FIRST MEETING BRINGS FIRE CODE, CONNECTIVITY DEBATES
The Conway Planning Commission unanimously voted in favor of a contested connector street between the Summerbrook and Winterbrook subdivisions, but was divided when it came to an easement for a "sidewalk to nowhere" in the Castleberry Meadows Subdivision at Tuesday night’s planning commission meeting.
Developer Hal Crafton of Rush-Hal Properties is planning to build a new subdivision of 33 single-family homes on about 15 acres west of Summerbrook Subdivision.
The neighboring subdivision will be called Winterbrook, and the two subdivisions will be connected with the extension of Daffodil Street, a stub-out street in the Summerbrook subdivision that has been planned since the filling of the subdivision in October of 2000.
The Conway planning department said the extension would add to the area’s connectivity.
Ronnie Jones, president of the Summerbrook subdivision, spoke on behalf of about 20 neighbors in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting who oppose the extension of Daffodil Street.
Jones said the subdivision opposes the connector street because it will reroute more traffic into their neighborhood where their children often ride bikes and walk without having to worry about traffic.
Summerbrook Drive does not have sidewalks for the residents or children to walk and play on, Jones said.
City Planner Christy Sutherland said the connector street must be extended to comply with the Arkansas Fire Code. Although the Winterbrook Subdivision has two entrances, she said, the fire department does not recognize the streets as two separate entrances because they are too close together.
After some debate, the planning commission agreed to require traffic calming measures along the two main entrances to the subdivision.
Vice Chair Mark Lewis questioned if speed bumps should be approved for this neighborhood, would the planning commission need to include traffic calming measures on every street where children are present.
Anne Tucker said no, but it would be a kind gesture to meet the concerns of the Summerbrook Subdivision.
Commission Member Matthew Brown said putting speed bumps in the Winterbrook Subdivision and not the Summerbrook Subdivision may encourage more people to use Daffodil Street to go out of their way just to avoid having to drive over the speed bumps.
The planning commission unanimously approved the Winterbrook Subdivision plat, including the extension of Daffodil Street with speed bumps on the two main roads leading to Daffodil.
Trinity Development & Four Winds, Inc. is planning to build Castleberry Meadows Subdivision north of Prince Street and west of Chapel Creek subdivision.
The neighborhood would consist of 40 single-family homes on 15 acres.
City of Conway Director of Planning Bryan Patrick said the Castleberry Meadows Subdivision has two entrances and a stub-out street like the Winterbrook Subdivision, which will eventually be extended to comply with Arkansas Fire Code.
One of the planning department recommendations the applicant did not agree with was an easement for a pedestrian pathway between two of the lots to create better connectivity between Castleberry Meadows and Chapel Creek to the north east.
Right now, Bobbie French of Central Arkansas Professional Surveying said, the sidewalk would lead to an empty field with a power line.
"I don’t think the developer should be required to build a sidewalk to nowhere," he said.
Sutherland said it’s a Catch 22 because if you don’t build the sidewalk, residents will build privacy fences over the easement, but if you do it will essentially be a sidewalk to nowhere.
Commission Member Bryan Quinn said there’s no need to build the sidewalk right now when people can just walk down to Prince Street and get some exercise if they want to go to Chapel Creek.
Lewis said he utilizes the cut through sidewalk in Shady Valley often, and while this sidewalk may lead to nothing now, it’s very likely in the near future the area would be developed.
The subdivision plat for Castleberry Meadows Subdivision was approved in a 3-7 vote. Planning Commission Members Matthew Brown, Jerry Rye and Vice Chair Mark Lewis voted against the approval because the recommendation to include a public walking trial easement between two houses was taken out of the list of requirements.
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1212. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)