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Planners Approve 77 Townhomes

by Lynn Kutter | February 17, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Plans for a new multi-family development off East Heritage Parkway show 17 buildings with a total of 77 units will be available as rental property for the area in the future.

Prairie Grove Planning Commission approved the large-scale development plan for Highland Townhouses at its Feb. 11 meeting through the Zoom video/audio app. The development will be located on 11 acres on the north side of East Heritage Parkway, across the highway from Triston Lane.

In August 2020 the City Council approved a request from Lots 102 Holdings LLC, to rezone this land from B-2 to R-3, which allows multi-family dwellings. The land that fronts the highway, zoned B-2 for commercial, was not included in the rezoning request.

Plans show the new development will have 12 buildings with five townhomes in each building, three buildings with four townhomes, one building with three units and one building with two units.

Ferdi Fourie, engineer for Highlands Townhomes, said each one-story unit will have three bedrooms, two baths and a double-car garage. The development will be accessed through two driveways off East Heritage Parkway. Construction should start in late spring, with units ready to lease in about a year, according to Fourie.

The commission approved the large-scale development plan, contingent on utilities and drainage plans receiving final approval from the city, Washington County Health Department and Washington Water Authority.

In other action, the commission approved a request for a waiver from street improvements for Wakefield Subdivision on Wayne Villines Road but turned down the same request from Mountain View Subdivision to waive required street improvements on Butler and Parks streets.

Jake Chavis with Bates & Associates presented the waiver request for Wakefield on behalf of owner Jerry Coyle. Chavis said he was asking for a waiver because a water line is built too high along the road and it would not be feasible to lower the line all along the property for street improvements.

Chuck Wiley, the city's public works manager, said he had no problem with the waiver in this case.

The waiver was approved on the condition the development fulfills drainage requirements along the street.

Fourie presented the second request to waive street improvements for Mountain View Subdivision.

The 53-acre development will have 172 lots and two entrances off Parks Street and one entrance off Butler Street. The council approved the preliminary plat for Mountain View Subdivision in September 2020.

Commission Chairman J.C. Dobbs said he saw this request as a different situation than the one on Wayne Villines Road because Parks and Butler streets are more narrow, and the subdivision will generate more traffic.

"I'm one person but you're going to have to justify the waiver [with] more than you're just going to save money," Dobbs told Fourie.

Commissioner Brea Gragg added, "I'm hesitant to move forward without any improvements on Parks and Butler."

Wiley also said he believed it was in the city's best interest to have the roads improved as required by the city ordinance. Improvements include widening the road on the side of the development, sidewalks and curb and gutter, along the frontage of the development.

"My input is that we require them to do the improvements," Wiley said.

The commission voted 4-0 to deny the request. Dobbs, Gragg, Lynn Gregson and Blayne Dodson voted for the motion to deny. Two recused, Matt Gerlt and Gina Bailey. Gerlt works for Legend Realty, and his family is in construction and has purchased some of the lots in the subdivision. Bailey also works for Legend Realty.

The commission also granted a conditional use permit for Erin Wright, 1211 Arkansas Lane, to operate an online sales business in her home and a conditional use permit to Darren Reynolds, 803 Maple St., to operate an office in his home.

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