SPRINGDALE -- A controversial rezoning issue is brewing in Springdale. A 140-acre property on the north side of town currently zoned for residential property could become industrial and concerned residents in a nearby neighborhood want their voices heard.
The piece of property is less than 2,000 feet from Shaw Elementary School which has become the center piece of the residents argument, saying "Save our school! Save Shaw Elementary."
About one-hundred people came to the meeting, voicing their concerns over not the rezoning itself, but rezoning to industrial next to a school with 600 elementary school students.
This initial proposal last Tuesday at the Springdale Planning Commission meeting was shot down in a 5-2 vote, but the property owners, Signature Bank, appealed the decision. At the time it had a potential buyer, called "Creative Things," but as of Monday, it has backed out.
Patsy Christie, the planning director for the city of Springdale says what's now driving this development issue is the $125 million 4-12 bypass project that will be starting construction as early as the beginning of 2015. Christie says the rezoning would be to limited industrial, meaning the industry allowed in the area would have a low impact on the environment.
Some of the locals find the proposal illogical and plan to have their voices heard tomorrow at the Springdale City Council meeting. If the city council votes in favor of the rezoning, the property will become zoned for industrial business. If it votes no, the property owner cannot have another rezoning request for a year. If tied, the mayor will make the deciding vote. The bank has requested that the issue be tabled.