Meeting shows delicate balance between preservation, rights

A real estate investor in Oklahoma will have a number of hoops to jump through in order to see their project to their ultimate goal. Some of these hoops may involve permissible real estate land use and related issues. For instance, at a recent meeting among the government leaders of Nichols Hills, a community bordering Oklahoma City, discussed how they might better be able to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood.

Although the leadership was clear that they did not intend to unduly burden the property rights of landowners, they wanted to see more done to protect older historic homes from demolition. Many investors in the area tear down old homes that give the neighborhood a unique look in order to build “spec homes”, or houses that intend to draw a modern homebuyer since they were built for the purpose of being sold quickly.

A number of ideas were floated at the meeting, including raising the cost of demolition or imposing tighter controls in other areas which would make it harder and more costly for commercial investors to replace the old with the new. While some people during this process pointed out that many homes which got demolished were not in good condition, others suggested that some homes have been torn down without any good reason other than to build a more modern homes.

Those with an interest in commercial real estate, including businesspeople who invest in homes for commercial purposes, should pay close attention to this ongoing conversation, as it could mean changes in that part of the Oklahoma City area.

Source: The Oklahoman, “Property rights vs. construction quality in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma,” Henry Dolive, June 24, 2017.

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