UPDATE: The developer requested that the Planning Commission meeting defer discussion on this topic until November. If you would like to be at the meeting it is now scheduled for Nov. 1, 2018 at 4pm.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- A planned development for midtown has some Little Rock neighborhoods concerned about what will come along with it.
The piece of property in question is on Markham near Rodney Parham, across from Brady Elementary.
There’s a big multi-neighborhood effort to block this development saying there are several traffic and safety concerns that will arise.
Catherine Johnson has been fighting this battle for years and she’s not alone.
“There’s a lot of opposition to this,” says Johnson. “We have a petition with well over 100 signatures.”
Signs are posted and neighbors say the developer has a contingency agreement to buy the piece of land across from the school and build on it.
Right now the area is a green space, but the developer wants to pave over 70 % of that green space and according to the city of Little Rock, turn it into a 13 house development where the homes are separated by only five feet.
This would require the area to be re-zone for that type of density.
Neighbors are worried because they say they’re already experiencing a lot of flooding. “We’re at the bottom of a basin,” says Johnson, “450 acres drain into this area.”
Johnson says three years ago a different developer with a similar plan tried to build on twice the space, so neighbors took matters into their own hands. They formed a trust and purchased a piece of the property to keep it green.
She says it’s frustrating to be in this fight again, but heartwarming to see the unity of the neighborhoods involved.
“The best case scenario would be that I had a million dollars and could purchase this property and keep it green forever,” says Johnson. “Barring that, I’d like to look at ways that we could keep this as green space more permanently.”
This will go before the Little Rock planning commission on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 4pm.
If you would like to view the petition you can click here: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dont-allow-the-development-of-mergeron-court