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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/JASON IVESTER Rogers City Hall; stock art photographed on Monday, April 11, 2016

ROGERS -- A developer will be allowed to build a new multifamily project after the Planning Commission approved plans for the project Tuesday.

Plans for Steel Creek Multifamily show a 13-unit complex including two 4,730-square-foot buildings with five units each and one 2,830-square-foot building with three units on a little more than one acre just north of West Walnut Street and east of North Valley West Drive.

The commission also voted to rezone about 9.6 acres west of North 40th Street and south of West Olive Street from highway commercial to neighborhood commercial at the request of Tallgrass Development LLC despite resident opposition.

Six residents, including Benton County Justice of the Peace Carrie Perrien Smith, voiced concerns about the rezoning. Some said they were concerned about not knowing what sort of development will be built there and whether a new development will bring more traffic or safety problems to the area.

"With all of the traffic that's already in existence in this area and not knowing what potentially could be built in this area, that's a huge concern," resident Jessica Meyer said.

Commissioners Eriks Zvers, Kevin Jensen and Rachel Crawford stressed that approving the rezoning does not approve plans for any particular development and that a developer must come back to the commission with building plans.

"The other important piece to know is it's currently zoned C-2. You could put a car dealership. There's a lot more intense uses that could go in there right now the way it is, so this rezone is actually a benefit to the neighborhood," Crawford said.

One Uptown, a project under construction to include residential, retail and restaurant space at the corner of South Champions Drive and West Pauline Whitaker Parkway, will add a parking garage. The commission approved plans for a two-story, 51,290-square-foot parking garage on about 3.5 acres on West Pauline Whitaker Parkway.

The commission voted to allow a "group residential" permit for Oxford House, an existing home on Third Street for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. The home is already in operation, but it was brought to the city's attention that it is not zoned correctly, said Ethan Hunter, city planner. City staff recommended approval of the permit and called the use of property appropriate and compatible with the area, according to city documents.

The commission also approved preliminary plats for two subdivisions. Roselawn Subdivision is to be 87 lots on about 18 acres north of East New Hope Road and South O Street, and Cottonwood Place Subdivision is to be 55 lots and a recreation detention pond on about 12 acres off West Cottonwood and South Ninth streets.

All items passed unanimously with commissioner Tony Noblin absent. The commission conducted its meeting via Zoom, a video conferencing service, in light of the covid-19 pandemic.

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In other action, the commission:

• Denied a request by Blue Chair Vintage Market and Consignment for a permit to allow vehicle/equipment sales and rentals at 1140 W. Walnut St. in a 6-2 vote with commissioners John Schmelzle and Kevin Jensen opposed to denying the request and commissioners Rachel Crawford, Mark Myers, Mandel Samuels, Eriks Zvers, Dennis Ferguson and Don Spann in favor.

• Unanimously voted to table a request by Venture Park Storage for a permit to allow vehicle storage at 5801 and 5987 W. Venture Park Blvd.

• Unanimously approved a request by Diamond Wash for a permit to allow vehicle washing at South 26th Street north of West Pleasant Grove Road.

Alex Golden may be reached by email at [email protected]

Print Headline: Rogers panel OKs apartments, rezoning

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