Representatives of OHC stated rather overtly that the reason behind the proposed rezoning was to protect the property values in the area from price escalation due to residential land speculation. In other words, OHC wanted to keep neighborhood land prices down in the short term until they got ready to buy the property for longer-term development. By limiting the potential development uses of the land, this would have been an effective taking of property without taking the property. Property owners rightly objected to this.
I think OHC can achieve their goals by dealing fairly, openly and honestly with property owners who are willing to sell. Many residents are willing to move if given adequate financial compensation for their property to enable relocation to equal or better housing.
The fact is that Urban Renewal or other OHC-related entities already own 65 percent or more of the property in the proposed PUD area. Given the recent purchase price of the adjoining Presbyterian Health Foundation property or other recent purchases of adjoining residential properties by OHC, OHC can afford to buy the properties of the remaining willing sellers in the area if they choose to.
—Anthony Francisco, Oklahoma City