings. A setback of zero to five feet puts these buildings closer to the sidewalk.
Residential mixed-use serves as a “buffer” between commercial and heavier residential areas, Kirkpatrick said. It still could include retail shops, and the larger setback, with a maximum of 10 feet, would allow for enhanced patio space for, say, outdoor dining.
Medium-density residential allows for small apartment complexes, with a 15-unit maximum (though Kirkpatrick said the limit is debatable). Single-family dwellings in the form of duplexes, town-homes or condos would be allowed in this zone, with a maximum of 2-3 stories.
Finally, a single-family residential area would be a strict no-commercial zone. Roofs would be pitched or gable-styled, not flat like in other zones, and these properties would be allowed to have a smaller dwelling in the back or above the garage, also known as “granny flats.”
These changes will need time to develop, as the plan notes. McKenzie said this ensures that should anything major happen in Old Town — whether a new developer looking to build or even a natural disaster — a framework will be in place for the coming construction.
Some of the already improved projects that fit in the revitalization plan are already under way. The Old Town Park, including a trail connection to the area, is already funded through a quarter-cent sales tax. Rebuilding Turner Avenue to include sidewalks, bike lanes and improve drainage is also already funded.
Similar road rebuild projects have been identified for NW 2nd, NW 1st, SW 1st and NW 2nd, though the plan notes these have no funding source yet. The city will also need to continue drainage improvements in the area.