A planned unit development compliance review for the Scherman Heights area will come before the Conway Planning Commission during its regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the District Court building.
The request for the review has come from Chris Ryan of the Windcrest Property Owners Association. Several property owners in the subdivision abutting Scherman Heights immediately behind Pediatrics Plus have several concerns with Pediatrics Plus and have requested a review for compliance. At issue is an outdoor playground between the rear of 575 Club Lane and Windcrest Subdivision.
Windcrest property owners began inquiring about possible PUD infracAons in early November. Initial conversation concerned the allowance of a playground per the final development plan. This inquiry expanded to include green space requirements, zoning regulations, suburban overlay district regulations, the definition of "yard" and "green space", the size of required day care play area.
This PUD review request is coming at the same time that Pediatrics Plus is requesting a PUD in order to create a child’s play and amusement area known as "The Clubhouse" in the same area. The two businesses would be owned by the same people but run as separate entities.
According to a submitted description to the planning department, the facility would be a "Child’s play and amusement area known as a ‘Clubhouse’ for kids. It would provide a miniature city of Conway that will allow kids to experience imaginative and creative play in a city built for them." Initial talks for the property began in June, but the public hearing will be held Monday before the commission decides if it will recommend the zoning request.
Problems that exist within the facility include parking and an existing playground area, which is located at Pediatrics Plus.
The PUD amendment would be for a commercial recreational facility, and uses underneath that description include everything from as bowling alley to a skating rink or a pool hall. The planning report points out that the commission may be able to define the amendment with certain conditions for the intended use.
In addition, the description said the facility would offer three party rooms and would not "conflict with the use of other businesses in the PUD due to its intent, hours of operation and target audience."
A public hearing began in November for the property, located at 575 Club Ln., but it was held in committee and it will pick back up tonight with those who support it and who are against it will have a chance to speak.
The review of Pediatrics Plus by the Planning Department provided to the commission seems to indicate that many of the items brought up in the review are in compliance. There is an issue with the outdoor playground and play equipment. According to the department, "Taken in context, a ‘yard’ allows structures, trees, decks, pools, etc. This definition does not preclude a playground and play equipment."
Issues also have arisen with Arkansas state child care requirements and noise ordinances, but the department has stated that these regulations and enforcement are beyond the scope of the zoning ordinance.
The department did, however, render an opinion that the property is within the allowed land uses and the green space area is in compliance. The developer of Pediatrics Plus, Jim Rankin, made a voluntary promise to leave a 35-foot border of green space between the western property line of Windcrest Subdivision and any parking, streets, or buildings to the east." The 35-foot border does now exist, but since it was a "promise" and not part of the conditions set forth by the City Council, it is not enforceable by the city, according to the planning department.