MAPC Says No To New Apartments

JONESBORO, AR  (KAIT) -- Residents in one Region 8 neighborhood were fighting mad on Thursday, when it looked like a multi-unit apartment complex was moving in.

Developers wanted to build hundreds of apartments in north Jonesboro, but neighbors said, "not in our backyards."

"I'm pleased, very pleased. I hope it stays that way," said Carolyn Tinsley.

Carolyn Tinsley, along with dozens of other Jonesboro residents, are breathing a sign of relief. Relieved after a request to build nearly 600 apartment units on around 65 acres between North Patrick and Daybreak Drive is not approved by the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. Tinsley is not alone in her joy, and she was not alone in fear, if in fact, the request had been approved.

"....crime, crowding," said one resident of the neighborhood.

"To accompany this big of a project, it would take a 4 lane street with sidewalks because otherwise we're going to have somebody get killed down here," said another resident.

Jim Lyons represents the owners of the land, Randy Willett and Martha Gayle Willett Gambill.

He says they are disappointed with the decision. He says the family's intent is to develop the property in a manner that is conducive to growth for the city; not something that will damage or injure property values or create problems for the city.

"Certainly anytime you have development that creates safety issues as were raised tonight but that's true regardless of how you develop the property. There are going to be more cars and there's going to be more need for infrastructure," said Lyons.

Lyons says right now, the family isn't sure if they will appeal the decision.

In a statement to Region 8 news, Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates did make a statement.

"I think it was a wise decision for the board to make that decision at this time. In the future, we need a better plan about infrastructure needs, specifically fire and police, as we consider such projects at this time," said Yates.

The owners of the property can appeal. It has to go to full council and there has to be a public hearing.