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ROGERS -- Plans for apartment complex Pinnacle Lofts were approved by the Planning Commission on Tuesday night much to the chagrin of neighbors.

Ron Pender of Kingman Land submitted the request for a final planned urban development plan and rezoning for the 20-acre project. Pinnacle Lofts was rezoned from agricultural to residential multifamily at 19 units per acre. It will be on the north side of Stoney Brook Road.

Commission action

Rogers’ Planning Commission met Tuesday and:

• Mount Carmel Phase Two, which will have a clubhouse and 23 cottages on 5.3 acres at 2200 W. Laurel Avenue. The project sits in the residential multifamily with six units per acre with ownership zoning district.

• Highland Knolls Offices — three office buildings at 7,980 square feet each on 2.4 acres. The project will be at West Highland Knolls Road and Pinnacle Hills Parkway in the residential office zoning district.

• A request by RNR Investments for a permit allowing vehicle and equipment repair and installation at 3405 W. Walnut Street in the highway commercial zoning district with condominium use.

• A request by Avance Business Solutions to rezone 3.8 acres at 410 N. 13th Street from a combination of residential office and highway commercial to the highway commercial zoning district.

Source: Staff report

The commission voted for the project 6-1, with only John Schmelzle against.

"This area is in good need of development," said attorney Andrew Curry, who represented the project Tuesday. The property is agricultural and the site of an abandoned pallet plant. Curry said the property was a foreclosure and is bank-owned. "It's become a bit of a blight, a hangout for teenagers and a popular spot for graffiti."

Phase one of the project will bring more than 200 units. A second phase will bring more than a hundred others. The project is entitled to so much density, Curry said, because it has more than the required amount of green space.

Curry's colleague, attorney Bill Watkins, held a meeting in the summer to hear complaints from neighbors and the final concept presented addressing their concerns. Changes made include adding a detention pond northeast of the property, addressing building height issues and internal traffic, as well as adding evergreen and masonry screening to the entire north boundary line. The screening will prevent headlights from shining into neighborhoods, Curry said.

Roger Kidd, a resident on the north side of the property, asked the commission to deny building nine of the property, which was planned to be three stories tall. Kidd invited the commissioners to his home to stand in his backyard and imagine a building of that height looking into his backyard.

Steve Wood, a resident to the east of the property who will now be adjacent to a parking lot, said he was apprehensive based on the experience of Stone Manor Condominium Apartments coming to Stoney Brook Road.

"They made promises, 'We'll put in berms, put in fences, you'll never know it's there,'" Wood said. "But you can see it. I don't want something like that in my backyard."

Wood was surprised by the possibility of residential multifamily zoning at such a high density next to his neighborhood of single family homes. Approving the rezone would be a quantum leap, he said.

Allen Henrie, also a nearby resident, said he remembered the nightmare of the pallet operation and the environmental kickback of construction as it displaced animals. Henrie feared a similar situation from Pinnacle Lofts.

Sabrina Roper, who represented a nearby apartment complex, said she'd seen its occupancy decline from 97 percent to 91 percent in the past few years based on other multifamily operations opening. She opposed the project she said would saturate the market.

The project's developer clarified the masonry wall will be on top of the retaining wall, adding to the height of screening that neighbors were so concerned about.

Curry said the east property sits so high a wall on that side isn't required and residents won't be able to see a building, since that's addressed with an evergreen screening.

Commissioner Mark Myers said the site isn't conducive for single family homes and experience showed them it isn't great for commercial or industrial either.

"This is a site I thought would be hard to develop, but they've done a pretty good job," Myers said. "Some modifications should be made, but I think those issues we can work around in large scale committee."

NW News on 10/04/2017

Print Headline: Pinnacle Lofts to bring hundreds to Stoney Brook

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