Tulsa Council Postpones Vote on Driveway Width Proposal

Jul 12, 2018

Credit KWGS Photo

A proposal for wider driveways for some Tulsa homes is on hold for a couple weeks.

City councilors are postponing a vote on the zoning code change, requested by a builders association, that would allow driveways up to 30 feet wide at the curb. As things stand now the limits are 20 feet in the right of way and 30 feet on the actual lot.

"If they want more than that, then, at this point in time, it’s a special exception. So, it goes to the Board of Adjustment," Miller said.

The current proposal would allow driveways the lesser of half the lot width or a maximum based on increasing lot widths: 12 feet for lots 30 feet wide or less, 20 feet for lots 30 to 45 feet wide, 24 feet for lots 46 to 59 feet wide, 28 feet for lots 60 to 74 feet wide, and 30 feet for lots 75 or more feet wide.

The problem with offering a maximum driveway width based strictly on lot size is many neighborhoods, like Maple Ridge, have a lot of variety.

"The lot widths in that neighborhood are, like, all over the place," said Councilor Blake Ewing. "The streets are curvy. Some houses are big, really big. Some houses are very normal-size homes, and the lot widths are anywhere from 100 something feet to 50 foot."

Many midtowners are against the change, and Ewing said a common misconception is they’re opposing it in order to stop McMansions from being built next to their bungalows.

"If you go to Brookside, you see that there are 1,300 square foot houses next to 3,400 square foot houses. Those big ones exist where a small one used to exist," Ewing said. "The driveway width thing was not keeping that from happening. It’s not going to keep it from happening. If they want to keep it from form happening, they’ve got to do something way more radical."

That "way more radical" solution would be design overlays citizens request for their neighborhoods, which could limit house sizes and features.

Councilors will revisit the driveway width proposal next month.