A controversial rezoning request that would have led to the demolition of historic Classen Circle and its businesses in Oklahoma City has been delayed at least a month.
The Braum’s restaurant chain, which requested the rezoning so it could put one of its stores there, agreed to move a planning commission hearing from Aug. 24 to Sept. 28, according to KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City.
Braum’s wants to host a community hearing before the rezoning request. No date for the meeting has been set.
News of the rezoning request last month was met by protests and resistance from Oklahoma City councilor Ed Shadid. A Change.org petition opposing the rezoning has been signed by more than 13,000 people.
According to a report in The Oklahoman newspaper:
Lynne Rostochil, who co-founded Okie Mod Squad, welcomed the delay. […]
“It makes me happy Braum’s is taking our concerns into consideration,” Rostochil said. “And maybe that will mean they will work with people who are trying to preserve the building and figure out a different plan.”
Braum’s has declined to comment about the matter.
Classen Circle is home to Classen Grill, the HiLo Club, the Drunken Fry, Charlie’s Records and apartments. Classen Circle, built in 1948, sat on a 1950s alignment of Route 66. Current-day Oklahoma Highway 66, which is overlaid onto Interstate 44, also sits nearby.
And the area also was one of the first LGBT-friendly places in the city, making it culturally significant as well.
(Image of Classen Circle in Oklahoma City via Change.org page)