The news about Greenbrier’s growth is finally out of the bag. A new Baptist Health Clinic and a new Walmart Neighborhood Market are coming next year. The Greenbrier Planning Commission unanimously approved both site plans at the December meeting.

Vice-President Todd Hart of Baptist Health in Little Rock requested Lot 1 of the Midtown Replat, owned by Bill and Cathy Tyler, be approved for its new modular building to be completed by August or September 2014.

This land is 1.25 acres north and adjacent to McDonald’s on Highway 65. The move for the Greenbrier Family Clinic has been in the planning stages for months and is finally happening. Both Drs. Bowman and Clifton will be moving the short distance from their temporary building, and a third Doctor, as yet unnamed, will join them. The Clinic already started their new hours, extended until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday to accommodate many commuters. The new building will also accommodate a rehab center and eight employees.

Questions the Planning Commission members had were about irrigation, landscaping, signage and lighting. With the plans for the exact building not yet available, they will be answered at a future meeting.

Tom Berry presented plans for a new Walmart Neighborhood Market (similar to the one recently opened on Prince Street in Conway) located on 7.39 acres called Greenvalley Addition. This is located between Homebank of Arkansas and the Windstream warehouse building. There will be three access driveways, two from Highway 65 (Broadview Street) and one from Green Valley Drive across from the access road to Greenbrier School District’s driveway.

The new building will be 41,000 square feet with 32,000 square feet devoted to sales floor space and the rest to stocking and storage areas. One hundred sixty-eight parking spaces are planned. Health Department permits are in the works to tie into the Green Valley Drive water main, and drainage easements are being negotiated with the Windstream property owners.

The Commissioners prompted Walmart representative Berry to put curbs and gutters all around the project.

Commissioner Rowlett said, "Although this is not in our zoning requirements, the past two or three businesses that we approved, who moved into our town, did that and it makes a project look a lot better."

Green spaces were addressed, and commissioners asked for more landscaping, including trees and bushes. They asked that lighting be shown better on the plans.

Mechanic denied

In other business, a special use permit requested by home-owner James Richards Sr. was reluctantly denied by the commission. Richards asked to run an auto mechanic business in a small shop behind his house doing brake and front end work on his five-acre property located at 11 Lieblong Rd.

He said, "I just want to make a small living doing the kind of mechanic work I’ve done all my life from my home instead of driving to Little Rock every day."

His neighbors have not objected to his business; but his property is in a residential district zoned R-1. Commissioner Rowlett said, "R-1 does not allow this kind of operation. We cannot allow this and set a precedent for others. You can take your case to the next city council meeting or go for re-zoning of your land."

Four Commissioners voted to deny his request, with Richard Snuggs voting for it and Johnny Cardin abstaining.

The Greenbrier Planning Commission meets the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building located on Wilson Farm Road.