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Springdale council rezones residential land to commercial

by HICHAM RAACHE NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | May 25, 2016 at 1:01 a.m.

Owners of property in a Springdale agricultural district planned to become an exclusively residential area will see a commercial self-storage facility built there.

Spirited debate among City Council members Tuesday night preceded the 5-3 motion allowing 3.56 acres at South Downum Road to be rezoned for commercial use. The rezoned land is in an undeveloped area designated for residential development.

Council action

Springdale’s City Council met Tuesday and approved:

• Selling an ambulance to Lowell.

• Spending money from the Capital Improvement Project Fund for Springdale’s State Aid City Street Project.

• Rezoning 1006 N. Thompson St., owned by the Pentecostal Church of Springdale, from general commercial district to institutional district.

• Rezoning 25 acres along South 56th Street from general commercial district and neighborhood office district to thoroughfare commercial district.

Source: Staff report

"I think this is a big mistake," said councilman Eric Ford after the vote. "I think we showed everybody that our land use policy doesn't mean anything."

Councilwoman Kathy Jaycox agreed with Ford.

"I think we have done a huge disservice to Springdale, Ark., tonight," she said.

Terry Pinkley, who requested his land be rezoned so he can tear down his chicken houses and build 10 storage buildings roughly 190 feet by 30 feet, was pleased with the vote and said his commercial plans wouldn't disturb future residences.

"I think because of my distance from the other houses and because I live there myself, it's the right thing to do," Pinkley said.

Pinkley said commercial storage space across Springdale is hard to obtain because of high demand and his new storage facility will benefit the city.

"I'm helping the tax base for the City of Springdale and that's the bottom line," he said.

Ford stressed the land use in the area of Pinkley's property is supposed to be residential.

"I think we owe it to them to keep it the way it was supposed to be," he said. "We have to protect those homes."

Councilman Jim Reed said he didn't see how Pinkley's storage business would harm the area.

Mayor Doug Sprouse, who presided over the meeting, acknowledged the benefits of having storage units in that area, which is near Northwest Park.

"I'm not worried about what you're going to do, I'm worried about the consequences of zoning commercial," Sprouse said to Pinkley during the meeting.

Pinkley, who hopes to have his storage facility completed within a year, said the business will not be a disruption to the residential area.

"(I'll be) drawing traffic from the subdivisions around me, because the subdivisions need places to store their goods," he said.

It's rare for the Planning Commission and City Council to deviate from a land use plan, but not unprecedented, Sprouse said.

"I think when somebody's got land, they have the right to try and make use of that (land), but we also have to consider the impact on the surrounding properties," Sprouse said.

NW News on 05/25/2016

Print Headline: Council rezones residential land to commercial


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