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Friday, May 23, 2008

Broyles agrees with neighbors, urges developer to "walk away from" site inappropriate for development

Neighbors just say no: Residents tell developer to walk away from planned subdivision
BY MARSHA L, MELNICHAK Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2005

At a public meeting Tuesday night, impassioned neighbors loudly urged a developer to walk away from a project that would put 36 single-family homes on about 15 1 / 2 acres.
The proposal is for a large-scale development. If built, Vu Tara would be located directly south of Canterbury Circle and Lovers Lane, east of Highland Park.
Issues of safety, traffic, drainage, tree canopy, density and lot size were discussed during the questionand-answer meeting, which was attended by about 70 people.
Developer Tracy Hoskins was ingenuous, said one neighbor, and would be responsible for the deaths of people turning off Arkansas 265 if his proposal is accepted by the city, opined another.
Besides that, Hoskins ’ proposal would make it unsafe for people out for a stroll, worsen the situation on top of a street described as a bobsled run, worsen a bad drainage problem, break several existing covenants and cause foundation problems in neighboring homes, which could lead to them sliding down the hillside, according to various people who spoke during the meeting. "Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t believe we can trust anything this man says," said Mary Ann Gunn, a county judge who owns property next to the proposed development. "How do you feel about ruining this many lives?" asked one neighbor, while another declared, "Take it somewhere else."
One man wondered how much Hoskins was willing to spend to get to the Supreme Court.
A lawsuit was also on Gunn’s mind. "You do whatever you need to do. … We will sue you." Gunn said later in the meeting. She said that due to existing covenants, the most any developer could put on the land was three houses, and possibly only one.
Zoned RSF-4, the area could, by city ordinance, hold a maximum of 61 single-family homes, according to the engineer for the project, James Koch.
Due to its specific nature, such as the hillside, Hoskins said he originally sought modified drainage and a narrower street cross-section to create 27 lots. However, according to Hoskins, due to changes in infrastructure encouraged by city staff that would cost more, he had to add more lots to offset the higher costs.

"There’s a way to do it. Move out and don’t do it. Walk away from it," said University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles, a resident of the area. Broyles once owned the land in question. "Walk away" became an anthem for the neighbors, who repeated it and supported Broyles’ statement with choruses of assent.

Koch said city staff would not support an alternative design. "I never advocated four units per acre. Nothing close," Hoskins said.
And when Hoskins said he did not advocate connecting streets, someone from the audience shouted, "But you will. You will. You will, you will. Bottom line, you will advocate connecting."
Stacy Furlow suggested the developers were ingenuous in their statements about lot size because a good portion of the lots were very narrow and 0.2 to 0.5 acres. Most of the property is platted at four units per acre, she said.
When Hoskins asked the neighbors what would they like on the property, they answered almost in unison, "None."
Hoskins declined to answer questions about his financial backers, saying that information was not relevant to the development; but he did say it was not the Barber Group.
Hoskins said he did not seek a planned zoning district because it can be turned down by the city while RSF-4 is a use by right on the property.
After the meeting, Hoskins was asked if he would walk away from the project as neighbors wanted him to do. "No," he answered. "I’m willing to work with them, but I’m not going to walk away."
The Subdivision Committee of the city’s Planning Commission next hears the Vu Tara issues at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is hilarious. The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons?

Looks reversed in this case, or is it?