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Planning Commissioner members addressed plans for the Prairie Lea subdivision on Slack Street/Arkansas Highway 72 during a tech review meeting Thursday, July 9.

Attendees for the meeting included Planning Commissioner members Greg Pickens, Dr. Karen Sherman and Michael Wilhelm, city building inspector Tony Townsend, Street Department superintendent Nathan See, Water/Sewer superintendent Ken Hayes, Utilities Inspector Mike Nida, developer Kevin Felgenhauer and City Attorney Shane Perry. Engineer Blake Murray was unable to attend the meeting due to concerns over coronavirus cases increasing in the state, he told city officials in an email.

There were several topics the commissioners and city personnel focused on regarding Prairie Lea, a subdivision proposed for property north of Slack Street, east of Tobin Plaza and west of Weston Street. These topics included sewer access, highway frontage, offset intersections and widening the entrance to the subdivision.

Sewer access

This topic was briefly touched upon by Nida who noted there were lots in the subdivision which did not show a sewer connection. There is an existing sewer line which extends all the way to the neighboring Summit Meadows subdivision, however certain lots in Prairie Lea did not have a connection to the sewer, Nida said.

Sherman also pointed out the drainage does not extend downstream on one of the lots and is missing sidewalks.

"He's got quite a bit to do on this one, too," See said, referring to the engineer.

Offset intersections

One of the comments made after the meeting was the engineer needed to line up the access street for the subdivision with Hallack Street in order to prevent offset intersections. The issue regarding this is everyone on Hallack Street would have to pay to align the street with the access street, according to Townsend.

"It needs to be aligned," See said. "They can do that real easy by just moving this road over and shifting this over here."

Widening the entrance

Sherman said the development should have a wider entrance because the subdivision is a mix of commercial and residential. The commissioner recommended the entrance width be 36 feet to have adequate width for turn lanes.

See said if the city is going to require 36 feet on entrances that connect to a state highway, then the planning commission needs to talk about making it a requirement.

Sherman also said the subdivision needs a turn lane on Weston Street to accommodate traffic on that road.

Commercial Frontage

The commissioners and city staff focused heavily on this point. Sherman wanted the entire frontage of the development to be commercial, in keeping with the city's land use plan for Slack Street. Townsend said the developer wanted to zone the frontage to C-1 (low density commercial).

When Townsend and See met with the engineer to see his concept, they alluded the frontage should be commercial, but when the engineer took it back to the developer the concept changed to minimal commercial.

Sherman restated the frontage be commercial. The comments were noted and emailed after the meeting.

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