Riverside controversy keep churning

On March 1, the City of Tulsa put up signs warning people to “abandon the park use and public use” on 8.8 acres being considered for development at 71st  Street and Riverside Drive.

That action took effect on April 6. The city and Tulsa Public Facilities Authority (TPFA) then took steps to ensure that the 8.8 acres was in compliance with the abandonment.

  • City of Tulsa-owned property was removed from the site; including: park benches and park signs.
  • TPFA assumed management of the property and is working with private entities for mowing, trash pickup and other maintenance needs.
  • TPFA also began managing the permit processes for use of the site by volleyball teams.
  • Only staff designated as TPFA agents have been assigned to work on this issue.
  • Permitting, management, and maintenance changes only apply to the 8.8 acres.
  • Signage was placed by TPFA on the 8.8 acres to notify the public of this change. A spokesman recently pointed out that the placement of one sign was misleading, and officials agreed, and it has since been moved. Following the abandonment vote, the City of Tulsa’s Parks Department also informed organizations requesting a permit that it was no longer legally authorized to issue permits for the 8.8-acre tract for dates beginning April 6.

Groups who requested permits prior to the vote were told that the city would not issue permits pending the outcome of the vote.

Those requesting a permit for park use were granted a permit for the parks portion of the property that was not abandoned, if that met their needs. If that was not sufficient, the Parks Department tried to accommodate their uses at one of the City’s 141 other parks.

For example, the Green Country Sierra Club had a permit application pending for an Earth Day event. The Parks Department issued a permit for the remaining 58+ acres, but the permit applicant elected to use Johnson Park instead. Those seeking to continue using the volleyball courts are being granted permits by TPFA, the landowner.