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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ALEX GOLDEN Planning Commissioners Don Spann and Rachel Crawford consider items Tuesday at a commission meeting in Rogers.

ROGERS -- City leaders are moving forward with new policies allowing more types of housing, including tiny homes, in Rogers.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a "cluster housing" proposal allowing tiny homes and cottage court housing in some residential areas.

Other action

The Rogers Planning Commission met Tuesday and:

• Denied a request by Teresa Earp to allow a daycare at 2316 W. Spruce St. with commissioners Kevin Jensen, Mark Myers and Rachel Crawford in favor and commissioners Tony Noblin, Mandel Samuels, John Schmelzle, Don Spann, Eriks Zvers and Dennis Ferguson opposed.

• Approved a request by Lissett Flores to rezone 1201 N. Second St. from highway commercial to the open display commercial zoning district.

Source: Staff Report

Cottage court and cluster housing is grouping three or more detached units on one lot typically closer together than usual with the intent of retaining an open space area, according to the proposal. Houses usually share a yard or common outdoor space in cottage court-style housing.

The city prohibits rezoning land for mobile homes, and the tiny homes fall under its definition of "mobile homes" because they're manufactured and then moved onto land instead of built from the ground. Planning staff began discussing ways it could allow tiny homes after the Planning Commission could not approve a rezoning to allow a tiny home development given its zoning regulations.

Eagle Homes on Olive is a tiny home development with about 20 homes, most of which are 399 square feet, off of West Olive Street near downtown. The neighborhood was built in 2016 on land zoned for mobile homes. When developers David and Chris Gallo recently tried to develop a similar project with 39 homes on about 4 acres on North 13th Street, they found zoning regulations didn't allow the homes there.

Ethan Hunter, city planner, said the city's legal department has reviewed the cluster housing code. The Planning Commission unanimously approved it Tuesday, and the City Council will have to approve the cluster housing code for it to go into effect.

The code would mandate manufactured homes have a porch or awning; have pitched roofs and roofing material of a type customarily used on site-constructed houses; have wheels, axles and hitch mechanisms removed; be placed on a concrete slab or brick skirting; and be compatible and similar in appearance with surrounding site-constructed buildings.

The commission on Tuesday also approved plans for a new gym at Rogers High School.

Plans show the competition gym is set to be more than 79,600 square feet on 4.3 acres off of South Dixieland Road.

The gym is estimated to cost about $17.5 million and is projected to be complete by November 2020, said Charles Lee, assistant superintendent for general administration at Rogers Public Schools.

The gym will be used for volleyball, basketball, cheer, dance and wrestling, he said.

The commission in August approved plans for the auxiliary gym, which Lee said will be used for off-season volleyball and basketball at Heritage High School.

NW News on 09/18/2019

Print Headline: Rogers panel approves rules allowing tiny homes

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