A zoning request from MAKB Enterprises LLC to develop self-storage on a 4-acre parcel in Rogers, Ark., was shot down this week by the city’s planning department following opposition from residents. Owned by Oakley Chapel United Methodist Church, the property on Dixieland and New Hope Roads is zoned residential/multi-family and commercial. MAKB sought a designation of warehouse/office, according to the source.
During Tuesday’s meeting, a debate ensued about the city’s code and how self-storage use should be interpreted. Bill Watkins, the attorney representing MAKB, stated the area already has multi-family and commercial properties. “The city code’s language says that warehouse/office property should be close to other commercial and industrial zones, and there is commercial on the corner,” he said, noting the nearby Kum & Go gas station. The project also meets the requirement of being near arterial and collector streets, Watkins said.
Several residents spoke against the rezoning, citing concerns about increased traffic, potential crime and a decrease in home values. Betsy Reithemeyer, a city alderman who owns property near the proposed site, said the “warehouse/office” designation wasn’t appropriate for the area. “It is near a commercial ... and I'd like to see some type of development, but I'm asking that the commission deny it,” she said.
Resident Alicia Allred expressed concerns about pests at the facility as well as the threat of crime, noting the Kum & Go station was robbed two weeks after opening. Other community members questioned if the property’s lighting would intrude into their homes.
Watkins asked the attendees not to dismiss the project based on the negative image of self-storage. He pointed to an attractive storage facility near one of the city’s large churches.
Ultimately, the planning commission determined the warehouse zoning wasn’t appropriate for the area. “I've driven by this area a million times on the way to work and I don't see it going to warehouse,” said commissioner Tony Noblin.
Based in Fort Smith, Ark., MAKB Enterprises is led by Patrick Byrd.
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Rogers Storage Units a No-Go for Dixieland and New Hope Intersection