Tulsa city councilors put the issue of driveway widths to rest, approving a new set of regulations for them.
A final compromise with the group seeking the increase, Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, will allow curb cuts — where the driveway is in the public right-of-way — 27 feet wide at the curb at most, and that’s only for lots 75 feet wide or more.
Once out of the right-of-way, the maximum driveway width is 30 feet, but only for lots 60 feet wide or more.
Councilor Blake Ewing heard from many constituents concerned about expansive driveways in midtown.
"The majority of midtown neighborhoods are actually getting a better product, if you will, based on this process than what they have today if square footage of concrete is the issue," Ewing said.
Home builders association CEO Jeffrey Smith said they also heard midtowners’ concerns about damage to their neighborhoods' character and agreed Wednesday to smaller driveway maximum widths.
"We don’t want to have an impact on that — or a minimal impact on that — but we do want to allow for individuals that want to have a three-car garage on the appropriate-sized lot to be able to access all three bays of that garage," Smith said.
Under the new regulations, all residential lots are limited to curb cuts the lesser of half the lot width or a set maximum. Those maximums are 12 feet for lots up to 30 feet wide, 20 feet for lots 30 to 45 feet wide, 22 feet for lots 46 to 59 feet wide, 26 feet for lots 60 to 74 feet wide and 30 feet for lots 75 or more feet wide.
All maximum widths are decreases from what was being considered a month ago before councilors postponed a vote on driveway regulations.
Once in a lot's setback, driveways are limited to half the lot width unless the lot is 60 or more feet wide. For those larger lots, driveway width in the setback is limited to 30 feet.
The tweaks mean many midtown Tulsans will see less concrete than was previously being considered. But some, like Renaissance Neighborhood resident Tom Neal, thought the regulations still represent a solution in search of a problem.
"Most of these issues, in terms of needing wider driveways and so forth, can already be accommodated through the current variance, special exception process," Neal said.
The new regulations still allow homeowners who want bigger driveways than what's allowed to seek a special exception from the city.
Previously approved variances for wider driveways than what the new regulations allow will be grandfathered in.