Apartment finds way back to council

Posted in: News
By Todd Brooks
Dec 27, 2012 - 9:33:34 AM

An emotional issue for residents of one street in Marlow first arising more than four months ago, is back in front of the Marlow City Council last Tuesday.
Michael and Kelly Sellers requested a variance in August on a S. 10th Street lot to put in an apartment. Residents opposed the measure and had their wishes eventually granted in September when the council denied the variance after sending the matter back to the Planning and Zoning Commission earlier in the month.
Sellers has since filed an appeal in Stephens County District Court for the city to allow the variance.
The City Of Marlow in November asked and then later withdrew a request to dismiss the case.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, following an executive meeting, councilmen voted to have city attorney, Tom Frailey, represent the city in court.
Several South 10th Street residents were in attendance at the regularly scheduled Marlow City Council meeting held in September to voice their disapproval of the proposed project.
“We want to keep it a single residential area only,” Ken Thomas said.
“We have a problem with the existing apartments on the street; we don’t need more,” resident Harold Seals said.
“If I would have known about those apartments there now, I wouldn’t have bought my house,” Phyllis Baker said. “Making the driveway on the back of the property coming off of Caddo will not alleviate the traffic on 10th Street.”
Sellers’ attorney Jay Watkins countered with some points on behalf of his client.
“Mr. Sellers is not cherry-picking a new area,” Watkins said. “There is already precedent with the apartments south of there. Not everyone can afford to rent a home.
“The residents are concerned about their property values, and we are concerned about a vacant lot,” he continued. “Mr. Sellers is willing to go through considerable expense in order to put the driveway in because the traffic on 10th Street was one of the main issues with residents.
“We don’t feel like this is an unreasonable request.”
Watkins had said the homeowners might have been showing favoritism toward homeowners as opposed to renters.
Some of the residents had said it was an esthetic look they were concerned about with the number of trashcans and mailboxes causing the area to become less than pleasing to the eye as well as homeowners seemed to take more pride in keeping their residences looking neat.
After both sides of the issue had been heard, councilman Mickey Hoy, citing the importance of listening to the opinions of the surrounding residents, made a motion to deny the request. Councilman Don Ridley seconded the motion and the vote was passed unanimously.

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