Jonesboro MAPC weighs in on two potential apartment complexes

Jonesboro MAPC weighs in on two potential apartment complexes
The Jonesboro Metropolitan Area Planning Commission considered two rezoning requests for apartment complexes at a meeting Tuesday night.

Though they unanimously voted to reject plans for one apartment complex, plans for another were unanimously approved.

A majority of the crowd at the meeting showed up in opposition to turning nearly 9 acres of land on Jonathan Drive into 60 apartment units.

Jonathan Drive is located in North Jonesboro between Church and Patrick Streets.
Multiple people who live on or near Jonathan Drive spoke before the MAPC in opposition of turning the vacant piece of land into apartments.
"T here's enough crime around in that area right now as it is. I do not want that to come into my backyard," Brock McCoy said.
McCoy said he purchased his home in 2009. He lives there with his wife and three children but said if he knew an apartment complex might pop up in his backyard, he wouldn't have purchased the home.
"I've got a lot invested in what I have. I take pride in what I have and I don't want that end up being zero. That's what that property will end up being worth if that happens," McCoy said.
Some neighbors also stated that they don't mind the property being developed. They just want it to complement the rest of the area.
"I wouldn't have any problem if he were to come in and develop one acre lots or half acre lots...but single family dwellings," Derrick Elrod said.
Property owners felt apartments would negatively impact property value, increase crime rates and increase flooding problems.
"You have the power to stop this or you have the power to destroy us," John Heern said.
Multiple homeowners also stated they had bills of assurance from the Apple Hills Subdivision that multi-family housing would not be built in the area.
"With this bill of assurance out, in good faith, I can't vote for it," Jim Scurlock said.
"We didn't get really any positive support," Paul Hoelscher said.
In the end, commissioners unanimously voted against the rezoning.
Later in the meeting, another rezoning request for apartments came before the commission.
On Johnson Avenue, plans for an "upscale off-campus" student housing complex can move forward.
The commission unanimously approved plans from Zimmer Development Company for "University Woods."
The two-phase development is set to include 10 buildings with up to 240 student housing units.
However, there were some property owners in the area who spoke in opposition. They feared these apartments might wind up in poor shape, similar to other apartments that were geared toward students decades ago.
"It's going to be right across the street from Arkansas State. People are going to see this thing when they come to Jonesboro," Paul Carter said. "Do you want them to see something like what they're seeing on Belt Street 20 years from now, 30 years from now?"
Though the commission did unanimously decide to approve "University Woods", Hoelscher told the developers "please don't make me regret this."
The company will now have to get approval from the city council.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Copyright 2015 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.


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