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story.lead_photo.caption Nate Bachelor, project manager with CEI Engineering, center, presents the development plans for Crystal Flats to the Planning Commission Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 in the Community Development Building in Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE -- Crystal Flats developers received approval needed to start on the mixed-use project between Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Memorial Park.

The Planning Commission approved 6-0 the plans Tuesday. Commissioner Tregg Brown was absent.

Commission action

Bentonville’s Planning Commission met Tuesday and approved:

• Plan extensions for First Security Bank, 108 S. Main St., townhomes at Southwest Sixth and Southwest B streets and Cadence Apartments, 517 S.W. B St.

• Lot splits at 10203 Sears Road and 327 and 329 S.W. B St.

• Property line adjustments at 201 W. Central Ave., at 1501 S.E. J St. and at 1 Stonehenge Drive.

• Preliminary plat for Providence Village Subdivision phase two on Nomad Road.

• Plans for Enterprise Car Rental, 1501 S.E. J St., Sam’s Club layout center on Southeast S Street and a line station buildings at 2500 S.W. Aviation St.

• Rezoning 309 S.W. Fourth St. from single family residential to downtown medium-density residential.

Source: Staff Report

Nate Bachelor, project manager with CEI Engineering Associates, presented the plans to commissioners before they took the vote.

Crystal Flats will be built on 28 acres along Northeast John DeShields Boulevard west of Memorial Park.

The first phase will include a 487 residential units, 15,000 square feet of commercial space and 808 parking spaces, Bachelor said.

Plans include a central commercial and residential building, two townhouse buildings and three apartment buildings.

CEI Engineering, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, Green Circle Projects, Safdie Rabines Architects and Ecological Design Group are also working on the project.

The mixed commercial and residential building will front DeShields Boulevard. Two rectangular townhouse buildings will be north of the mixed-use building. There will be three U-shaped, four-story apartment buildings on the east side of the property.

Commissioners also approved four waivers with the plans.

The city's building design code requires the primary material used constitute at least 75 percent of the exterior walls, excluding glass.

The primary building material will be brick veneer, fiber cement and glass. Secondary material will include smooth metal panel, corrugated metal panel and engineered composite panels looking like wood.

The buildings' exterior walls range from having 53 percent to more than 75 percent of the primary material, according to meeting documents.

Developers believe the variety of high-quality material in the design "provides much greater aesthetic value to the cityscape" than the requirement in the city's design code, Craig Curzon, principal at Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects wrote in the waiver request.

Developers also requested two waivers regarding the city's landscaping code -- one requiring two shade trees to be planted in internal parking lots and another requiring planting islands be no more than 15 parking spaces apart.

The landscaping plan has more than the number of trees required but has distributed them differently than city code asks. Part of the parking will be gravel-paved, allowing for more trees to be planted, according to developers and city planners.

The fourth waiver is in regards to the requirement off-street parking lots must be paved with a sealed surface pavement. Instead, developers requested to use a gravel pave system composed of a "rigid traffic rated plastic grid of cells that hold the gravel in place" be used for the parking bays, according to the waiver request from Ecological Design Group. Drive isles will be a paved and sealed surface.

"The gravel pave parking will allow for additional tree planting creating a fuller canopy over the parking further reducing the urban heat island effect and allowing for storm water to flow through the gravel infiltrating the ground," Alison Jumper, Ecological Design Group project manager, wrote in the waiver request.

DeShields Boulevard will be widened to three lanes with a center turn lane for about 300 to 400 feet in front of the development, Bachelor told commissioners at their Dec. 12 technical review meeting. There will also be a roundabout built at intersection of Northeast J Street, Museum Way and DeShields.

Commissioners unanimously approved Oct. 3 rezoning the land to a mix of medium and high-density residential and central commercial. This was three months after they denied a request to rezone it to a planned unit development, which requires a site plan, in August.

The initial request was tabled July 5 and July 18 after commissioners heard opposition from residents.

Comments at the Aug. 1 meeting were a mix in support and opposition of the planned unit development. Those against it were concerned about building height, increased traffic and safety for Memorial Park users. Those in favor of it argued the need for more affordable housing options near downtown.

Cindy Springs LLC owns the land. The company has the same post office box as Walton Enterprises.

NW News on 12/20/2017

Print Headline: Crystal Flats receives green light

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