The proposal for a Kum & Go convenience store will finally make its way in front of the Conway Planning Commission, three months after it was pulled by developers. The company is trying to place a store on Dave Ward Drive and South Donaghey next to the University of Central Arkansas campus.
Kum & Go officials were forced to turn around in June after the commission was unable to provide a quorum. The commission will hold its regularly scheduled meeting July 16 at 7 p.m., which will give the group a chance to make a recommendation on the convenience store eight days before the next scheduled Conway City Council meeting on July 24.
The zoning request for the store from residential to commercial-2 has drawn some opposition from area residents. The area of the proposed store would be on Dave Ward Drive east of South Donaghey Avenue and next to South Elizabeth Street. Issues of traffic along Elizabeth Street and if there is actually a need for a gas station next to the University of Central Arkansas will be considered by the commission, which seemed to be deadlocked when it discussed the proposal earlier in 2012. Officials with Kum & Go pulled the proposal at the time in order to deal with any concerns.
Commission chairman Craig Cloud has said that he wants the commission to send the proposal to the council with a recommendation one way or the other. He said he prefers not to send anything to the council with no recommendation.
The Conway City Council voted 6-0 to allow Kum & Go to pull its request for a C-3 permit and approach the planning commission within the year with another proposition earlier this year. Alderman Shelley Mehl abstained from voting citing her position at UCA.
With the C-3 permit, Kum & Go would have been able to seek approval without changing anything from their initial plan. By seeking a C-2 permit with conditional use, the company said it is willing to work with UCA and surrounding residents to change certain aesthetics of the store. After the planning commission voted 4-3 against allowing a C-3, council members did not seem willing to approve the permit. Many, however, voiced their support to the company going through the process again to find a better option.
In addition to the Kum & Go proposal, the commission will also consider a rezoning from residential-2A (large lot duplex) to residential-2 (small lot duplex) by Dennis Spradlin. The area he wishes to rezone is on 1311 and 1317 Bruce St.
The commission will also consider a rezoning request by Linn’s Auto & Equipment Sales from commercial-3 to planned unit development for 1605 E. Oak St.
All requests were set for the June meeting, and no new requests have been submitted for the July meeting.