Hello Riverview Neighbors! Tulsa City Councilor Kara Joy McKee has requested a meeting with residents of the Riverview Neighborhood to discuss the development project being planned right next door to Riverview’s Cry Baby Hill. This is an opportunity for residents to hear how this new development may impact the neighborhood and for us to provide our recommendations. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm on Monday February 7th in the Williams Lodge Parlor Room at the Gathering Place.

We will also be following up to last months meeting and discussing a few other topics such as suggested changes to the Neighborhood Infill Overlay AND 2022 Riverview Neighborhood Events.

If you have any troubles finding your way or just want to hear more from the neighborhood, please email TulsaRVNA@gmail.com

We’ll see you there!

Hello Riverview Neighbors! Just a friendly reminder that the Riverview Neighborhood is having an Association meeting this Wednesday the 5th at 6:00pm at The Sand Bar Restaurant on Riverside and we hope to see you there! We’ll be talking about engagement opportunities, city and neighborhood activity, an update on safety programs, and so much more! Spread the word to all your Riverview Neighbors!

Friends in Riverview,

As you may know, the infill overlay passed Wednesday night at the City Council Meeting 8-1. Some changes may be possible, so I urge you to give constructive comments to the City in exploring what may be possible.  We’re all adults here (or at least most of us), and we know that dialogue is more effective than diatribe.  It’s a general rule that people are more receptive to ideas when they are approached in the spirit of collaboration, as opposed to being on the receiving end of castigation. It may be true that to make an omelet, folks need to crack some eggs.  Not so in working through neighborhood issues.  Issues come and go, but hard feelings last forever.

Now I address my Very Dear Friends in Riverview,

I’ve been the President of the Riverview Association since, …. well, I can’t exactly remember when Sam Johnson begged someone to let him off the hook.  I really do like the part of this volunteer work that has allowed me to meet folks (and cook bbq for folks).  I’ve tried to bring positive change to the neighborhood in my focus on Crime and Safety, but mostly, to be as positive as I know how in my posts (sometimes, admittedly, too lengthy).  It has been my view that reading something uplifting on the internet, particularly during a worldwide pandemic, is more heart healthy than some of the ugly stuff social media has to offer.

Even so, it does appear that some folks I’ve never met, from inside and outside the neighborhood, have decided they need my scalp and are spending a lot of their precious, remaining time on this earth saying ugly things about me and other complete strangers.  Since I don’t know them and they don’t know me, I can’t walk over to their houses and have a cup of coffee to work things out.  I’m old school; that’s how I’d do it.  (Normally, I just use the internet to search for videos of kittens doing funny things.)  And, while it’s in my nature to defend myself, it’s not in my nature to hurt organizations when I have been entrusted in an official role.  I’m kind of thinking that for me to continue as President and Director, Riverview might not be better off.  So, this is my sign off in those roles.

After all this passes, and it will, may we all remind ourselves that kindness is not a four letter word and is always more heart-healthy than the alternative.  See you at Ron’s.

Your friend, Rick Eagleton, former President, Riverview.

Neighbors, This is your friendly Neighborhood Association President, Rick Eagleton. I’m back from vacation just in time to get up to speed on a lot of questions regarding the Infill Overlay that will be voted on at this Wednesday’s City Council Meeting. Preliminarily, I have confirmed that it remains on the agenda for this Wednesday’s Council Meeting which starts at 5:00pm. I urge everyone to participate and, as I understand it, if you want to speak at a council meeting, all you have to do is sign a sheet that says you want to speak. That’s local government in action.

I can tell from social media and from people reaching out to me (and about me) that there is quite a bit of recent interest in how this may affect the neighborhood. I will give my public mea culpa now: I, like many of you, have not been particularly focused on this on this issue. I have been focused on neighborhood Crime and Safety issues, which have been front and center on the mind of neighbors as they have reached out to me. So, I’m sorry that I haven’t been more proactive in educating myself and trying to educate our board and you. But, here we are.

Today, I have spoken to Susan Miller, AICP, Director of the Tulsa City Planning Office. She has forwarded me an informational link to details about the Infill Overlay which will be voted on. It is: http://tulsaplanning.org/programs/projects/housing/ I wanted to get this out to you as soon as I got it. I have not reviewed it yet. She advised me there is a frequently asked questions section where questions you may have may be addressed.

Also, I have spoken with Councilor McKee’s aide, who has given me a link to the October 6, 2021 Urban and Economic Development Meeting at which this proposal was discussed in detail. Again, this is hot off the press to me, so I haven’t watched it yet, but she tells me there was about a 15 minute discussion starting at about minute 25. It apparently is only published on the Tulsa City Council’s Facebook Page the link is: https://www.facebook.com/tulsacitycouncil/videos/183303717245423

Earlier today, I watched a Planning Commission meeting from May 3, 2021, at which this was discussed in detail. I found it quite informative. The link for that is: https://youtu.be/lc9w82yeVlQ.

If I can provide more useful information, I will do so as quickly as I can.

Rick Eagleton, President.

Riverview Neighbors:  Two of our neighbors have reached out to the Riverview Neighborhood Association about the City’s proposed Infill Overlay, which has been approved by the Planning Commission and I am advised it will be presented to the City Council on October 20, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

As background, on the Planning Commission website, I found the “Purpose and Intent” of the proposed new regulations is as follows:  “The Neighborhood Infill Overlay establishes zoning regulations that are intended to promote the development of alternative infill housing in established neighborhoods.  The overlay allows for a variety of residential housing types in a manner that is compatible, in mass and scale, with the character of surrounding properties.  The regulations are also intended to promote housing types that accommodate households of varying sizes and income levels and provide for a more efficient use of residential land.”   The link to the current form of the proposal, I believe, is:  https://tulsaplanning.org/programs/projects/housing/overlay/.

Our neighbor, Cathy Skalla, contacted the Association asking to reach out to neighbors about the Infill Overlay.  In sum, she reports a representative of the Planning Commission has advised her that with enough objections from residents, the City Council will send the proposal back to the Planning Commission for further review and potential revision.  She asked me to provide her bullet point list summarizing her objections: 

Cathy describes her position as follows: 

I recommend that the Overlay not be passed in its current form but be sent back to the Planning Commission for further review and revision with active input from residents based on these concerns:

  • Only one parking space for every two living units is required, potentially leaving up to 6 vehicles per 4-plex, and up to 12 vehicles per 8 unit building on the street if each unit were to be occupied by 2 people.
  • Reducing lot width from 50ft to 40ft would allow construction to be squeezed onto 4 lots that currently requires the area of 5 lots, while also allowing new builds or to protrude 10 feet closer to the curb and back lot lines than existing structures.

  • The Riverview district already has more than 1174 multi-family living units from duplexes to apartment buildings including owned units with rental unit prices ranging from $425/month; $700-$800, $970-$1150; and $975-$2910 in the newest complex which contains 264 units. 
  • If passed, the new zoning will eliminate any voice residents currently have in determining the composition, appearance, and character of our neighborhood.
  • There is currently a longstanding and equitable process in place citywide which allows for new construction or modifications outside current zoning allowances to be considered on a case by case basis. It allows the residents of the neighborhood to give their input before approval is granted. 
  • The existing zoning does not deny the opportunity for new construction. It does ensure that any such development in the Riverview Historic District is thoughtfully considered with input from the people who live in the neighborhood ensuring that new builds enhance and do not detract from the distinctive character of the diverse architectural styles that give the neighborhood its timeless appeal.”

She can speak more specifically about her concerns to you and welcomes your inquiry.  Her telephone number is (918) 978-7136, and her e-mail is skalcat2@gmail.com.

We also have heard from our neighbor, Kevin Symcox, who can be reached at kevin.symcox@gmail.com or (203) 479-2674. He generally supports the Infill Overlay, stating:  “I think it is a positive thing for the neighborhood.  It needs design guidelines though as currently it lacks any guidance (mostly forcing buildings to face the street vs. side yards).  It increases the value of land and should help spur infill in (some) vacant properties.”

Everyone should seek out information, and both Cathy and Kevin would be good places to start.  Being an informed citizen is key to participating in a vibrant neighborhood.

We very much appreciate the interest all neighbors have in matters affecting the neighborhood; at this time, the Association has not received a sufficient amount of communication from neighbors to take a representative position on this proposal, but we agree that everyone is better served when neighbors become actively involved.  We encourage all to educate themselves on issues affecting us all.

Rick Eagleton, President

This is a reminder that the Riverview Neighborhood Ass’n is sponsoring a Crime and Safety Meeting tonight. It will be outside at the Yard Bar (former Elwoods) 19th and Riverside, at 7pm tonight. The owners of the Yard Bar have graciously agreed to open their facility for us for our meeting (normally they are not open Monday nights). They will have some snacks and a full bar. We encourage attendees to show their appreciation by making some purchases for this Riverview establishment.

As to tonight’s meeting, we are please to announce that our guests will be:

District 4 Councilor Kara Joy McKee:
— tulsacouncil.org/councilors/district-4/
— Dist4tulsacouncil.org
— (918) 596-1924.

Brant Pitchford, Supervisor, Working in Neighborhoods (“WIN”), City of Tulsa:
— cityoftulsa.org/government/departments/working-in-neighborhoods/

Officers Steve Meineke and/or William Badgett, Tulsa Police Department; and

Tyler Parette, Housing Solutions:
–housingsolutionstulsa.org

We thank them all for volunteering their time to discuss this topic of great importance and interest in our neighborhood.

I will come to the meeting with handout showing how residents or neighbors can authorize the Tulsa Police Department to come upon private property when it observes trespassing. Mr. Pitchford can discuss this in more detail.

Also, in the past, we have been reminded that reporting a crime or problem on Facebook or Nexdoor is not an effective means by which to get the attention of law enforcement. I have been provided a Tulsa Police Department website address that lists contact numbers for categories of crimes or problems that may be of use to you. It is: tulsapolice.org/contact-tpd/contact-usphone.aspx. I will also have a print out for these numbers, if anyone would like that.

The Board of the Association looks forward to seeing you tonight and to having a productive meeting. Rick Eagleton, President, Riverview Neighborhood Association. 918-845-0637.

Neighbors, this is a reminder of our request that residents and business owners in the Riverview Historic District attend our upcoming Crime and Safety meeting, to be held next Monday, September 20, 2021, at 7:00pm. It will be an outdoor, in person, meeting at the Yard Bar (Formerly Elwoods) located at 19th and Riverside. In the time of COVID and considering last minute weather concerns, there are always the possibilities of updates, so please check our Facebook page (Riverview Neighborhood Association Tulsa) and www.riverviewtulsa.com for updates. There are tables at Yard Bar, but feel free to bring a lawn chair. The owners of Yard Bar have graciously offered to open on a day which normally they would be closed. They will have limited snacks and drinks available for purchase. We hope you will consider ordering so as to assist them in defraying costs, if you can. They are a business in the Riverview District, so we want to show them our appreciation for their accommodation to us.

As to why we’re holding this meeting, neighbors have seen continued problems since our last meeting on this topic. Some have reported an escalation of vagrancy, trash, trespassing and crime in Riverview. While this is not exclusive to the area around 15th and Denver, that area certainly has a concentrated problem. And we have observed that corner attracts persons traveling throughout our neighborhood engaging in objectionable conduct both at 15th and Denver and throughout our neighborhood. We know our neighborhood remains a desirable place to live and that it is not the only neighborhood in Tulsa having these problems. Even so, when neighbors don’t feel as safe as they should on their own properties, have to deal with trespass, trash, and nuisance and are legitimately concerned about letting their kids play outside, things must improve. Ours is a welcoming, eclectic neighborhood, and this is good. That does not mean we should put up with nonsense, and we want to try to make some progress. To that end, Councilor McKee has graciously agreed to attend and listen, and we understand representatives of Tulsa Police Department will be there. We are also going to hear from Brant Pitchford, with Tulsa’s Working With Neighborhoods (WIN) program, to discuss Code violation enforcement options. WIN’s work can be accessed at https://www.cityoftulsa.org/government/departments/working-in-neighborhoods/

As I have mentioned, it is not our intention to hold an unproductive, gripe session, but just the same, we now need to come up with ideas that make a difference. These problems cannot simply be handled by neighbors on their own. We don’t have the funds or the levers of policy or tools of law enforcement. So, please come with detailed information to help our public officials help us, and, as I say, please be productive. We all do better when government and citizens work together. Let’s do our part and encourage them to do theirs.

So, please set your calendars and make your notes for discussion. And please join as a member of the Association through the drop down menu at riverviewtulsa.com. While neighbors are free to talk at our meetings, members of the Association are those who vote.

Feel free to call, text or email. Rick Eagleton, President 918-845-0637. reagleton@rjeoffices.com

Neighbors, we have been planning on having a feel good, congratulatory meeting on how well Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill went this year, and we’re going to do that, for sure. That said, we have been hearing a lot from neighbors about different types of crime in the neighborhood and concerns over safety. While not an exclusive area of concern, the area at 15th and Denver, simply put, is a problem which must be solved.

We are going to try again with a Crime and Safety meeting to search for constructive solutions. Please calendar Monday, September 20, 2021, at 7:00pm for an outdoor, in person, meeting at the Yard Bar (Formerly Elwoods) located at 19th and Riverside. We’re not positive about seating. You might consider a lawn chair. Tell your neighbors. Let’s get as many voices as we can.

A few years ago, we had a Crime and Safety meeting at which city officials and District 4 candidates as well as law enforcement appeared to hear our comments and concerns and to offer their responses. We are in the process of inviting as many as can attend. At this point, Councilor McKee has been invited and has graciously accepted our invitation. I hope we will see other city officials and law enforcement. I will give other updates as I have them.

It is not our intention to hold an unproductive, gripe session, but just the same, we now need to come up with ideas that make a difference. These problems cannot simply be handled by neighbors on their own. We don’t have the funds or the levers of policy or tools of law enforcement. So, please come with detailed information to help our public officials help us, and, as I say, please be productive. I have no intention of misusing our guests’ time to abuse them. Making someone else feel crummy is not the best way to encourage them to action. We all do better when government and citizens work together. Let’s do our part and encourage them to do theirs.

After the last Crime and Safety meeting, we looked into and tried to organize a Neighborhood Watch program. We received quite a bit of useful information from Karen Gilbert of Crime Stoppers on how to set up a Neighborhood Alert program, but things never could get very far off the ground because we need to train block captains to handle organization within each neighborhood. We had some, but not enough, block captain volunteers. Things may have changed and now there may be more enthusiasm throughout the neighborhood, but we have the idea that we might be able to put Neighborhood Watch in place around hot spots in the neighborhood, such as 15th and Denver. I’d guess we would have volunteers to help out there. Please understand that this is no criticism of neighbors. Ours is a very large neighborhood, with few financial resources. The charm of our neighborhood is in its diversity, but with that, we know folks work a lot, have busy, committed lives, and are dealing with their own circumstances which may prevent them from focusing on issues outside their own lives. That said, if we can help, collectively, we should. We are not suggesting that Neighborhood Watch is a substitute for effective city policy, reallocation of resources or active law enforcement; we’re not going to be vigilantes. We can be good neighbors and good citizens at the same time.

So, please set your calendars and make your notes for discussion. We want to make progress. And please join as a member of the Association. While neighbors are free to talk at our meetings, members of the Association are those who vote. There’s a link on the website for that.

Feel free to call, text or email. Rick Eagleton, President 918-845-0637. reagleton@rjeoffices.com

Thanks to neighbors and to supporters far and wide for making Tulsa Tough and our VIP Tent a great success Sunday. We can’t wait to do it for you again next year. Please let your friends know all of your good experiences and make them promise to come to the tent next year! And now that we’re getting back to normal, please consider joining the Association and coming to meetings. The more participation, the better our neighborhood can be.

Join up right here on this page.

Rick Eagleton, President

Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill in Riverview is just two days away — June 13! Time to get EXCITED, but time is running short to get your admission tickets to the Riverview VIP Tent at Cry Baby Plaza (the triangular park at Riverside Drive and Lawton Avenue). Want shade, fellowship, bbq, beer, merchandize and the best, coolest spot on the course to watch the races, we have it. And you’ll be helping out the neighborhood. For your tickets and merchandise (caps and cowbells) to: https://jupiter.link/ssVdmLa or our website at www.riverviewtulsa.com. Thanks, again, to BadJupiter for setting all this up and to Elgin Park for being so good to us in getting us such good beer…. coldest in town, pinkie promise. Feel free to contact me at reagleton@rjeoffices.com if you have any questions. Rick Eagleton, President.