JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - After hours of discussion and 500 petition signatures later, the Jonesboro City Council denied the rezoning request that would place 300 apartment units on South Caraway Road.
Both developer representatives and petitioners were present during Tuesday night's city council meeting, voicing their sides of the issue.
Traffic concerns became the main issue brought up based on a city study that found that 15,000 cars pass through the two-lane roadway each day.
"That roadway is already dangerous," said one petitioner. "Another 300 plus people driving on it will be terrible."
"South Caraway cannot handle a higher traffic volume than it already does," said another petitioner.
Jim Lyons, an attorney and representative of the Braxton Development, said after a traffic study they conducted, they found that having 300 units added to that area would not hurt the situation.
"It would only impact traffic very little," said Lyons. "The main thing this project is meant to do is to answer the need for more housing in Jonesboro. There are about 700 to 900 apartments needed in the city."
Nate Looney, a representative of the petitioners against the rezoning said he agreed but felt that the area south of the bypass wasn't best choice.
"Until we make infrastructure improvements," said Looney. "Until we make a commitment to the people that live and work in this area, we should not be rezoning property on South Caraway that will increase that burden."
The council eventually denied the request with a 6-5 vote, where it needs at least seven votes to pass.
Now, Looney said he hopes the city addresses infrastructure improvements before this issue comes up somewhere else.
"It is good feeling and I am excited for the folks in that area but I hope we can widen the streets and hope we can add sidewalks," said Looney. "I hope we can do things that will continue to develop Jonesboro, particularly in that area.
Looney also added that he is grateful for the amount of work the developers put in this proposal but that he hopes they will continue the project in a different part of Jonesboro.
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