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LOWELL -- Those constructing a new office building on a lot of West Monroe Business Park will adhere to city standards despite representatives disagreeing with its logic.

Dirk Thibodaux of Gray Rock Consulting represented the project for Oelke Construction during a planning commission meeting Monday night. Thibodaux said the plans are for a new office building with a leaseable space attached to be built on Grant Place, near West Monroe. The property has Arvest Wealth Management on one side and Flip Side Ninja Park to its south side.

Other action

The Lowell Planning Commission met Monday and also approved:

• A plan by IDO Arkansas LLC to construct two large warehouse and office buildings on North Goad Springs Road across from the FedEx Freight location.

• A lot split requested by Anderson Trust for property along Honeysuckle Street. Commissioners discussed how an area of easement would be needed, once in the development phase, but that the amount would depend on the property’s proximity to other developments.

Source: Staff report

"It's on a relatively new street behind Arvest; it has access easement to a cell tower and an existing gravel drive," Thibodaux said. "We hope to have some storage area with gravel next to the existing drive and two gravel parking spaces. Flip Side Ninja is the same."

Commission chairman James Milner reminded the architect that city code no longer allows gravel drives.

"I don't agree with that line of thinking," Thibodaux said. "You typically don't have to pave to a cell tower, that's excessive." He reminded the commission that gravel is better for runoff than pavement, since the water travels through faster.

"If you had it paved, would you still be using it to get to the storage area and parking spaces?" Milner asked.

Thibodaux agreed but pointed out what he saw as a double standard since the property adjoining the location wouldn't also have to pave.

Commissioner Darrin Brock asked when the access road would ever be paved, if it remains open.

Milner said the paving needed to happen now so the city doesn't pave it at the expense of the taxpayer later.

Thibodaux pointed out that this would make it difficult to pave the property to the south and said he wished the road had been decommissioned. He conceded that his client would pave the area if it was needed to move the project forward.

After the commission approved the project contingent upon paving the drive and parking, Mayor Eldon Long pointed out that the drive is leased and suggested contacting the owner of the tower.

TZZ Event Center, which plans to develop on seven acres at 2509 W. Monroe Ave, approached the Planning Commission on Monday with changes to its large scale development. Kris Sullivan, planning and economic development director, said the center would be used primarily for work retreats. Commissioners and city staff advised adjusting the amount of parking to suit the center's three buildings. As of now it plans roughly 400 stalls. Based on capacity of the buildings, city code could require as many as 600 spaces, but commissioners and staff are taking into account the likelihood of all three facilities being used at the same time and the ratios required by other large facilities, like colleges.

TZZ Event Center plans to approach the commission for a decision on March 19.

NW News on 02/06/2018

Print Headline: Planners OK project contingent on paving

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