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About the zoning commission

General Information

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 eleven-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.

Legal Foundations

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 of Oklahoma and operates under the control of the Oklahoma 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.

Citizens Advisory Committee

  • Created by the Legislature to serve in an advisory role to the commission to represent the citizens of the district.
  • Membership consists of no less than 10 and no more than 15 residents or property owners within the district.
  • Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.
  • Members appointed by commission for one-year terms.

Historic Preservation and Landmark Board of Review

  • Created by the commission to maintain information about the area and items of historical significance, to advise owners in historical areas and to prepare findings-of-fact. They also review certificates of appropriateness, rezoning requests and conditional use permits and forward their recommendations to the commission.
  • Members are appointed by the commission for three-year terms.
  • Membership consists of one member each: registered architect, licensed real estate broker, historian, city planner or landscape architect, attorney, chairman of Historical Preservation and Landmark Commission of the City of Oklahoma City or his designee; two members shall be residents or own property in a designated historic district or neighborhood on the U.S. Department of Interior's National Register of Historic Places within the boundaries of the Capitol-Medical Center Improvement and Zoning District; Capitol-Medical Center Improvement and Zoning Commission member serving as ex-officio member of the board.
  • Meetings are conducted the first Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. or meets on call.
Last Modified on Feb 04, 2022
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