Wednesday, July 30, 2014

University neighborhoods fighting 24-hour gas station, hotel

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM

click to enlarge jpeg.jpg


The staff of the Little Rock Planning Commission called proposals to build a 24-hour gas station and four-story residential hotel at 12th Street and University Avenue "inappropriate," citing the University Park neighborhood immediately adjacent and the nearby Broadmoor neighborhood, the new $3.2 million Centre at University Park a block west, the Elizabeth Mitchell Child Center, the YMCA, a daycare and efforts to revitalize the 12th Street Corridor. 

So, in what looks like a trend, the Planning Commission decided the professional planning staff didn't know what it was talking about and voted 9-1 to approve the Murphy USA gas station and hotel. (The Commission early approved a bid by Mapco to build a multi-pump station at Fourth and Broadway. That proposal was withdrawn after opposition from numerous downtown groups.) UPDATE: Thomas Brock was the nay vote on the hotel; Rebecca Finney was the nay vote on the gas station and convenience store. Jennifer Martinez Belt was absent.

Last night, the University District Neighborhood Association of 10 neighborhood groups voted on a resolution to go to the City Board stating its opposition to the developments. The City Board will vote on the developments at its meeting next Tuesday. 

Pam Powell, speaking for the association, said residents are concerned that an extended stay hotel "would become a low-rent apartment building" visible to homes immediately adjacent to the hotel, and there were serious concerns about traffic and lighting a 24-hour service station and convenience store would bring. "There's a service station and convenience store across the street and two others in either direction and we don't need anymore," Powell said.

Powell, who expressed her opposition at the June 26 Planning Commission hearing on the proposals, brought by Joe White of White Daters for the hotel and White and Murphy USA for the gas station, said the City Board last night asked Tony Bozynski, planning director, why the commission overruled staff. Bozynski said he could not answer. 

At the Planning Commission hearing, Powell said, Commissioner Obray Nunnley Jr. said discussion was avoiding the "elephant in the room," which was that people who bought in neighborhoods so close to the arterial streets shouldn't be surprised at development. "I was appalled," Powell said. "He was rude." 

Nunnley said this morning that "people come to the commission and they want to save us from themselves. When you purchase a piece of property you have to decide whether or into there’s going to be anything that is going to be built in that area that will negatively impact your property." He said that University Avenue was an "arterial" before University Park was built. University Park was built in the 1960s, just after Hayes Street was renamed University. He said the distance between the hotel and gas station development was "huge ... a pretty good distance" from the YMCA and the Centre at University (formerly the Adult Leisure Center).

"In fact, most of us did not envision a 24-hour service station and hotel" at the intersection, Powell, who has lived in the area since 1979, said. The site was formerly occupied by Brandon Furniture.

The area is zoned I light industrial.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Ahoy! Blue Sail launches Saturday on Main Street

    Blue Sail Coffee Roasters opens its shop Saturday, March 25, in the Little Rock Technology Park, 417 Main St. The grand opening announcement says the shop will be in business at 7 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Mo' MoMo

    Katmandu Momo, the food truck created by Nepal native Saroja Shrestha, will open a sit-down eatery in April in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • Buenos Aires Grill opens in the River Market

    The Bruzatori family, Little Rock residents for 14 years, are serving up their family recipes of grilled meats, empanadas, Graciela’s chimichurri (named for the matriarch, Graciela Bruzatori) and other dishes reflective of their Argentinian-Italian heritage at Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe. Head cook is Paul Hohnbaum.
    • Mar 21, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against Dennis Milligan

    Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell, whose knack for deep research brought down Mark Darr, Mike Maggio and Dexter Suggs, now has his sights trained on another worthy target. Today, he filed a 113-page ethics complaint against state Treasurer Dennis Milligan that includes 14 separate allegations.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation