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ROGERS -- The Planning Commission approved three projects during a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Farms Office, a three-story office building with a two-story parking garage, will be built on eight acres of Magnolia Street in the Magnolia Farms subdivision. The project for an 85,530-square-foot building falls in the highway commercial zone. Magnolia Street is currently under construction.

Daniel Ellis, vice president of Northwest Arkansas infrastructure for Crafton Tull, said the project worked to keep as many trees in the area as possible.

Community Development Director John McCurdy said he hears that promise from developers a lot, but in this case, they followed through.

"Here he is going two stories underground to preserve trees," McCurdy said during a committee discussion prior to the Planning Commission meeting. "That's commendable."

Commission Chairman Don Spann agreed.

Although a public hearing wasn't required at this stage of the process, the commission opened the floor for public comment since residents were present.

"I talked to developers about leaving some natural barrier" between my house and the new development, said Laura Coello. "I don't know if you've been down there, but nearly all the trees are gone. They're being praised for preserving trees, but by my house that didn't happen."

Spann acknowledged the developer removed trees in a ravine near Coello's house, but asked that she look at the landscaping plans for Farms Office, which show more trees and bushes be planted.

"Our neighborhood has beautiful trees, gardens, and pools, said resident Mary Carns. "I'm concerned about how they're going to shield commercial development from residential. I'm concerned about those residential spaces [above the commercial development] facing into our neighborhood, and that it puts dumpsters in my side yard."

Carns was also concerned about the noise created from the impending dumpsters, retail and housing. She asked a brick barrier be built along the Magnolia subdivision.

Carns also read comments from Nathan Frasier, another neighbor, made during a Jan. 15 neighborhood meeting concerning the new development. Frasier and his wife had similar concerns and requested more information about detention ponds. The couple wanted to know how they would be kept from being mosquito-infested.

Ellis addressed those issues, but said there are no plans for a wall to be built between the office and neighborhood. A total of four ponds will serve the area, he said. One will be built, while others are on the east and north sides of the property. Ellis said the developer will install a well to keep water at a consistent level and prevent it from becoming a swamp. The other three ponds will have some standing water, like a natural water feature, he said.

Hull Dermatology was approved for a construction project at 500 S. 52nd Street. Gray Rock Consulting was approved for variances concerning a 50 foot minimum right of way, 10 foot side path and six foot green space. The request for a waiver for street lighting was denied and the developer will instead pay a $1,088 fee.

A new Lewis & Clark Outfitters store will be built on 2.11 acres at 4200 W. Huntington Drive. The project by Crafton Tull will make use of a 4-acre regional detention pond.

NW News on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: Large office building approved in Rogers

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