BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — In October 2022, the company Uncommon Developers asked the Bentonville Planning Commission to rezone the empty lot off of Battlefield Boulevard and Central Avenue.

According to the proposal, the developers want the 7.48 acres to be rezoned as Planned Unit Development (PUD), which would allow them fewer restrictions to build a large multi-family housing complex.

Lara Duncan has lived in the neighborhood bordering the land for more than 20 years and thinks Uncommon Developers’ proposal is too big for the amount of space and infrastructure in the area. She’s not alone. After the October meeting, the developers took residents’ feedback into consideration and created an update to the plan.

The updated proposal was discussed at the city’s planning commission meeting on Tuesday, March 21.

The updates show housing for 500 families, which is less than before, but also includes added plans for a 150-room hotel, and office, retail, and green spaces. To help ease traffic, the developer’s updated proposal outlines a plan to add a roundabout and new road.

The proposed, one-way road will act as a barrier between the line of houses currently bordering the property, and the new developments. It will also offer drivers a shortcut by connecting Battlefield Boulevard to Central Avenue.

Byron Shefchik also lives in the area and is ready for the land to be developed.

“Bentonville is growing. Benton County is growing. This is a prime location. It’s one minute from the freeway, a seven-minute walk from the new Walmart Home Office spaces, so if not here, where? It needs to be here,” said Shefchik.

Both Shefchik and Duncan said infrastructure needs to be improved in the area in order for the proposal to be successful, especially since Battlefield Boulevard is prone to flooding.

“There’s been a school bus that went into the ditch because you can’t see the ditch when it’s flooded,” said Shefchik.

As part of a separate project, the city of Bentonville has already approved plans to widen Battlefield Boulevard. Duncan wants the city to see how the improvements will help with safety concerns and conduct a traffic study before approving Uncommon Developers’ request.

There’s still time to share your thoughts on the project at the city’s next public input meeting on April 4. You can view the full proposal here.