A public hearing was held on the approval of a zoning ordinance for HuntJon LLC, for the Belle Towers Senior Community complex in the area of North Market, Cottonwood and Liberty Streets.
Many of the concerns involved traffic and parking. Most of the six citizens who addressed the council were worried about traffic congestion as well as a perceived lack of parking spaces.
One woman was told that a traffic study had not been performed for the project. Another man says he was concerned over the size of the apartment complex—saying a four-story building would not be appropriate for that area of town.
Marvalette Hunter of HuntJon, told the concerned citizens and the council that their extensive research has show that 114 parking spaces would more than adequately serve the residents of the 76-unit complex.
She also said that parking on nearby streets would not be necessary.
A number of City Council members expressed their concerns over the citizens’ fears, saying they’d like more information before approving the facility.
Council members Mary Barnes-Tilley and Keith Herring both said they were uncomfortable with questions over traffic safety and the parking questions. Mayor Pro Tem Gloria Nix said she also had questions over the accessibility of Fire and Police vehicles in case of an emergency.
The council members were told that this item was only about zoning and that those questions could be answered before a final vote at the February 20th meeting.
The council unanimously approved the zoning ordinance, but several members did say they’d like the citizens’ concerns addressed before the final vote on the project.