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ROGERS -- Certain parts of the city are bound to grow into commercial areas, planning commissioners said during a meeting Tuesday.

Rezoning formerly agricultural property and the granting a permit for an event center near a neighborhood sparked the discussion.

Sammy Dale Yates requested 1501 S. Rainbow Road be rezoned from agricultural to highway commercial and warehouse office. M. Dirk Thibodaux of Grey Rock Consulting, who represented the project at the meeting, said the location will include storage units on one end and a warehouse on the other end.

The beauty and character of the area will be changed by the development, Beth Strickland, a resident of nearby Ozark Acres, said during a public hearing. She implored the Planning Commission to not let the developer destroy the natural beauty of the area for continued urban sprawl of the city and pointed to an infrastructure challenge.

"Traffic is already dangerous and this will add to the congested situation," Strickland said. She cited several time periods of the day that are difficult to leave the neighborhood without fear of getting in a car wreck.

Thibodaux said the property will need to be rezoned to something else eventually and he felt that a warehouse was a good development choice.

"There's retail on the front, but it's a smaller portion," Thibodaux said. "Yes, it's storage units, but they're higher-end, climate-controlled storage, not a fly-by-the-night kind of operation."

Commissioner John Schmelzle agreed the property is destined to become commercial.

"Having a store in the back creates less traffic than having the whole thing that way," Schmelzle said.

The rezone was approved unanimously.

New Town Square Event Center requested a permit to allow its business at 115 N. Dixieland Road in the highway commercial district. The property, which is across the street from the Frisco Mall, is surrounded by supermarkets and a neighborhood including Persimmon Place Apartments.

"We wouldn't want something to operate past midnight when it's backed up to residents," commissioner Mark Myers said.

Commission chairman Don Spann said he thought it was a reasonable request for use of empty space.

Commissioner Tony Noblin asked the commission consider the worst case scenario, which could include abuse of the city noise ordinance when various parties have loud music, especially past operating hours. Schmelzle questioned whether a certain number of noise complaints would necessitate revoking the permit.

Jennifer Waymack, senior staff attorney, said if it's a nuisance, the city can shut a building down. Waymack didn't anticipate that being the case for this development. A representative of the project said he planned the location to book mostly corporate meetings.

Community Development Director John McCurdy said the commission would be within its rights to put restrictions on the permit.

The commission approved the permit for the event center with the restriction the business be between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight daily. Only commissioner Tony Noblin voted against the item.

NW News on 12/06/2017

Print Headline: Areas unable to stay countryside, commissioners say

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