City Hall

The Conway City Council approved two rezoning requests and a conditional-use permit during its regular meeting Tuesday.

The council approved a conditional use permit to allow a childcare facility in O-2 (office) for property located at 930 Wingate Drive, Building E.

The childcare center will occupy approximately half of Building E and has access to the covered parking and entrance area. The childcare center is planned to be two classrooms that will serve fewer than 30 children, according to the proposal. The applicant plans to add an outdoor play area to the south of the building and is proposing new and replacement fencing.

James Walden, city planning and development director, said residents in the area had been notified and none of them had expressed concern.

Alderman Mary Smith said she worried about the playground backing up to a residential area, even with a privacy fence.

“Right now they may not think much about it but you put a bunch of kids back there yelling and screaming for hours on end, they’re going to wish they probably had said something,” she said.

Mark Ledbetter, who initially asked about the location of the playground, said: “That’s right; I agree.”

The proposal passed 5-2 with Ledbetter and Smith voting against. Aldermen Shelley Mehl, Wesley Pruitt, David Grimes, Andy Hawkins and Theodore Jones Jr. approved the measure. Alderman Shelia Isby was absent from the meeting.

The council approved 7-0 rezoning a little more than 5 acres located north of Gentry Lane, northwest of Lake Front Drive and West End Street from R-1 (residential) to PUD (planned urban development).

It also approved 7-0 rezoning around 6.5 acres at 1150 Museum Rod from R-1 to PUD to develop a mixture of single-family and two-family residential units with a maximum of 32 dwelling units. Individual lots will range from 8,700 square feet to 23,500 square feet. Oak Grove Drive will be developed and platted as a private drive with gates on both ends, according to the proposal.

The council suspended the rules to vote on a resolution allowing the Conway Airport to apply for a $23,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act. If approved, the grant would be used for operations, Airport Director Jack Bell said.

“We’ve had some overtime” due to quarantine and other COVID-related issues, he said.

In other business, Chief Financial Officer Tyler Winningham reported sales tax revenue was up 6.2 percent in January over the same period the previous year.

“That continues to be an upward trend,” he said.

Mayor Bart Castleberry commended city departments for their work during what he called “snowmageddon.”

“They did a tremendous job,” he said.

Jeanette Anderton can be reached at janderton@thecabin.net.

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