City Board vote Tuesday bodes ill for neighborhood protesting Murphy gas station | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

City Board vote Tuesday bodes ill for neighborhood protesting Murphy gas station

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 6:44 AM

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: A Murphy gas station similar to this one is proposed for Taylor Loop and Highway 10. Neighbors object.
  • THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: A Murphy gas station similar to this one is proposed for Taylor Loop and Highway 10. Neighbors object.

As expected, the Little Rock City Board last night rescinded, 9-0, its approval of a massive Murphy Oil gas station at 12th and University, the subject of broad neighborhood opposition when it was originally approved 6-5.

You have to wonder about Mayor Mark Stodola, Stacy Hurst, Lance Hines, Dean Kumpuris, Brad Cazort and Dean Fortson, who voted against the neighborhoods originally and in favor of Murphy, the powerfully connected family enterprise that also controls Deltic Timber, developer of Chenal Valley. If it was such a good idea then, why not now? An explanation for the change of heart was in order but lacking. (Cazort was absent last night and the mayor votes only in the case of ties, as was the case in the original 6-5 approval.)

If there were any legal threats from Murphy over this change of heart, none was reported. That's perhaps because Murphy wanted to keep its powder dry for another simmering dispute reported here Saturday. Neighbors to a planned Murphy installation at the difficult Taylor Loop and Highway 10 intersection had some hope the City Board might follow through last night on mentions of a comprehensive study of giant gas station/convenience stores and even a moratorium while such a study was done.

No such luck.

Directors Ken Richardson and Joan Adcock said a study was a good idea but could muster no significant support. Lance Hines, who's never met a business development he doesn't like, no matter how damaging to a neighborhood, said he'd fight it to the bitter end.

That leaves the neighbors around Taylor Loop to the not-so-tender mercies of the Little Rock Planning Commission, which meets Thursday. It would be a departure from custom if it were to disapprove the planned Murphy installation on Highway 10 — a monster with up to 24 pumps, which would make it the biggest fuel terminal in the city. Not to worry. Anybody who drives on the five-lane speedway that is Highway 10 — through the thicket of curb cuts and negotiating the conflicting needs of traffic in the uncontrolled center lane — knows this is one of the city's best designed and controlled scenic corridors. It is easily able to handle a vast convenience store on an undersized lot at the awkward confluence of a major state highway and an arterial street carrying an ever-increasing load of cut-through traffic to Chenal Valley. (Snark intended.)

The city planning staff, after initial resistance, has signed off on the latest design of the Murphy installation at Taylor Loop. Not that the Planning Commission pays any attention to planning staff recommendations. It has overridden them on two previous proposals — the 12th and University Murphy pumper and a MAPCO pumper at Third and Broadway.


Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Manafort will offer no defense case

    The prosecution has rested and the defense says it will call no witnesses in the fraud trial of Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. A local defense lawyer thinks he's toast.
    • Aug 14, 2018
  • Frank Scott adds name to mayor's race

    There are now officially four candidates for Little Rock mayor with Frank Scott Jr.'s filing on Monday.
    • Aug 14, 2018
  • Frank Broyles remembered in film

    A 14-minute film on the late Frank Broyles, Razorback football coach and athletic director, is now online on the UA website.
    • Aug 14, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation