Self-Storage Proposal Stirs Controversy at Conway, AR, Planning Meeting

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A proposed self-storage project stirred controversy in Conway, Ark., this week when neighboring business owners objected to the rezoning and special-use permit that are required for the development to move forward. The Conway Planning Commission sent the issue to the city council without a zoning recommendation, but voted to support the use permit if the council approves the rezoning.

Developer DT Real Estate wants to purchase a residential property at 2215 Dave Ward Drive and build a self-storage facility, which would require a use permit and rezoning the lot to an industrial designation. The current homeowner, Mona Heath, has lived on the property for many years and pleaded with the commission to support the project so she could sell her home, according to the source. The area was once surrounded by open green space but is now bordered by apartments and business developments, she said.

Brian Salter, the developer behind nearby retail center The Plazza at Centerstone, said the area had been rezoned in 2008 to support a mix of office and commercial businesses, but industrial zoning was not part of the plan, the source reported. Dave Smith of Smith Family Pharmacy argued that self-storage “just doesn’t fit.”

Project architect Bruce Jordan, president of Jordan Architects Inc., told the commission the self-storage facility would be “very upscale,” featuring glass at the front and plenty of landscaping in the back. He also argued the facility would have a low impact on neighboring businesses with a daily car count of about 50, as well as low demand for electricity, sewer and water.

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