Envision Moore 2040 adopted by city council

By: By Thomas Maupin For The Oklahoman

MOORE — The future is right around the corner, and Moore is getting ready for it. Members of the city council approved this week the comprehensive plan known as Envision Moore 2040.

Elizabeth Weitman, Community Development Department director, said the plan is the product of 18 months of work by city staffers and consultants and included meetings with residents.

"The Envision Moore 2040 plan lays out the framework for new development in Moore," Weitman told The Oklahoman.

"This plan builds on the fundamentals laid out in Moore's previous comprehensive plan, but provides much more guidance to city staff, council and developers as to how new developments can meet the high expectations of our residents."

She said the plan "focuses on the look, feel, and performance of development. It highlights the need for sidewalks and trails, congestion management, stormwater management and open space. By following this plan, we will be able to integrate all of those utilitarian needs and transform them into amenities that will elevate the quality of life for our residents."

Weitman said the plan has built-in flexibility. "We are pretty happy," she said.

One of the consultants working with the city was Meg Nealon of Nealon Planning of Hickory, North Carolina. She described herself as a sub-consultant working with Guernsey, a consulting firm in Oklahoma City. Nealon gave the council an overview of the plan before the Monday vote.

Nealon said people in Moore want a strong core, which is seen as the central Old Town section.

The plan emphasizes Old Town as the "heart of the city where people value experiences and local connections." The plan continues to see Old Town as a residential area, but also a shopping and entertainment destination, a central gathering place and a possible transit station area.

Other elements of the plan are:

  • Conserve and Enhance Existing Development with the idea to discourage commercial encroachment of neighborhoods.
  • Quality New Development and Redevelopment, which emphasizes open space and amenities in new developments and prioritizes quality site design.
  • Balanced and Distributed Growth, which is intended to encourage quality growth on the city's east side.
  • Diversification, which allows mixed-use development and provides more housing, dining, shopping and travel choices.

City Manager Brooks Mitchell said the plan “gives us a good blueprint to best serve the needs of the citizens as our city continues to grow.”

Assistant City Manager Stan Drake said Envision Moore 2040 "will be a road map for future growth in undeveloped areas, stormwater management and city utilities infrastructure."

According to the U.S. Census, Moore had a 2.6 percent increase in population from 2000 to 2014. The plan predicts city will continue to grow. Weitman said the current population is about 60,000.

City Councilwoman Danielle McKenzie said the steering committee was made up of residents, business owners, community leaders and city staff members who worked with Guernsey to develop a plan for the next 20 years of the city's growth and development.

City Councilwoman Melissa Hunt spoke highly of the plan.

"I believe the new Envision Moore 2040 plan will allow us to continue down the path of success. This plan will help us focus on quality development and will help developers understand our goals as we move into the future.

"Another important feature of this plan is the revitalization of Old Town. During our public meetings, this was a focus of the citizens in attendance. And I know it's important to the council as well. This plan will help ensure Old Town remains and really grows into the heart of Moore."

In an email, City Councilman Mark Hamm, who was not able to attend the meeting, said "Envision Moore 2040 is a great tool for the city staff to use in the future development of the city. When someone wants to build a business, the Envision Moore 2040 plan will be referenced to ensure the proposed building is a fit for what the community wants."

A comprehensive development plan recently adopted by the city of Moore is called Envision Moore 2040. This photo shows 2015 construction of the Sam's Club at 1705 S Broadway. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman]