A Walmart Neighborhood Market proposal will make its way in front of the Conway Planning Commission during its meeting at 7 p.m Monday in the District Court Building. The proposal will be the second time in the past four months that the company has made an effort to build a grocery store in Conway.
The grocery store, which is attempting a second bid for the Conway area after being refused six years ago, decided to ask that the proposal be held in committee until May. The possibility of the store being built this summer was brought up in a public hearing during the March meeting of the commission, but several members of First Presbyterian Church, which would be next to the business, raised questions about the need for the store at all.
Many in attendance were opposed to the business. The commission spent about two hours discussing the ramifications of bringing in the business and the parameters that would be set, including leaving it open 24 hours a day, and decided to table any proposal while the applicants and the church could come to several agreements.
The new proposal comes after meetings between representatives from Walmart and the church concerning landscaping, hours of use and the number of deliveries to the store. The proposed area would be on Prince Street across from Farris Road.
Walmart is asking for a zoning change from residential (R-1) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) in order to place a Neighborhood Market there. Unlike a main Walmart, the Neighborhood Market would strictly be a grocery store.
Walmart officials have changed the landscaping proposal after talking with members of the church, including using a dedication of funds for the church to enhance landscaping on the boundary of its property and Farris Road. Walmart has also submitted its construction times, which would be 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-7 p.m. on Sunday.
Deliveries will also be restricted, although Walmart representatives have stated in their new proposal that they have not specifically agreed to the restrictions, which prevents overnight deliveries and those made just before and after school and during church services on Sunday.
If the Planning Commission approves the request, the proposal will move to the Conway City Council.