A convenience store proposal that received no recommendation from the Conway Planning Commission is pulling its initial plans to build outside the University of Central Arkansas in order to resubmit with various changes.
The Conway City Council voted 6-0 to allow Kum & Go to pull its request for a C-3 permit and approach the planning commission within the year with another proposition. Alderman Shelley Mehl abstained from voting citing her position at UCA.
Kum & Go is wanting to build a gas station and convenience store on the corner of Dave Ward Drive and 708 S. Donaghey Ave., and the company had requested a C-3 permit, but after many questions from commissioners and area residents, the company decided to pull its request and resubmit at a later date.
"We are not abandoning this idea at all," said Frank Shaw, a Conway attorney who is representing the company. "We just want to come back and approach this in a different form."
With the C-3 permit, Kum & Go would have been able to seek approval without changing anything from their initial plan. By seeking a C-2 permit with conditional use, the company said it is willing to work with UCA and surrounding residents to change certain aesthetics of the store. After the planning commission voted 4-3 against allowing a C-3, council members did not seem willing to approve the permit. Many, however, voiced their support to the company going through the process again to find a better option.
"I would like to see what they have to offer," Alderman Mark Vaught said. "It seems like they are willing to work on this."
In addition to the aesthetics in proximity to the university, some are worried about traffic problems along the Donaghey corridor. Commission member Jeff Allender said at its meeting that the placement of the store was not a good fit.
"You have potential students who are using that street to enter into UCA, and I just think it is a poor welcome to the college," Allender said. "I also think that some may believe that college students would use this place with foot traffic, but I think they will drive there, which would create more traffic."
Shaw said the company would like to come back to the commission soon, but he was not sure of a timetable.
"We want to address all the issues on the table," Shaw said. "We just need a little more time."