The Tahlequah City Planning Commission agreed to close an alley in Block 94 City of Tahlequah original townsite during a Sept. 17 meeting.

Planning and Development Director Taylor Tannehill said the exact location is on the south side of Dewain's Place -- a 20-foot alley.

"The recommendation from my perspective is to close, not vacate," said Tannehill.

"There is a utility line in the alley, but a simple closure would not eliminate the providers' access to that utility pole."

Compliance Coordinator Ray Hammons said the alleyway is not maintained and it "dumps out" onto the new trail system.

"It encroaches on the safety there of people who jet through there. It hasn't been maintained in years, and I have since spoken to the new fire chief and the new street commissioner, and both agree it needs to be closed," Hammons said. "There's not an access problem for the fire department. There wont be an access problem for any of the utilities, as it will just be a pipe gate going across, keeping people from cutting through there."

Board members agreed they were in favor of getting the process of the comprehensive plan underway.

"It's got a lot of good direction, and I think the city spent a lot of money on it, and I think that we need to either get on the horse, or send that horse out to the pasture and find another one," Chairman Gary Cacy said. "Because right now, it's just sitting there gathering dust, wasting time."

The city of Tahlequah completed the draft of the comprehensive plan and asked that the Planning Commission board review and make recommendations. Former Planning and Development Director Clinton Johnson pointed out there is a lot of history in Tahlequah and they have an opportunity to protect preservation areas.

"The purpose of this body is not to say whether it's a good plan or bad plan," said Planning Commission Secretary Michael Torkelson. "We didn't make the plan. It was developed by the citizens of Tahlequah for consideration by the council. I think in our world, it's to move it on and it's kind of stuck on our desk, and I don't think we have the power to change it. I don't think we want to change it, and the citizens of Tahlequah kind of came up with it. I think it's up to us to move it along and get off high center."

Board members were ready to approve the plan. However, Tannehill informed them it was a discussion-only item.

What's next

The next City of Tahlequah Planning Commission meeting is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the City Council Chambers, 111 S. Cherokee Ave.

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