The Conway Planning Commission on Wednesday night approved a conditional use permit application from Conway Corp. for a wastewater treatment plant on almost 80 acres at 1405 Lollie Road and an accompanying wastewater pump station on one acre at 5398 Donnell Ridge Road.

After hearing a list of conditions from Sandra Mabry, chairman of the commission’s conditional use committee, the vote was 7-0 in favor of approval.

The application now goes to the Conway City Council for its consideration on March 8.

The project had met with opposition from nearby residents who feared odor, noise, and increased traffic would decrease property values and harm their quality of life. 

Most of these objections were overcome as members of the conditional use committee either visited a similar operation in Fayetteville or spoke to members of that community about their treatment plant.

Conditions relating to those issues were included in the commission’s approval.

In other business, the commission approved:

• Application from Deep Well Ministries for a conditional use permit for restricted office and religious activities in an existing structure at 625 Donaghey.

Matthew Carpenter said the property would provide an office for administration and counseling and a meeting place for students.

Commissioner Mabry said the change would follow guidelines set forth in the planning department’s Donaghey Corridor Study.

• Annexation of 18 acres at 1805 Old Military Road. The commission also approved a conditional use permit to allow construction of an elementary school for Conway Public Schools.

Assistant School Superintendent Carroll Bishop said the district thought the new school was further into the future, but enrollment had grown so fast, "We need to build a new school soon." Proposed completion date is August 2012.

• Annexation of 2.2 acres at 1729 and 1735 Old Military Road as requested by Carolyn and Charles Gates to provide a contiguous connection to the elementary school property.

• Rezoning from R-1 (single family) to R-U (restricted use) for T-Mobile Central, LLC for construction of a cell tower at 2300 Prince St., near the Conway High School softball field. T-Mobile representative Trevor Wood said the pole would not be used for lighting the softball field as previously proposed. The commission requested the pole be built "flag ready."

• Rezoning of 4.5 acres from A-1 to R-2 in Shepherd’s Creek Subdivision for construction of patio homes by Rush-Hal Development. 

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at 505-1234 or becky.harris@thecabin.net)