A fixture of state government since the legislature created its predecessor to develop a portion of rural Oklahoma City to build a new Capitol, the Capitol-Medical Center Improvement and Zoning Commission is an 11-member body created to develop and maintain a comprehensive land use plan for the orderly development of the district within and surrounding the State Capitol Complex and the Oklahoma University Medical Center (73 O. S., § 82.1 et seq.) The commission directly supervises approximately 950 acres and 20 miles of roadway within district boundaries on behalf of the state. In addition to government and health science center complexes, the district includes historic preservation, single and multiple family residential, office, commercial/retail and industrial uses.
The master plan for the district coordinates physical development to maximize the potential of, and permit the district the opportunity to grow with optimum benefit to the state property owners and residents of the district. The commission promulgates zoning regulations to support the dictates of the master plan. The commission coordinates district and sub-district development through use of contemporary planning principles and zoning controls. Effective communication and promotion of policies and goals encourage appropriate land use throughout the district and ensure conservation of existing buildings, land and developments values.
The commission has exclusive authority over the zoning and regulation of the utilization of all property in the district. The commission also has the authority to approve or disapprove the location and design of any improvements upon land within the district. In accordance with enabling legislation, no planning or zoning commission or any subdivision of the state thereafter shall have any authority or jurisdiction within the area. The commission is empowered to institute and defend litigation to enforce its rules, regulations, decisions and orders. The commission meets monthly to review land use permits for compliance with the adopted master plan and established zoning regulations for the district.
In 1975, the State Legislature established the Capitol-Medical Center Improvement and Zoning Commission to provide for:
- Developing the area around the State Capitol and the Oklahoma Health Center
- Developing and maintaining a comprehensive master plan
- Coordinating the land use within the district
- Developing, implementing and enforcing district zoning regulations.
The commission continues to be funded directly by the state and operates under the control of the state government. Title 73, Section 83 creates the boundaries of the district.
Title 73, Section 83.1
- Empowers the commission with exclusive authority over zoning and regulation of the utilization of property within the district.
- Instructs it to defend and enforce its rules, regulations, decisions and orders.
- Establishes the membership as a diverse group representing all the elements within the district.
- Title 73, Section 83.3 mandates the following additional responsibilities
- Approve location and design of improvements.
- Conserve natural resources.
- Ensure efficient expenditure of public funds.
- Promote safety, convenience and prosperity.
- Formulate zoning regulations relative to location, character and extent of transportation routes, utilities, buildings, parks and parkways.