Each topic contains a discussion of issues and goals, and describes how the City and its partners will go about accomplishing these goals.

Topic: Health

 

The initiatives below relate to health. Click on any initiative to view a full explanation and related policies.

We will build housing and neighborhoods that address the needs of citizens at all stages of their lives. Oklahoma City's citizens and their households have characteristics such as family size, income, age, and tastes that require diverse housing choices. In the past, the majority of new housing development has been single-family, detached, and owner-occupied on relatively large lots. We have also tended to separate housing by type and cost, encouraged by our zoning and subdivision ordinances. However, the private market and resident needs are moving toward greater diversification – different designs, densities, and prices, connected together into neighborhoods. Most housing is built privately, and builders, who respond to markets, cannot be forced to build certain kinds of products. City decisions should encourage both diversity and integration of housing types to the maximum degree possible. Implementing the LUTA concept will help remove statutory obstacles to projects that include diverse housing types and relate them to each other. Updated subdivision regulations will also require the street, pedestrian, and bicycle connectivity, common space, and housing variety needed to turn "pods" into communities.

Design standards can establish a baseline for quality development that respects the needs for both privacy and civic life, and incentives should reward builders and developers who innovate to build diverse, active communities.

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Maximize the use of all appropriate state, federal, local, and private funding for the development, preservation, and rehabilitation of housing affordable to a variety of income groups, including those that integrate low-income housing units in otherwise market-rate housing developments and support the creation and/or expansion of mixed-income communities.

Integrate housing rehabilitation programs with neighborhood revitalization programs. These programs should include assistance to property owners to renovate the existing housing stock with improvements that reduce utility and maintenance costs for owners and occupants, conserve energy, conserve water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Create and/or enhance Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) to increase their capacity to provide mixed-income housing, especially in targeted infill areas.

Prevent concentration of low-income populations by providing housing opportunities for all income groups in targeted redevelopment areas of the city with a particular focus on mixed-income projects, especially on those projects that have a public funding component.

Create regulations/standards/guidelines that focus on design and/or compatibility principles which are sensitive to the surrounding urban form, especially in areas that are stable or improving and whose character is well-established. These provisions should also help ensure compatibility between lower- and higher- intensity land uses.

In conjunction with City regulatory changes, such as significant modifications to zoning ordinances, building codes, or subdivision regulations, assess the effects of the proposed modifications on housing development costs and overall housing affordability, considering the balance between housing affordability and other objectives such as environmental quality, urban design quality, maintenance of neighborhood character and protection of public health, safety and welfare. This assessment should be integrated into the code amendment process, identify barriers to housing affordability, and include recommended mitigation.

Increase the viability of townhomes and condominiums as housing products by:

  • Adopting and supporting new local and state laws to increase consumer protection for condos and townhomes (e.g., better funding mechanisms and maintenance enforcement for common areas).
  • Requiring developers to demonstrate sustainable funding levels for common area and facility maintenance costs.

Support diversity and integration of housing unit types and sizes in all land use typology areas in order to meet the diverse needs of households of different sizes, generational needs, incomes, and preferences. New residential subdivisions should achieve a mixture of housing types within a unified development.

Avoid concentrations of apartment complexes. Instead, integrate multifamily units into neighborhoods with mixes of housing types or in mixed-use developments.

Amend the zoning ordinance to better accommodate the integration of various residential densities, building types, and styles.

Create design standards and guidelines for the design, materials, shared amenities, and accessibility of high density urban residential development. Standards and guidelines should promote privacy and livability in a high density, mixed-use environment.

Evaluate existing regulations for effectiveness in promoting density and mixed-use development and in addressing surface parking. Develop a new urban design code for downtown and other key districts to promote healthy mixes of land uses that are compatible and complementary.

Adopt subdivision regulations that ensure new neighborhoods meet the basic needs of residents while supporting an efficient development pattern. Regulations should cover:

  • Open space (passive and active),
  • Demonstration of sustainable funding levels for common area and facility maintenance costs,
  • Walkability and bikeability,
  • Internal and external street connectivity,
  • Block length,
  • Integration of uses,
  • Integration of a variety of home sizes,
  • Integration of a variety of unit types, and
  • Preservation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas.

Regulations could be based on a point scale to allow flexibility, while still requiring basic minimum thresholds be met.
New regulations should remove the existing requirement for development in Rural LUTAs to connect to water and sewer systems and establish a minimum one-acre lot size for lots with on-site sewer treatment.

We will protect key environmental features and use practices that minimize the impact of urban development. Resource protection follows two tracks: maintaining certain environmentally sensitive areas in predominately open uses and minimizing the impact of neighboring development. Policies for areas such as riparian areas and floodplains will preserve the integrity and general open quality of these features. Specific requirements should be fashioned around the characteristics of these resources. For example, floodways should be left as permanent open space, and floodplain development should be avoided.

The parallel track addresses development practices in areas that affect environmental resources. Examples include reducing densities, intensities, and impervious surface of development near environmental resources; incorporating buffers into project design; and prohibiting uses that present pollution risks in important groundwater recharge areas. These practices are discussed more fully in the greenokc chapter.

Land development regulations should advance these practices with both performance requirements and incentives such as conservation development. Conservation development techniques preserve resources within a project area by maintaining openness of sensitive areas and transferring their development potential to other parts of the site.

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Pursue grants, partnerships, and programs that accomplish the following:

  • Restore tree stands and wildlife habitats in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Acquire land or establish conservation easements in environmentally sensitive areas to reserve as permanent open space and protect wildlife and habitat.
  • Establish a comprehensive habitat management program.
  • Provide education and resources for proper use of pesticides and fertilizers, with special focus on encouraging integrated pest management and organic practices.
  • Provide education about land management practices that address fire suppression, invasive species, use of herbicides/pesticides, and overgrazing.
  • Promote the economic and aesthetic value of preserving Oklahoma City’s natural resources such as riparian areas, Cross Timbers forest, grasslands/prairie, bottomland forests, and wetlands.

Avoid under-grounding streams to the greatest extent possible. Where feasible, encourage the re-surfacing of buried streams. Limit the use of culverts or other structures that alter natural streams, and require designs that minimize impacts to stream health and function.

Using performance standards related to flow quantity, quality, and pattern, modify development regulations, codes, and policies to support the use of green infrastructure/low impact development techniques to mimic natural systems for developments within aquifer recharge zones with moderate or high vulnerability or in areas where streams and riparian areas have been channelized or developed (primarily in the Downtown, UH, and UM LUTAs). Low impact development techniques include but are not limited to:

  • Onsite treating or filtering of stormwater contaminants.
  • Discharging run-off as sheet-flow after passing through grassy or vegetated open space areas, rather than discharging run-off through concentrated outfalls.
  • Creating attractive open space amenities that double as stormwater detention, retention, and / or filtering systems.
  • Utilizing pervious pavement, pavers, or asphalt in appropriate locations (i.e. sidewalks, parking spaces, trails, patios, etc.).
  • Utilizing planters (at grade or raised), vegetated landscape strips adjacent to roads and parking areas, and alternative curbing designs (allowing stormwater to easily move from impervious areas to pervious areas), to encourage stormwater infiltration and temporary detention.
  • Rain Gardens
  • Bioswales
  • Green streets and alleys
  • Green roofs
  • Rooftop collection
  • Underground detention
  • Increased tree canopy preservation/tree planting
  • Land/open space conservation
  • Cluster development

Establish development regulations to help protect Oklahoma City’s water resources through standards that:

  • Require buffers, setbacks, and vegetation conservation requirements to protect riparian and littoral zones and filter waterborne pollutants from development activities and storm water runoff. Buffer widths should be based on water quality function and wildlife habitat needs.
  • Encourage natural drainage systems and methods for onsite infiltration and onsite sediment retention.
  • Require new developments to maintain or decrease the site’s pre-development runoff rate.
  • Allow low-impact development design features such as pervious pavement, rain gardens, landscaped parkways, and alternative curbing designs.
  • Reduce the amount of impervious surfaces allowed in buffer zones around Environmentally Sensitive Areas.
  • Restore watershed features such as forest, wetlands, and natural stream channels.

Revise policies, codes and development regulations to reduce the risk of damage resulting from flooding and preserve water quality and stream related habitat by avoiding alterations to the 100-year floodplain (as depicted on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map). Allow these areas to remain in their natural state to the greatest extent possible. Revised policies should allow positive alterations, such as restoration of natural riparian areas with appropriate vegetation.

Preserve wetlands in their natural state to the greatest extent possible to increase water quality, minimize quantity of runoff, and increase groundwater recharge. Maintain wetland headwaters and avoid the alteration of surface or subsurface drainage patterns that would eliminate, reduce, or severely alter the frequency and volume of water entering wetland areas.

Develop a comprehensive watershed management strategy that identifies programs, partnerships, actions, and incentives that the City and partners can take to protect the city’s water resources and aquatic areas. The strategy should address the following:

  • Creation of a Stormwater Master Plan.
  • Update to the City’s sediment control program and establishment of performance measures.
  • Coordinated watershed restoration projects.
  • Preparation and implementation of Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) and participation in studies to identify needs and opportunities for stream restoration, wetland creation and restoration, and storm water management.
  • Identification of opportunities to create wetlands to offset construction and other land development impacts.
  • Identification and utilization of “receiving lands” that can absorb storm surge overflows.
  • Public education on how to conserve water and minimize chemicals, pathogens, sediment, and nutrients in urban and rural watersheds.
  • Acquisition and protection of greenways, river buffers and flood prone areas.

Evaluate the City’s stormwater detention/retention requirements, including the current fee-in-lieu of program, and compare to current best management practices. Based on findings, modify codes, policies and development regulations to update stormwater detention/retention requirements. These requirements should focus on:

  • Reducing the risks of property damage due to flooding.
  • Managing runoff rates and minimizing stream bank erosion by ensuring that post-development runoff rates do not exceed pre-development rates, even in areas where risks of flooding have historically been low.
  • Maintaining surface water quality by managing the release of the first flush stormwater volume in order to encourage settling and filtering of particle and chemical pollutants before releasing water into adjacent water bodies.

Revise development regulations to require the following factors to be addressed in development and redevelopment proposals:

  • Preservation of existing natural resources, such as wooded areas, habitat areas, and floodplains.
  • Utilization of natural treatments and methods to stabilize or rehabilitate stream and river banks as a means to preserve downstream habitats.
  • Integration of a variety of native or compatible non-native, non-invasive plant species.
  • Mitigation of impacts of development on habitat, wildlife corridors, riparian and littoral areas, and water quality, through actions such as restoration or re-vegetation of disturbed natural areas and replacement of trees/habitat on-site or off-site.
  • Management of invasive plant and animal species.
  • Management and maintenance of natural areas, common areas and drainage areas.
  • Impact on surface and groundwater supply.
  • Impact on water quality caused by land uses and activities.
  • Impacts on floodplains, riparian and littoral areas and wetlands and areas with significant landforms.

In areas where standard on-site wastewater systems are not feasible (such as in areas with shallow or poor soils), require very low-density development or development that utilizes conservation design and a centralized treatment facility or other environmentally sensitive systems for wastewater treatment.

Develop a manual of best management practices that can be integrated into City codes. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Tree care and management.
  • Tree planting.
  • Tree protection.
  • Street trees (location, conflicts, maintenance, etc. – in addition to general tree care guidelines).
  • Placement of utilities (e.g., under streets vs. under park strips)
  • Low impact development techniques.
  • Habitat protection and restoration.
  • Conservation easements and/or subdivisions.

Revise the landscape ordinance to include the following:

  • Define terms such as invasive species, exotic/non-native species, and native/indigenous species
  • Require removal of invasive species from existing sites, and prohibit such species from being planted or maintained in new development.
  • Provide a reference list of native plants and drought-tolerant plants.
  • Provide incentives for using native and drought-tolerant plants and disincentives for using high-water plants and turf grass.
  • Establish requirements for using design practices that minimize the need for supplemental irrigation.

Preserve natural habitat, maintain wildlife food sources, and reduce the risk of propagating invasive plant species by utilizing vegetation native to Oklahoma, preferably central Oklahoma, for all mitigation and habitat restoration efforts associated with new development and redevelopment projects, public and private, to the greatest extent possible.

Establish an Urban Forestry Program and City Urban Forester position to achieve the following:

  • Measure and monitor tree canopy coverage and habitat on a regular basis so that any policies, programs, and regulations may be adjusted accordingly as situations change. Establish a process to maintain current data.
  • Develop and maintain regulations, policies, processes, and programs that focus on protection and preservation of native trees.
  • Provide assistance with proper tree selection, location, and maintenance to prevent power outages, reduce property damage, and coordinate emergency response during natural disaster events (excessive snow and ice, tornadoes, etc.), address the urban heat island effect, and reduce energy costs, etc.
  • Establish programs such as tree give-aways, neighborhood planting programs, and education workshops.
  • Provide resources to the public about tree selection, management, and care.
  • Seek grant funding for community tree planting to improve City parks, publicly maintained rights-of-way and other areas of the city.
  • Inventory the City’s street trees and develop a tree replacement program.
  • Partner with volunteer and nonprofit organizations to recruit volunteers for tree planting and maintenance and to coordinate community-wide tree planting efforts.

Develop and adopt a tree preservation ordinance that achieves the following:

  • Defines methods of preservation;
  • Defines situations where preservation of trees is mandatory versus optional;
  • Establishes incentives for tree preservation;
  • Establishes mitigation options if preservation cannot be accomplished; and
  • Establishes penalties for unauthorized tree removal.

Preserve mature healthy trees and incorporate them into the design of new development or redevelopment projects to the greatest extent possible. Include provisions and best management practices to ensure proper tree protection throughout the construction process. Best management practices include but are not limited to:

  • The use of proper pruning techniques;
  • Appropriate watering;
  • Installation of protective fencing at the drip lines of trees or groups of trees;
  • Designated material storage areas; and
  • Approved equipment and vehicle parking and maintenance areas.

Provide the public with resources, tools, and guidance to deal with environmental hazards, such as:

  • Information about safe disposal options for household contaminants such as motor oils, paints, computers, televisions, batteries, etc.
  • Information on environmental hazards, such as brownfield sites.
  • Information about funds available to assist with environmental cleanups.

Modify development and subdivision regulations, and City policies to minimize alteration of natural landforms and native vegetation and maximize retention of distinctive natural features for public and private projects.

Coordinate with local, regional, and State agencies to pursue initiatives and regulations that help reduce automobile emissions, such as:

  • Transitioning commercial and City fleets to alternative-fueled and hybrid vehicles;
  • Determining the feasibility of an idling restriction ordinance for all vehicles.

Establish development regulations that help improve air quality, including:

  • Specifying construction controls that reduce airborne dust;
  • Increasing landscaping and tree planting to absorb carbon dioxide and air pollutants; and
  • Encouraging development patterns and densities that support alternative modes of transportation in the urban LUTAs.

Promote improved air quality and reduced ground-level ozone levels by developing a public education program that will inform residents about the air quality benefits of:

  • Proper automobile maintenance
  • Proper maintenance and use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment
  • Limiting car idling times
  • Alternative fuels
  • Alternative / active transportation modes (public transit, walking, biking, car-sharing, etc.)
  • Reducing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT)
  • Employer sponsored emission reduction programs (carpooling, work from home, telecommuting, etc.)
  • Native landscaping (requiring less maintenance)
  • Energy efficient housing / buildings

Establish strategies, procedures and policies for City construction projects to achieve higher energy efficiency, including:

  • Implementing an energy management plan for City facilities.
  • Monitoring energy consumption of City facilities, tracking conservation progress, and communicating results to City administrators, employees, elected officials and the public.
  • Assessing water use in City facilities to identify opportunities for conservation and implement appropriate measures.

Partner with agencies, non-profits, and private entities to:

  • Implement a sustainable development online forum – an educational and networking resource that will inform the public about local opportunities and the benefits of sustainable development while increasing builder and developer participation.
  • Educate citizens on energy and water conservation opportunities both at work and at home.
  • Encourage appropriate re-use and reclamation of water in new development and redevelopment to reduce the reliance on potable water use.
  • Provide detailed cost-benefit information about green building practices to encourage increased use of such practices in Oklahoma City.
  • Reduce reliance on electricity produced by fossil fuel by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources in new development and redevelopment.
  • Explore mechanisms (incentives, regulations, programs) to divert demolition debris from landfills and redirect to facilities that can reuse these materials.
  • Establish a promotion/award program to showcase innovative development that utilizes low-impact development practices and energy-efficient building techniques / equipment, conserves riparian buffers, and extends greenway networks with hiking/biking trails.

Preserve overall landscape character and natural landforms (rolling hills, native vegetation, etc.) to the greatest extent possible.

Increase the amount of biodiversity-rich green space in urban and suburban areas by:

  • Integrating vegetation to support biodiversity in parks, gardens, trails, and green roofs. Native vegetation that provides food and habitat for native wildlife such as “micro prairies” and urban forests will have the greatest effect.
  • Encouraging optimal mowing practices on large lots that are adjacent to natural features.

Enrich natural biodiversity in agricultural areas by promoting practices that provide food, water, and habitat for wildlife and minimize negative impacts. Strategies to achieve the goal include:

  • Working with farmers, rancher, conservationists, sustainable agricultural organizations, and other stakeholders to develop a plan to conserve nature in farming and ranching landscapes.
  • Implementing optimal mowing strategies, which include harvesting grasses at a growing height of 10 plus inches; creating early successional habitat with burning, disking, and haying every 3-5 years; mowing from the center of a field outward to allow wildlife to escape the surrounding areas; adding flushing bars to mowing equipment to minimize bird injuries and death; leaving 4-6 inches of stubble after harvest to capture snow and water; harvesting or mowing after first frost to avoid disturbing bird nests and improve grass quality; and leaving portions of fields as standing crops.
  • Increasing nesting habitat.
  • Adopting best practices for fertilizer and pesticide applications.
  • Developing landscape conservation cooperatives.
  • Encouraging grassland ranching as an ecologically beneficial alternative to cultivation, particularly practices such as “mob grazing” that mimic natural grazing patterns.
  • Promoting ranching of bison, which benefit conservation efforts by dispersing seeds, increasing plant biodiversity, and enhancing groundwater recharge.
  • Restoring grassland on previously cultivated landscapes, particularly in buffer zones near natural features.
  • Encouraging and supporting agricultural parks that combine recreation and food production and foster appreciation for agricultural heritage.
  • Promoting sustainable intensification, which increases production and profitability while providing rich sources of habitat for biodiversity.

Protect and preserve natural resources, by:

  • Identifying and mapping valuable natural resources, such as, native prairies.
  • Maintaining a comprehensive inventory and assessment of natural resources and critical habitats.
  • Identifying opportunities to create an interconnected green infrastructure network throughout and beyond Oklahoma City’s municipal boundaries via existing trail and greenway projects, parks, stream corridors, and natural areas.
  • Seeking the voluntary sale of land or dedication of conservation easements on private land that is identified as critical habitat or is necessary to link wildlife corridors.
  • Pursuing protection of strategically identified natural areas by placing them in conservation easements or land banks, and reserving them for future use as open space and passive recreational areas.
  • Managing invasive plant and animal species.
  • Partnering with applicable State agencies and non-profit entities.

Strive to preserve natural open spaces, including native prairies, and re-plant native vegetation to take advantage of their drought tolerance and deep root structures that slow and adsorb stormwater runoff and reduce erosion by anchoring the soil.

Identify and protect critical habitats for state and federally listed threatened or endangered species.

Establish strategies, procedures and policies that prevent degradation or loss of critical habitat and sensitive areas, such as Cross Timbers, upland forests, wetlands, wildlife corridors, groundwater recharge zones, and riparian areas. Protection methods should ensure that placement of lots, alignment of roads, and installation of structures and infrastructure minimize disturbance of the environmentally sensitive areas using tools such as:

  • Directing development to appropriate locations;
  • Greenbelt preservation;
  • Assurance of no development in protected open space;
  • Clustering / conservation subdivisions;
  • Pervious surface treatments;
  • Density transfers; and/or
  • Conservation easements.

Ensure that strategies, procedures, and policies incorporate principles of connectivity, minimal fragmentation, representativeness, and heterogeneity.

Modify codes to allow residential clustering in rural land use typology areas, provided water supply and sewage disposal requirements are met, and permanently preserve nearby open space through means such as conservation easements.

Adopt subdivision regulations that ensure new neighborhoods meet the basic needs of residents while supporting an efficient development pattern. Regulations should cover:

  • Open space (passive and active),
  • Demonstration of sustainable funding levels for common area and facility maintenance costs,
  • Walkability and bikeability,
  • Internal and external street connectivity,
  • Block length,
  • Integration of uses,
  • Integration of a variety of home sizes,
  • Integration of a variety of unit types, and
  • Preservation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas.

Regulations could be based on a point scale to allow flexibility, while still requiring basic minimum thresholds be met.
New regulations should remove the existing requirement for development in Rural LUTAs to connect to water and sewer systems and establish a minimum one-acre lot size for lots with on-site sewer treatment.

We will provide good street connections within and between neighborhoods to provide a choice of routes and separate local traffic from major arterials. Good street connectivity has many benefits. By providing alternative routes for short distance trips, it indirectly increases the capacity of arterial streets. It also provides better quiet street opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improves the efficiency of delivering emergency access and city services.

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Maintain the traditional grid street pattern where it currently exists, reconnect it where possible, and keep alleys open and functioning. When improving older streets in neighborhoods, maintain original street widths and curb radii.

Improve the functionality and efficiency of the street network by:

  • Providing direct connections from residential developments to nearby places and to each other.
  • Providing street and sidewalk stubs to adjacent vacant land in anticipation of future development.
  • Connecting new development to existing street and sidewalk stubs, and to existing trail, open space, and bicycle networks.
  • Reducing block sizes and use of dead-end streets.
  • Maintaining the existing street grid to preserve connectivity and mobility options.

Revise subdivision regulations to include connectivity standards and guidelines that require greater street connectivity, and provide allowances for pedestrian and bicycle connections when street connectivity cannot be made.

Change subdivision regulations to determine the number of entries into a residential development based on number of lots in order to improve connectivity of the roadway network and emergency response.

Maintain existing alleys or construct new alleys where feasible to provide trash collection service and parking behind primary buildings and minimize curb cuts along the primary street frontage.

Target specific areas of the city for enhanced safety and proactive enforcement. Selection of target areas will be informed by the Intelligence Led Policing program, with coordinated involvement from Police, Code Enforcement, Public Works Department, Planning, and community-based organizations.

Evaluate development proposals to assess design components that contribute to or detract from safety and analyze emergency response capacity and capability.

We will design and implement a bicycle route system based on getting people to priority destinations. The current Bicycle Transportation Plan provides a two-phased network of potential bike routes. This network is based on evaluating various streets for bicycle suitability, and provides a solid foundation for implementation. The system should now be refined by considering destinations and designing routes that assemble on-street segments and trails into an entire network that serves multiple destinations.

We will incorporate appropriate support features such as bike parking and wayfinding signage into the system. On and off-street facilities function best with relatively inexpensive support facilities like parking and information graphics. Zoning ordinances and cost-sharing programs can both require, and encourage through incentives, bike parking for appropriate land uses, like major commercial, multi-family, and mixed use development. Desirable city actions include installing bike parking in public parking structures and business districts and encouraging bike "corrals" in which one parking space is dedicated to bike parking in neighborhood business districts.

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Identify areas that could be used to establish a greenbelt network throughout the City that connect major employment centers, commercial sites, parks, and key locations within major residential neighborhoods. Use the greenbelt as the backbone for a bicycle trails network which all other bicycle trails feed into.

Create and implement a citywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan that addresses riders of all levels.

Require the placement of secure, properly positioned bicycle parking within multi-family and commercial development, and in all public parking garages.

We will work as a community to create a supportive environment based on the principles of engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. The "5 E's" which the League of American Bicyclists views as the measures of a bicycle friendly community recognize that engineering (bicycle infrastructure) alone does not create a successful bicycle culture. The other components include:

  • Education, making cyclists and motorists aware of the rules and practices of safety and etiquette and their mutual rights and responsibilities as road users.
  • Enforcement, helping to ensure safety by enforcing rules that pertain to all users.
  • Encouragement, executing events and programs that promote bicycling and its many benefits.
  • Evaluation, establishing benchmarks and measurements to gauge the effectiveness of bicycling initiatives.

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Create and implement a citywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan that addresses riders of all levels.

Incorporate preventive health care and wellness education into public schools, recreation centers, senior centers, and technical/trade schools.

We will develop and implement a strategic plan for the city's pedestrian network, building on the foundation of the 2013 Sidewalk Master Plan for MAPS 3. The 2013 Sidewalk Master Plan was a significant step forward, including an analysis of pedestrian demand in different parts of the city. However, its primary purpose was to identify priority projects for a specific sidewalk construction category of MAPS 3. Many of these projects supply new sidewalks along major corridors with high demand, based on a systematic rating system. These are extremely important, but many other problems remain, including:

  • Neighborhood sidewalks on local streets that provide access to destinations such as schools and transit stops.
  • Barriers to pedestrian travel such as major intersections, long arterial street crossings, and signal timing.
  • Relationship of sidewalks to other parts of the active transportation network, including multi-modal streets, bicycle facilities, transit, connections to adjacent development, and trail access.

These issues require an expanded pedestrian system plan that:

  • Identifies a Complete Streets Network prioritizing pedestrian corridors that should be developed and funded as part of the city's transportation program. The MAPS 3 and previous bond issue study provide a starting point for this network.
  • Establishes standards for local sidewalk coverage and a process to evaluate pedestrian service on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. An example of such a standard would be provision of a complete and well-maintained web of sidewalks within a 1/2 mile walking radius of elementary and middle schools.
  • Identifies key pedestrian barriers that obstruct access for important user groups, including children and older adults. This effort should include standards and techniques to minimize these barriers.
  • Relates other active modes or facilities to the sidewalk network.
  • Provides a phased implementation program that may include individual categories of funding, such as neighborhood target areas and major network investments.

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Enhance the safety and walkability of the sidewalk network through:

  • Establishing a citywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan that includes an inventory of sidewalk locations and conditions, and priorities for enhancement.
  • Implementing sidewalk improvements through future bond issues, CIP projects or other sources of funding as prioritized in the citywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan.
  • Maintaining currency of the citywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan.
  • Explore the feasibility of the City assuming responsibility for sidewalk maintenance.

Establish requirements for providing alternate pedestrian routes when construction activity prohibits use of existing facilities.

We will develop a comprehensive strategy to improve water quality in Oklahoma City’s major watersheds, including standards against which development and management practices can be measured. Most of Oklahoma City’s water bodies are impaired and do not meet state or federal water quality standards, which increases costs and has negative impacts on recreation, public health, and fish and other aquatic species. We will take a comprehensive approach to address development standards and management practices to reverse water quality trends and bring water bodies into compliance with clean water standards. The approach will specify the water quality goals to be achieved in each watershed, identify the contributors to impaired water quality in each watershed, and utilize a combination of development standards, management practices, and targeted projects to achieve specified performance targets. Because water quality impairments arise from contamination at multiple scales, from individual properties to full watersheds, solutions must also be identified across scales.

We will make maximum use of green infrastructure, on-site storm water management, and other best practices to reduce the negative impact of floods and other significant events on water quality. Most waterway pollution in Oklahoma City results when rainwater or irrigation washes across lawns, agricultural areas, and impervious surfaces such as streets and parking lots. As it moves, it picks up fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbes and deposits these contaminants into waterways. Water is naturally filtered when it is allowed to seep into the ground, when it moves slowly enough that sediment settles out, and when it is taken up by trees and plants. However, while much of the infrastructure constructed to move stormwater, such as channelization of waterways and rerouting or disconnection of streams, is efficient at moving water, it also increases the volume and velocity of runoff. This creates additional problems such as polluting waterways, diminishing biological features, and even flash flooding.

Alternative solutions, such as green infrastructure and on-site stormwater management, are designed to address both flood control and water quality. Examples include vegetation buffers adjacent to lakes and streams, maintenance of natural drainageways, permeable pavement, low-impact development, and landscape designs to slow water runoff from parking lots and other large expanses of pavement. These methods can be incentivized or regulated in order to achieve specified performance standards. We will maximize the use of these practices, which conserve natural features and work with, rather than against, the landscape’s natural drainage patterns.

We will make maximum productive use of water resources by promoting appropriate and safe use of recycled water. Currently, most water that is used for irrigation comes from the drinking water supply or from underground aquifers. In the summer and during times of drought, irrigation on large sites, such as golf courses, depletes the water supply. Some cities have effectively used reclaimed water for large-scale irrigation. Reclaimed water is former wastewater that is treated to remove solids and impurities. Oklahoma City has tested this on a limited basis and found it to be safe and effective at limiting the use of water resources that are best reserved for other purposes.

We will restrict development densities or require community wastewater treatment in areas without sanitary sewer service. Most of the city’s territory outside the urbanized area lacks sanitary sewer service. Feasible sewer extensions will provide service that supports urban density to some of this area. However, much of the area lacks the population density or has topographic characteristics that make sewer extensions unlikely in the foreseeable future. In these areas, developments typically use on-site treatment systems, usually septic systems, to manage wastewater. These practices require large minimum lot sizes and are sometimes inadvisable because of soil conditions. In these areas, new development should either be limited to very low densities or required to use integrated conservation design with a centralized treatment facility or other environmentally sensitive systems for wastewater treatment.

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Avoid under-grounding streams to the greatest extent possible. Where feasible, encourage the re-surfacing of buried streams. Limit the use of culverts or other structures that alter natural streams, and require designs that minimize impacts to stream health and function.

Using performance standards related to flow quantity, quality, and pattern, modify development regulations, codes, and policies to support the use of green infrastructure/low impact development techniques to mimic natural systems for developments within aquifer recharge zones with moderate or high vulnerability or in areas where streams and riparian areas have been channelized or developed (primarily in the Downtown, UH, and UM LUTAs). Low impact development techniques include but are not limited to:

  • Onsite treating or filtering of stormwater contaminants.
  • Discharging run-off as sheet-flow after passing through grassy or vegetated open space areas, rather than discharging run-off through concentrated outfalls.
  • Creating attractive open space amenities that double as stormwater detention, retention, and / or filtering systems.
  • Utilizing pervious pavement, pavers, or asphalt in appropriate locations (i.e. sidewalks, parking spaces, trails, patios, etc.).
  • Utilizing planters (at grade or raised), vegetated landscape strips adjacent to roads and parking areas, and alternative curbing designs (allowing stormwater to easily move from impervious areas to pervious areas), to encourage stormwater infiltration and temporary detention.
  • Rain Gardens
  • Bioswales
  • Green streets and alleys
  • Green roofs
  • Rooftop collection
  • Underground detention
  • Increased tree canopy preservation/tree planting
  • Land/open space conservation
  • Cluster development

Establish development regulations to help protect Oklahoma City’s water resources through standards that:

  • Require buffers, setbacks, and vegetation conservation requirements to protect riparian and littoral zones and filter waterborne pollutants from development activities and storm water runoff. Buffer widths should be based on water quality function and wildlife habitat needs.
  • Encourage natural drainage systems and methods for onsite infiltration and onsite sediment retention.
  • Require new developments to maintain or decrease the site’s pre-development runoff rate.
  • Allow low-impact development design features such as pervious pavement, rain gardens, landscaped parkways, and alternative curbing designs.
  • Reduce the amount of impervious surfaces allowed in buffer zones around Environmentally Sensitive Areas.
  • Restore watershed features such as forest, wetlands, and natural stream channels.

Establish incentives such as a simplified permitting process, reduced application fees, and special recognition for projects that:

  • Utilize best management practices or other low-impact development methods for storm water management.
  • Bring buried streams to the surface and restore riparian habitat.
  • Install bridge systems instead of culverts for stream crossings to help maintain the natural ecosystem associated with the stream.

Revise policies, codes and development regulations to reduce the risk of damage resulting from flooding and preserve water quality and stream related habitat by avoiding alterations to the 100-year floodplain (as depicted on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map). Allow these areas to remain in their natural state to the greatest extent possible. Revised policies should allow positive alterations, such as restoration of natural riparian areas with appropriate vegetation.

Preserve wetlands in their natural state to the greatest extent possible to increase water quality, minimize quantity of runoff, and increase groundwater recharge. Maintain wetland headwaters and avoid the alteration of surface or subsurface drainage patterns that would eliminate, reduce, or severely alter the frequency and volume of water entering wetland areas.

Create a comprehensive wastewater program for areas not planned for service by the City’s sewer system. This includes:

  • Locating and mapping all existing decentralized sewage treatment systems.
  • Creating policies and regulations regarding septic system design, installation, maintenance, and testing.
  • Producing guidelines for alternative wastewater treatment, such as community wastewater systems.
  • Developing monitoring, testing, and inspection requirements and responsibilities.
  • Partnering with State agencies and other entities.

Develop a comprehensive watershed management strategy that identifies programs, partnerships, actions, and incentives that the City and partners can take to protect the city’s water resources and aquatic areas. The strategy should address the following:

  • Creation of a Stormwater Master Plan.
  • Update to the City’s sediment control program and establishment of performance measures.
  • Coordinated watershed restoration projects.
  • Preparation and implementation of Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) and participation in studies to identify needs and opportunities for stream restoration, wetland creation and restoration, and storm water management.
  • Identification of opportunities to create wetlands to offset construction and other land development impacts.
  • Identification and utilization of “receiving lands” that can absorb storm surge overflows.
  • Public education on how to conserve water and minimize chemicals, pathogens, sediment, and nutrients in urban and rural watersheds.
  • Acquisition and protection of greenways, river buffers and flood prone areas.

Evaluate the City’s stormwater detention/retention requirements, including the current fee-in-lieu of program, and compare to current best management practices. Based on findings, modify codes, policies and development regulations to update stormwater detention/retention requirements. These requirements should focus on:

  • Reducing the risks of property damage due to flooding.
  • Managing runoff rates and minimizing stream bank erosion by ensuring that post-development runoff rates do not exceed pre-development rates, even in areas where risks of flooding have historically been low.
  • Maintaining surface water quality by managing the release of the first flush stormwater volume in order to encourage settling and filtering of particle and chemical pollutants before releasing water into adjacent water bodies.

Revise development regulations to require the following factors to be addressed in development and redevelopment proposals:

  • Preservation of existing natural resources, such as wooded areas, habitat areas, and floodplains.
  • Utilization of natural treatments and methods to stabilize or rehabilitate stream and river banks as a means to preserve downstream habitats.
  • Integration of a variety of native or compatible non-native, non-invasive plant species.
  • Mitigation of impacts of development on habitat, wildlife corridors, riparian and littoral areas, and water quality, through actions such as restoration or re-vegetation of disturbed natural areas and replacement of trees/habitat on-site or off-site.
  • Management of invasive plant and animal species.
  • Management and maintenance of natural areas, common areas and drainage areas.
  • Impact on surface and groundwater supply.
  • Impact on water quality caused by land uses and activities.
  • Impacts on floodplains, riparian and littoral areas and wetlands and areas with significant landforms.

Revise the landscape ordinance to include the following:

  • Define terms such as invasive species, exotic/non-native species, and native/indigenous species
  • Require removal of invasive species from existing sites, and prohibit such species from being planted or maintained in new development.
  • Provide a reference list of native plants and drought-tolerant plants.
  • Provide incentives for using native and drought-tolerant plants and disincentives for using high-water plants and turf grass.
  • Establish requirements for using design practices that minimize the need for supplemental irrigation.

Provide the public with resources, tools, and guidance to deal with environmental hazards, such as:

  • Information about safe disposal options for household contaminants such as motor oils, paints, computers, televisions, batteries, etc.
  • Information on environmental hazards, such as brownfield sites.
  • Information about funds available to assist with environmental cleanups.

Establish development regulations that help improve air quality, including:

  • Specifying construction controls that reduce airborne dust;
  • Increasing landscaping and tree planting to absorb carbon dioxide and air pollutants; and
  • Encouraging development patterns and densities that support alternative modes of transportation in the urban LUTAs.

Develop an enforcement mechanism for the City’s Building Energy Code. Develop a healthy building code to support construction of durable, health-promoting and energy efficient buildings that incorporate proven green development practices, locally-sourced and environmentally responsible materials, water conservation fixtures, innovative design and construction techniques, and low waste construction practices. Incentivize their use with shorter approval procedures, priority permits and inspections, and reduced fees.

Partner with agencies, non-profits, and private entities to:

  • Implement a sustainable development online forum – an educational and networking resource that will inform the public about local opportunities and the benefits of sustainable development while increasing builder and developer participation.
  • Educate citizens on energy and water conservation opportunities both at work and at home.
  • Encourage appropriate re-use and reclamation of water in new development and redevelopment to reduce the reliance on potable water use.
  • Provide detailed cost-benefit information about green building practices to encourage increased use of such practices in Oklahoma City.
  • Reduce reliance on electricity produced by fossil fuel by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources in new development and redevelopment.
  • Explore mechanisms (incentives, regulations, programs) to divert demolition debris from landfills and redirect to facilities that can reuse these materials.
  • Establish a promotion/award program to showcase innovative development that utilizes low-impact development practices and energy-efficient building techniques / equipment, conserves riparian buffers, and extends greenway networks with hiking/biking trails.

Preserve overall landscape character and natural landforms (rolling hills, native vegetation, etc.) to the greatest extent possible.

Protect and preserve natural resources, by:

  • Identifying and mapping valuable natural resources, such as, native prairies.
  • Maintaining a comprehensive inventory and assessment of natural resources and critical habitats.
  • Identifying opportunities to create an interconnected green infrastructure network throughout and beyond Oklahoma City’s municipal boundaries via existing trail and greenway projects, parks, stream corridors, and natural areas.
  • Seeking the voluntary sale of land or dedication of conservation easements on private land that is identified as critical habitat or is necessary to link wildlife corridors.
  • Pursuing protection of strategically identified natural areas by placing them in conservation easements or land banks, and reserving them for future use as open space and passive recreational areas.
  • Managing invasive plant and animal species.
  • Partnering with applicable State agencies and non-profit entities.

Strive to preserve natural open spaces, including native prairies, and re-plant native vegetation to take advantage of their drought tolerance and deep root structures that slow and adsorb stormwater runoff and reduce erosion by anchoring the soil.

Identify and protect critical habitats for state and federally listed threatened or endangered species.

Identify migratory birds and their nesting sites prior to construction. Protect migratory birds and their nesting sites throughout the construction process and refrain from construction near nesting sites until migratory birds are no longer actively nesting and have moved on from the site. Verify compliance with Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Establish strategies, procedures and policies that prevent degradation or loss of critical habitat and sensitive areas, such as Cross Timbers, upland forests, wetlands, wildlife corridors, groundwater recharge zones, and riparian areas. Protection methods should ensure that placement of lots, alignment of roads, and installation of structures and infrastructure minimize disturbance of the environmentally sensitive areas using tools such as:

  • Directing development to appropriate locations;
  • Greenbelt preservation;
  • Assurance of no development in protected open space;
  • Clustering / conservation subdivisions;
  • Pervious surface treatments;
  • Density transfers; and/or
  • Conservation easements.

Ensure that strategies, procedures, and policies incorporate principles of connectivity, minimal fragmentation, representativeness, and heterogeneity.

Require that new development tie into the park and trail system by providing linkages to existing parks or dedicating new park land. Connect existing parks and neighborhoods to create a continuous system of open spaces, for example along stream corridors.

Enhance public park design standards to allow for public art and innovative design solutions regarding stormwater management, use of native vegetation, open space, and play areas.

Replace existing high-maintenance, high-water plant material with attractive native plants.

We will establish an awareness of agriculture in and around the city as important to both food security and open space preservation. We tend to think of farming around cities as a temporary use that disappears when development takes over. Yet our city includes rural land that is likely to remain in agricultural use. This gives us the unique ability to integrate farming into the structure of the city. We can build public awareness and appreciation of agriculture’s environmental, economic, open space, and food security benefits and provide assistance to farmers that address the challenges of agriculture within the corporate limits of a big city.

We will maintain the ability of agricultural operations to exist and thrive at different scales, from large farms to small urban gardens. Land use policies should support and encourage farming and gardening activities in rural parts of Oklahoma City and on small parcels in the city. The directions and policies contained in the Land Use Plan and the sustainokc element cluster rural residential development and discourage the spread of very low-density residential acreages into agricultural areas, preserving the integrity of farms. Similarly, we should discourage conversion of land designated as Prime Farmland to non-agricultural use, and ensure that these uses support agriculture and reinforce the rural quality of the landscape. Within the city, we should encourage use of vacant or underused sites for raising food, at least on a temporary basis, and identify sites where more permanent urban gardens may be established on civic land.

We will maximize healthy food options for all neighborhoods and citizens. We cannot require people to eat certain kinds of foods or restrict access to the wide range of items that the food industry produces. However, people should not be forced into unhealthy diets by gaps in the food supply system or lack of knowledge. Our strategies addressing the food system should follow two paths. On the supply side, we should increase the number of places that provide affordable healthy food options in under-served neighborhoods. On the demand side, we should increase awareness and knowledge of citizens about diet, health, and practical ways that they can incorporate healthy eating habits into their routine. 

A HEALTHY FOOD AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

An effective and far-reaching campaign that introduces people to the benefits of healthy eating and makes healthy food options available and affordable to all can help develop a market that the private and community sectors can economically satisfy. Elements of this campaign may include:

  • Strategies for selection and preparation of healthy food that is cost-and time-competitive with manufactured food.
  • Selecting and preparing nutritious food for use in schools, recreation centers, senior centers, technical/trade schools, farmers markets, and anywhere people might go to learn.
  • Linking training for unemployed people and welfare-to-work programs with opportunities for living wage jobs in urban food-related businesses.
  • “Edible Schoolyards”, a school-based program that integrates nutrition and gardening to connect healthy food choices and locally grown fresh produce.
  • Farm-to-school programs.
  • Farm-to-institution programs that offer healthy food choices to hospitals, universities, prisons, and businesses.

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Establish development regulations to help protect Oklahoma City’s water resources through standards that:

  • Require buffers, setbacks, and vegetation conservation requirements to protect riparian and littoral zones and filter waterborne pollutants from development activities and storm water runoff. Buffer widths should be based on water quality function and wildlife habitat needs.
  • Encourage natural drainage systems and methods for onsite infiltration and onsite sediment retention.
  • Require new developments to maintain or decrease the site’s pre-development runoff rate.
  • Allow low-impact development design features such as pervious pavement, rain gardens, landscaped parkways, and alternative curbing designs.
  • Reduce the amount of impervious surfaces allowed in buffer zones around Environmentally Sensitive Areas.
  • Restore watershed features such as forest, wetlands, and natural stream channels.

Raise the level of public awareness of agriculture’s value to ecology, economy, open space, culture, and local food security by the following actions:

  • Organize training activities in a variety of settings (schools, colleges, health care facilities, continuing education programs) that demonstrate the history, importance and value of agricultural operations.
  • Improve the knowledge of current growers and motivate potential new growers.
  • Promote incentives offered by governments, banks, land-grant universities, and private businesses such as start-up capital, credit, crop insurance, horticultural and financial advice, soil testing, markets, subsidies, tools, and inputs such as seeds and soil alterations.
  • Promote farms as a destination stop for tourists and visitors.

Revise city codes and ordinances to allow urban agricultural operations and sales, including the following provisions:

  • Define types of urban agriculture.
  • Allow urban agriculture types in appropriate zoning districts.
  • Establish standards for operations within different zoning districts.
  • Allow a variety of retail options for locally grown produce.

Protect the ability of agricultural operations to exist and thrive at different scales, from large farms to small urban gardens through the following actions:

  • Protect land suitable for agriculture by maintaining parcels large enough to sustain agricultural production, and discourage conversion of existing agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses.
  • Encourage dwellings and other non-agricultural development to be ancillary to and compatible with agricultural uses. Such uses should be limited in size and grouped together to minimize disturbance to agricultural production.
  • Create incentives to protect soils designated as Prime Farmland by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
  • Facilitate the use of vacant and under-used urban lands for raising food.
  • Identify public lands in urban parks, and around municipal buildings, schools, public housing, hospitals, and other civic spaces, that may be used for food production with plantings of fruit trees, edible landscaping, and vegetable gardens.

Promote local and urban agricultural operations by establishing programs and partnerships to:

  • Lease publicly-owned land to farmers for sustainable urban agricultural use.
  • Encourage land tenure methods such as land trusts, leases, and policy initiatives to secure long-term commitment for community gardens, entrepreneurial farms, and other urban agriculture ventures.
  • Develop community-based farming infrastructure such as tool banks with equipment and supplies, community kitchens and other shared processing facilities, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture projects, funding opportunities, and technical service providers.
  • Construct and operate a demonstration urban farm for education, outreach, and local food production.
  • Encourage the local agricultural economy and improve access to local foods by allowing city property (parks, city facilities, etc.) to be used for farmers markets and other public markets.

Strengthen the local food system and increase access to healthy food options using strategies such as:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of community gardens, especially in underserved areas.
  • Reducing access to low nutrition food (e.g. junk food, fast food).
  • Preserving agricultural lands for purposes of producing food, fiber, and fuel.
  • Participating in a local or regional food policy council.
  • Develop an incentive program that will assist convenience stores with providing fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food items.
  • Develop a land bank to convert tax-reverted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community gardens or “satellite farms.”
  • Prioritize underserved areas when locating new grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and mobile grocers. Use financial incentives, technical assistance, and other services to improve the quality and selection of healthy foods available to underserved areas.

Create a Healthy Food Awareness campaign that includes:

  • Strategies for selection and preparation of healthy food that is cost- and time- competitive with manufactured food.
  • A uniform curriculum associated with selecting and preparing nutritious food for use in schools, recreation centers, senior centers, technical/trade schools, farmers markets, and anywhere people might go to learn.
  • Strategies to link training for unemployed people and welfare-to-work work programs with opportunities for living wage jobs in urban food-related businesses.
  • “Edible Schoolyards”, a school-based program which integrates nutrition and gardening to raise awareness about the connection between healthy food choices and locally grown fresh produce.
  • Expansion of farm-to-school programs.
  • Farm-to-institution programs that offer healthy food choices to hospitals, universities, prisons, and businesses.

Incorporate preventive health care and wellness education into public schools, recreation centers, senior centers, and technical/trade schools.

We will promote water conservation and waste reduction among users of municipal services. Based on research in applied conservation, we will use a combination of awareness messaging, personalized usage data, and comparative feedback to encourage households to use less water, particularly during times of water shortage, and produce less garbage. Initial efforts will be tested on heavy consumers of services, and a university partnership will be sought to determine effectiveness.

We will foster a culture of environmental stewardship in Oklahoma City. We will solicit partners to participate in a large-scale community initiative, similar to that used by wellness campaigns and safety councils, with emphasis on the goals of greenokc. This partnership will be recognized as a continuing effort, just as campaigns like traffic safety also require continuity. This program will be based on sound market research and demonstrated techniques to affect specific environmental outcomes. Research will include focus groups in Oklahoma City to determine what topics are of greatest interest and effect, and techniques will go beyond education, awareness, and crisis response to promote a culture of environmental stewardship. The program’s effectiveness will be monitored regularly and strategies continually refined for maximum impact.

Educational and awareness programs targeted to all age levels can be effective in changing behavior and addressing environmental problems created by our daily routines. The content of these campaigns could address such topics as:

  • Awareness of Oklahoma City’s natural features and resources
  • Water and energy conservation
  • Promoting walking and bicycling in lieu of automobile trips
  • Effective actions for high ozone days
  • Environmental, social, and economic impacts of local food
  • Proper use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Minimizing household pollutants and safe disposal of household contaminants
  • Support for neighborhood-based disposal efforts and cleanups
  • Proper disposal of trash, debris, and organic material
  • Land management practices that address fire suppression, invasive species, appropriate use of herbicides and pesticides, and overgrazing
  • Agricultural benefits of crop diversification, grass-fed livestock, raising bison, nature-friendly mowing practices

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Establish an Urban Forestry Program and City Urban Forester position to achieve the following:

  • Measure and monitor tree canopy coverage and habitat on a regular basis so that any policies, programs, and regulations may be adjusted accordingly as situations change. Establish a process to maintain current data.
  • Develop and maintain regulations, policies, processes, and programs that focus on protection and preservation of native trees.
  • Provide assistance with proper tree selection, location, and maintenance to prevent power outages, reduce property damage, and coordinate emergency response during natural disaster events (excessive snow and ice, tornadoes, etc.), address the urban heat island effect, and reduce energy costs, etc.
  • Establish programs such as tree give-aways, neighborhood planting programs, and education workshops.
  • Provide resources to the public about tree selection, management, and care.
  • Seek grant funding for community tree planting to improve City parks, publicly maintained rights-of-way and other areas of the city.
  • Inventory the City’s street trees and develop a tree replacement program.
  • Partner with volunteer and nonprofit organizations to recruit volunteers for tree planting and maintenance and to coordinate community-wide tree planting efforts.

Provide the public with resources, tools, and guidance to deal with environmental hazards, such as:

  • Information about safe disposal options for household contaminants such as motor oils, paints, computers, televisions, batteries, etc.
  • Information on environmental hazards, such as brownfield sites.
  • Information about funds available to assist with environmental cleanups.

Ensure clean-up and mitigation of contaminated sites is done prior to issuing new development permits.

Coordinate with local, regional, and State agencies to pursue initiatives and regulations that help reduce automobile emissions, such as:

  • Transitioning commercial and City fleets to alternative-fueled and hybrid vehicles;
  • Determining the feasibility of an idling restriction ordinance for all vehicles.

Promote improved air quality and reduced ground-level ozone levels by developing a public education program that will inform residents about the air quality benefits of:

  • Proper automobile maintenance
  • Proper maintenance and use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment
  • Limiting car idling times
  • Alternative fuels
  • Alternative / active transportation modes (public transit, walking, biking, car-sharing, etc.)
  • Reducing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT)
  • Employer sponsored emission reduction programs (carpooling, work from home, telecommuting, etc.)
  • Native landscaping (requiring less maintenance)
  • Energy efficient housing / buildings

Partner with agencies, non-profits, and private entities to:

  • Implement a sustainable development online forum – an educational and networking resource that will inform the public about local opportunities and the benefits of sustainable development while increasing builder and developer participation.
  • Educate citizens on energy and water conservation opportunities both at work and at home.
  • Encourage appropriate re-use and reclamation of water in new development and redevelopment to reduce the reliance on potable water use.
  • Provide detailed cost-benefit information about green building practices to encourage increased use of such practices in Oklahoma City.
  • Reduce reliance on electricity produced by fossil fuel by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources in new development and redevelopment.
  • Explore mechanisms (incentives, regulations, programs) to divert demolition debris from landfills and redirect to facilities that can reuse these materials.
  • Establish a promotion/award program to showcase innovative development that utilizes low-impact development practices and energy-efficient building techniques / equipment, conserves riparian buffers, and extends greenway networks with hiking/biking trails.

Raise the level of public awareness of agriculture’s value to ecology, economy, open space, culture, and local food security by the following actions:

  • Organize training activities in a variety of settings (schools, colleges, health care facilities, continuing education programs) that demonstrate the history, importance and value of agricultural operations.
  • Improve the knowledge of current growers and motivate potential new growers.
  • Promote incentives offered by governments, banks, land-grant universities, and private businesses such as start-up capital, credit, crop insurance, horticultural and financial advice, soil testing, markets, subsidies, tools, and inputs such as seeds and soil alterations.
  • Promote farms as a destination stop for tourists and visitors.

Promote local and urban agricultural operations by establishing programs and partnerships to:

  • Lease publicly-owned land to farmers for sustainable urban agricultural use.
  • Encourage land tenure methods such as land trusts, leases, and policy initiatives to secure long-term commitment for community gardens, entrepreneurial farms, and other urban agriculture ventures.
  • Develop community-based farming infrastructure such as tool banks with equipment and supplies, community kitchens and other shared processing facilities, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture projects, funding opportunities, and technical service providers.
  • Construct and operate a demonstration urban farm for education, outreach, and local food production.
  • Encourage the local agricultural economy and improve access to local foods by allowing city property (parks, city facilities, etc.) to be used for farmers markets and other public markets.

Strengthen the local food system and increase access to healthy food options using strategies such as:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of community gardens, especially in underserved areas.
  • Reducing access to low nutrition food (e.g. junk food, fast food).
  • Preserving agricultural lands for purposes of producing food, fiber, and fuel.
  • Participating in a local or regional food policy council.
  • Develop an incentive program that will assist convenience stores with providing fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food items.
  • Develop a land bank to convert tax-reverted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community gardens or “satellite farms.”
  • Prioritize underserved areas when locating new grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and mobile grocers. Use financial incentives, technical assistance, and other services to improve the quality and selection of healthy foods available to underserved areas.

Increase the amount of biodiversity-rich green space in urban and suburban areas by:

  • Integrating vegetation to support biodiversity in parks, gardens, trails, and green roofs. Native vegetation that provides food and habitat for native wildlife such as “micro prairies” and urban forests will have the greatest effect.
  • Encouraging optimal mowing practices on large lots that are adjacent to natural features.

Enrich natural biodiversity in agricultural areas by promoting practices that provide food, water, and habitat for wildlife and minimize negative impacts. Strategies to achieve the goal include:

  • Working with farmers, rancher, conservationists, sustainable agricultural organizations, and other stakeholders to develop a plan to conserve nature in farming and ranching landscapes.
  • Implementing optimal mowing strategies, which include harvesting grasses at a growing height of 10 plus inches; creating early successional habitat with burning, disking, and haying every 3-5 years; mowing from the center of a field outward to allow wildlife to escape the surrounding areas; adding flushing bars to mowing equipment to minimize bird injuries and death; leaving 4-6 inches of stubble after harvest to capture snow and water; harvesting or mowing after first frost to avoid disturbing bird nests and improve grass quality; and leaving portions of fields as standing crops.
  • Increasing nesting habitat.
  • Adopting best practices for fertilizer and pesticide applications.
  • Developing landscape conservation cooperatives.
  • Encouraging grassland ranching as an ecologically beneficial alternative to cultivation, particularly practices such as “mob grazing” that mimic natural grazing patterns.
  • Promoting ranching of bison, which benefit conservation efforts by dispersing seeds, increasing plant biodiversity, and enhancing groundwater recharge.
  • Restoring grassland on previously cultivated landscapes, particularly in buffer zones near natural features.
  • Encouraging and supporting agricultural parks that combine recreation and food production and foster appreciation for agricultural heritage.
  • Promoting sustainable intensification, which increases production and profitability while providing rich sources of habitat for biodiversity.

Establish strategies, procedures and policies that prevent degradation or loss of critical habitat and sensitive areas, such as Cross Timbers, upland forests, wetlands, wildlife corridors, groundwater recharge zones, and riparian areas. Protection methods should ensure that placement of lots, alignment of roads, and installation of structures and infrastructure minimize disturbance of the environmentally sensitive areas using tools such as:

  • Directing development to appropriate locations;
  • Greenbelt preservation;
  • Assurance of no development in protected open space;
  • Clustering / conservation subdivisions;
  • Pervious surface treatments;
  • Density transfers; and/or
  • Conservation easements.

Ensure that strategies, procedures, and policies incorporate principles of connectivity, minimal fragmentation, representativeness, and heterogeneity.

Incorporate preventive health care and wellness education into public schools, recreation centers, senior centers, and technical/trade schools.

We will set neighborhood development priorities by using quantitative evaluation criteria. Available resources are never sufficient to address the problems of struggling neighborhoods. Setting priorities and policy focuses can be addressed by an evaluative process that considers such factors as economic opportunities, educational performance, housing quality, access to commercial and other support services, public safety, and presence of community organizations and institutions. The process should consider positive neighborhood factors that can create the foundations for success, including:

  • Existing support capacity from neighborhood associations, local service providers, and area businesses;
  • Community institutions like parks, schools, churches, or community centers; and,
  • Connections to surrounding neighborhoods.

We will expand rehabilitation and redevelopment programs to stabilize the physical fabric of neighborhoods. The physical condition of a neighborhood and its buildings is critical to its ability to function as a community. Residential rehabilitation programs should be expanded to both meet the needs of existing residents and serve future generations. Rehabilitation should focus items that directly affect health and safety, secure the basic building envelope, and add economic value to the surrounding area. Programs in which community development corporations acquire, rehabilitate, and either sell or rent units on a "turnkey" basis at moderate costs have been particularly effective in adding value, preserving housing, and introducing new owners and potential leaders into a neighborhood.

But housing rehabilitation is only part of the picture. Vacant sites and dilapidated buildings depress both property values and community momentum. Programs to accelerate the redevelopment of dilapidated properties should be tied closely to the priority evaluation process. Funds should be targeted to areas and projects that create a critical mass that in turn catalyzes private market investment and creates a self-sustaining community. Mechanisms like landbanks and land trusts have also proven effective in gaining control over vacant properties and returning them to productive use. Often, a high priority or visibility project at a strategic location can produce an unexpectedly powerful private reaction as neighbors gain confidence in their future.

We will create, enhance, and maintain community spaces where residents interact positively and advance the social fabric. Successful neighborhoods include spaces where people see and greet each other, and work and play together in a common enterprise. These spaces open a neighborhood, and increase the level of positive interaction that is the essence of a living neighborhood. Yet, hidden or neglected public spaces have the opposite effect, attracting nuisances and sometimes crime, and being scary or off-putting places that people avoid. Good community spaces can take many forms – a well-maintained public park surrounded and watched over by residents; a community garden; the median of a parkway; or a school or community center site.

Strengthening these community places begins with inventorying and analyzing their operations. This can be done in cooperation with neighbors and community organizations. Volunteer work, business participation, and other public and private support can provide the means to reclaim existing spaces and develop new ones, and to provide adequate resources for continued support and maintenance.

Facilities like community gardens and groceries are particularly attractive as community spaces because they are self-supporting; become natural and productive attractors of people, and address other key concerns such as access to healthy food. Efforts at a neighborhood level to secure sites and organize gardens should be expanded and educational institutions should provide technical help to gardeners. Public development incentives should have a special focus on attracting grocery stores to skipped over areas with viable consumer markets, and should encourage inclusion of public space in project design.

We will coordinate public infrastructure projects and community revitalization. In an effort to create tangible catalysts for revitalizing urban communities, the City will use the analysis described in this section as well as those located throughout planokc, to inform its capital improvements program.

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Reverse the detrimental impact of vacant and abandoned buildings through the following efforts:

  • Develop an Abandoned Buildings program geared toward a significant reduction in vacancies by creating incentives and/or penalties that discourage prolonged building abandonment and help the City to recoup the costs associated with vacated buildings. Use fees generated by this program to help fund redevelopment of abandoned buildings.
  • Assess the feasibility of potential reuse options for dilapidated or abandoned buildings. Define and establish criteria to help identify buildings that are too far gone and/or too costly to feasibly rehabilitate, and consider a coordinated demolition program for those buildings.
  • Seek changes in state legislation to enhance the City’s ability to maintain and improve its neighborhoods including:
    • Laws which would speed up the demolition process for long-term dilapidated or abandoned properties that cannot be rehabilitated, and
    • Laws which would strengthen the City’s ability to require property owners to rehabilitate or sell neglected, boarded-up properties.

Modify codes and/or regulations to create opportunities for more income diversity and mixed-income neighborhoods by allowing a variety of housing ownership and leasing arrangements, diverse housing sizes and types – including accessory dwelling units, carriage homes, lofts, live-work spaces, cottages, and manufactured/modular housing. Modifications should allow an increase the variety of ownership opportunities to include condominiums, ownership cooperatives (such as mutual housing associations, limited equity cooperatives, etc.) by identifying and removing regulatory barriers. Recommend improvements to protections for owners, developers, and lenders.
Priority should be given to projects that achieve efficiencies described elsewhere in planokc, such as dwelling units that are located to have easy access to each other and to other daily needs including jobs, recreation, and schools.

Maximize the use of all appropriate state, federal, local, and private funding for the development, preservation, and rehabilitation of housing affordable to a variety of income groups, including those that integrate low-income housing units in otherwise market-rate housing developments and support the creation and/or expansion of mixed-income communities.

Prioritize neighborhoods for revitalization and re-investment in order to reverse the decline associated with poor maintenance of public infrastructure and other property by using the following objective criteria:

  • Low economic opportunity;
  • Low educational attainment;
  • Poor health outcomes;
  • Poor housing environments;
  • Low neighborhood quality; and,
  • Existing capacity to support the revitalization efforts; and other important indicators.

Increase the City’s capacity to participate in targeted programs that strengthen neighborhood infrastructure and other assets.

Increase and/or re-assign City staff to support targeted neighborhoods and coalitions.

Integrate housing rehabilitation programs with neighborhood revitalization programs. These programs should include assistance to property owners to renovate the existing housing stock with improvements that reduce utility and maintenance costs for owners and occupants, conserve energy, conserve water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Identify, evaluate, and mitigate challenges associated with neighborhoods where housing values are rising quickly in response to public investment.

Establish new or expand existing financing methods and/or mechanisms available to new and redevelopment mixed-income projects in urban areas. These could include: direct investment of public housing funds, tax-increment financing, bonds, revolving loans, housing program funds and/or other proven public-private partnership models.

Create and/or enhance Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) to increase their capacity to provide mixed-income housing, especially in targeted infill areas.

Reuse brownfield, greyfield, and other vacant building sites to provide new opportunities for mixed-used and mixed-income housing.

Catalyze the rehabilitation of abandoned structures by amending codes to facilitate the adaptive reuse of existing buildings for residential use.

Develop a City program to rehabilitate or redevelop dilapidated properties, including a land bank to receive donated properties from property owners who can no longer maintain their properties.

Prevent concentration of low-income populations by providing housing opportunities for all income groups in targeted redevelopment areas of the city with a particular focus on mixed-income projects, especially on those projects that have a public funding component.

Create places and opportunities for neighborhood events that allow neighbors to interact.

Add legislative priorities for state laws to:

  • Strengthen the City’s ability to obtain specific performance of property owners cited for code violations.
  • Speed up the demolition process for long-time boarded properties that cannot be rehabilitated.
  • Strengthen the City’s ability to require property owners to rehabilitate or sell neglected, boarded-up properties.
  • Expedite the clearing of properties involved in probate.

Strengthen existing businesses and business districts within and adjacent to established residential areas. Promote the development of new businesses to provide additional jobs and higher income opportunities for nearby residents.

Strategically use subsidized housing programs along with other City services and programs to revitalize targeted areas of the city.

Quickly repair damage caused by vandalism, including graffiti, to minimize negative impacts on neighborhoods. Coordinate the efforts of existing programs, such as the Police Department’s Removal Unit, the Public Works Department’s Removal Unit, and Oklahoma County’s “SHINE” program to increase responses in targeted areas and expand the area which can be covered. Increase participation by the business community, such as donations of paint and time.

Establish a working partnership between the City, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Putnam City Schools, Western Heights Schools, and other metro area school districts and educational entities to help school districts complete a variety of non-educational (or indirectly educational) functions such as planning for and siting new schools, working on shared use issues, and redeveloping closed schools. The partnership should coordinate efforts to seek funding and appropriate resources to accomplish the following:

  • Establish multiuse recreational and exercise facilities in schoolyards to increase opportunities for physical activity and strengthen the relationship between schools and neighborhoods.
  • Establish a program to increase the number of community members and schools that make effective use of Senate Bill 1882 (effective 11/1/2012) allowing shared use of school facilities for recreational purposes.

Study the impact of vacant parcels on places and special districts, and determine how best to mitigate any negative impacts.

Rather than rely solely on federal CDBG funding, seek other sources to continue to support the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative and Neighborhood Stabilization Program in order to enhance their ability to reverse decline and create valuable places.

Create and implement small area plans for neighborhoods or districts with special strategic importance or complications related to development or redevelopment.

Encourage redevelopment and infill development on vacant, underutilized, and brownfield sites in urbanized areas.

Catalyze infill development on vacant, underutilized, and brownfield sites in urbanized areas by:

  • Investing in infrastructure improvements;
  • Improving multi-modal transportation networks;
  • Improving parks and open spaces;
  • Improving schools and other civic resources;
  • Exploring innovative methods such as:
    • A public-private partnership to purchase problem properties in target areas and build or rehabilitate homes while improving infrastructure and amenities
    • An infill house plan program similar to Sacramento or Milwaukee
  • Identifying and removing barriers to rehabilitation and/or replacement of residential buildings.
  • Establishing a position in the City to facilitate medium- and large-scale redevelopment projects through the development process by guiding interactions with City departments, allied agencies, and utility companies.

Encourage the adaptive reuse of underutilized structures and the revitalization of older, economically distressed neighborhoods.

Prioritize maintaining the strength of existing commercial nodes and corridors over providing new areas for commercial development.

Continue promoting the re-use, redevelopment, and revitalization of low-performing or declining commercial areas.

Support diversity and integration of housing unit types and sizes in all land use typology areas in order to meet the diverse needs of households of different sizes, generational needs, incomes, and preferences. New residential subdivisions should achieve a mixture of housing types within a unified development.

We will develop larger multi-generational community/recreation centers with good access to replace the current model of smaller centers in community parks. The community survey demonstrated a strong demand for indoor facilities that emphasize health and wellness, as well as other activities. Until now, the city has employed a model of many small, dispersed centers within community parks. Nationally, these older centers are being replaced by larger, better-equipped multi-generational facilities that offer more variety and quality of programming. These centers combine aquatics centers, adult and senior wellness, health and fitness, and even special event facilities in one package. Where feasible, the transition should make maximum use of existing investments. Sites for facilities should put a very high emphasis on multi-modal access, including pedestrian connections, on-street bicycle routes, multi-purpose trails, and frequent transit service.

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Utilize private and public partnerships and determine appropriate locations and funding sources to build larger multi-generational centers that will replace existing, small, and outdated recreation centers.

We will support our schools in improving student performance. Low academic performance is a problem in our city, and especially within Oklahoma City Public Schools, as measured by the State Department of Education. Our entire community must address this issue aggressively. Some solutions involve long-term and continuing efforts, such as creating and sustaining healthy, mixed-income neighborhoods that provide the secure environments necessary to nurture learning and achievement. Recommendations that help create these types of neighborhoods are found throughout planokc, from land use initiatives to neighborhood reinvestment and housing variety. Other specific efforts, involving concerted action by the public and private sectors and school districts can provide more immediate results. These educational support programs can include scholarship programs that offer post-secondary grants to students in inner-city schools and districts, expanded early childhood education, after- school programs, mentoring, specialized educational tracks, teacher skills training, or financial incentives for high-performing schools and teachers.

The City will also assist the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce in efforts to adapt the education and training offered by local institutions to match the current and future needs of local companies. This includes both K-12 schools and secondary schools.

Educational issues and programs represent a convergence of different perspectives. This element approaches good educational programming from a workforce and economic development framework; liveokc from a neighborhood development viewpoint; and serveokc from a public service and community quality point of view. However, all point in the same direction, highlighting the importance of increasing achievement and learning.

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Facilitate communication among the 23 school districts in order to develop more arts education opportunities for the children in our community.

Establish development standards and design guidelines for new cultural, civic, and sporting facilities that address site design, architecture, compatibility, pedestrian-orientation and access, landscaping, and the inclusion of public art.

Create partnerships and programs involving civic groups, business organizations, governmental entities, coalitions, and non-profits to develop or enhance the following:

  • School reading programs;
  • Elementary school intramural sports leagues;
  • Rehabilitation of school infrastructure and replacement of school equipment (athletic facilities, media center materials, computers, etc.);
  • After-school programs that focus on mentoring or conflict resolution;
  • Rehabilitation of City parks;
  • Community involvement opportunities associated with public schools; and,
  • Other projects or programs that improve neighborhood safety by working with children.

Coordinate with Strong Neighborhoods Initiative to provide recreational, fire safety, public safety, and character building programs in schools.

Identify ways to establish/strengthen relationships and partnerships between schools and the business community as one method to improve student education and outcomes.

Support diverse and high-achieving student bodies through the creation of mixed-income neighborhoods that encourage parental and community involvement by:

  • Integrating home sizes and types at neighborhood and block scales,
  • Avoiding concentrations of low-income households by encouraging income diversity within neighborhoods and by spending City housing funds in a manner that does not concentrate low income households in one development or neighborhood, but instead creates opportunities for these households to live in income-diverse neighborhoods, and
  • Encouraging school districts to open schools and school grounds after school hours to support community engagement and more convenient opportunities for active recreation.

Work with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to recommend adaptations to local education and training opportunities to match the current and projected needs of local companies.

Develop methods for the City to aid school districts in bolstering student performance. Explore the following methods:

  • A cooperative City and business-funded scholarship program for OKC residents in underperforming school districts following the same pattern as The Pittsburgh Promise, which offers post-secondary scholarships to academically qualified students who live in Pittsburgh and attend Pittsburgh public schools,
  • Increased police presence for security and truancy prevention,
  • City-funded after school facilities and programs,
  • City-funded financial rewards to schools showing measurable improvement,
  • City-funded financial or other rewards to high-performing teachers,
  • City-funded teaching skills training.

Encourage redevelopment and infill development on vacant, underutilized, and brownfield sites in urbanized areas.

Catalyze infill development on vacant, underutilized, and brownfield sites in urbanized areas by:

  • Investing in infrastructure improvements;
  • Improving multi-modal transportation networks;
  • Improving parks and open spaces;
  • Improving schools and other civic resources;
  • Exploring innovative methods such as:
    • A public-private partnership to purchase problem properties in target areas and build or rehabilitate homes while improving infrastructure and amenities
    • An infill house plan program similar to Sacramento or Milwaukee
  • Identifying and removing barriers to rehabilitation and/or replacement of residential buildings.
  • Establishing a position in the City to facilitate medium- and large-scale redevelopment projects through the development process by guiding interactions with City departments, allied agencies, and utility companies.

Encourage the adaptive reuse of underutilized structures and the revitalization of older, economically distressed neighborhoods.

Support diversity and integration of housing unit types and sizes in all land use typology areas in order to meet the diverse needs of households of different sizes, generational needs, incomes, and preferences. New residential subdivisions should achieve a mixture of housing types within a unified development.

Avoid concentrations of apartment complexes. Instead, integrate multifamily units into neighborhoods with mixes of housing types or in mixed-use developments.

Amend the zoning ordinance to better accommodate the integration of various residential densities, building types, and styles.

We will plan for mid- to long-term solid waste service. The City should contribute to the development and completion of the long-range solid waste study and incorporate applicable recommendations and policies into planokc. A key element of the study should be addressing future landfill needs, with existing landfills scheduled for completion between 2022 and 2026. The study should consider whether service is best provided by private operators or municipal or regional entities. It should also address strategies to prolong the life of existing and future fills by reducing the waste stream.

We will encourage residents to divert waste from landfills. The City should implement aggressive programs to expand participation in recycling programs. These efforts should assess and improve the convenience of programs, making it as easy as possible for customers to participate on a routine basis; expand public relations and educational efforts on the benefits of recycling and the cost savings that can accrue to taxpayers. A waste reduction program should also coordinate with the county extension offices and neighboring jurisdictions to improve public outreach efforts about the benefits of backyard composting. Diverting recyclables and compost materials from the waste stream will lessen the strain on our landfills.

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Upon the completion and adoption of the long-range solid waste flow and disposal plan, use any applicable recommendations to update planokc.

Coordinate with the county extension offices and neighboring jurisdictions to improve the public outreach campaign about the benefits of backyard composting.

We will form partnerships and implement efforts that create settings that advance educational achievement. The challenges facing Oklahoma City's public education system are daunting. The stakes of success are great, given the need to capitalize on the potential of our youth and the importance of quality schools in achieving this plan's overall goals. School policy and curriculum are far beyond the scope of planokc. But City policy can help provide safe and nurturing environments that remove at least some of the pressures and distractions that keep kids from learning. Both this element and liveokc address people's expectation to live in safe neighborhoods.

The City's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) program, for example, can establish recreational, fire safety, public safety, and character building programs for schools. This program to create supportive environments includes initiatives discussed in previous elements – parks and recreational programs, neighborhood development, stabilizing social fabric, and many others. Direct partnerships with schools can also be extremely effective. The City can initiate strong connections between schools and the business community to improve education, training, and retraining. Finally, a city that includes 27 school districts and has helped fund projects in many of them can help initiate regional cooperation and some sharing of responsibilities.

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Facilitate communication among the 23 school districts in order to develop more arts education opportunities for the children in our community.

Incorporate preventive health care and wellness education into public schools, recreation centers, senior centers, and technical/trade schools.

Establish a working partnership between the City, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Putnam City Schools, Western Heights Schools, and other metro area school districts and educational entities to help school districts complete a variety of non-educational (or indirectly educational) functions such as planning for and siting new schools, working on shared use issues, and redeveloping closed schools. The partnership should coordinate efforts to seek funding and appropriate resources to accomplish the following:

  • Establish multiuse recreational and exercise facilities in schoolyards to increase opportunities for physical activity and strengthen the relationship between schools and neighborhoods.
  • Establish a program to increase the number of community members and schools that make effective use of Senate Bill 1882 (effective 11/1/2012) allowing shared use of school facilities for recreational purposes.

Coordinate with Strong Neighborhoods Initiative to provide recreational, fire safety, public safety, and character building programs in schools.

Identify ways to establish/strengthen relationships and partnerships between schools and the business community as one method to improve student education and outcomes.

Support diverse and high-achieving student bodies through the creation of mixed-income neighborhoods that encourage parental and community involvement by:

  • Integrating home sizes and types at neighborhood and block scales,
  • Avoiding concentrations of low-income households by encouraging income diversity within neighborhoods and by spending City housing funds in a manner that does not concentrate low income households in one development or neighborhood, but instead creates opportunities for these households to live in income-diverse neighborhoods, and
  • Encouraging school districts to open schools and school grounds after school hours to support community engagement and more convenient opportunities for active recreation.
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