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The planning commission looked at a conditional use permit for a Bella Vista Public Library expansion, as well as a large scale development for sand and salt storage on Trafalgar Road.

The proposed sand and salt storage facility at 228 Trafalgar Road is in addition to one at the existing street department building, which sits on Forest Hills Boulevard.

Çommunity Development Services manager Kevin Gambrill explained that the storage building will be just under 5,200 square feet with a 500-square-foot loader shed. The salt will be covered, he said, which should prevent runoff issues.

This will allow street department workers to acquire more sand and salt on the east side of town without making a trip back up to the northwestern portion of town.

"When you have a snow event ... they don't have to go and have their fleet on one side of the city," Gambrill said. "This will basically divide their trips up."

Commissioner Shawki Al-Madhoun said he was concerned about drainage. The current proposal includes a drainage pond, he said, but if that results in standing water for long periods of time, the water could stagnate or possibly attract critters, which could earn complaints from neighbors.

Commissioner Don Robinson said that the drive in and out of this facility, which is expected to be unpaved, could become muddy if there's rain. The site is a former stump dump, he explained, and mud often made it difficult to traverse.

Another concern, he said, is the site sits in a depression that makes the driveway difficult to see from the road. It might be best if the street department places signs shortly before the facility to warn drivers that there may be trucks going in and out of the facility.

Additionally, the commission looked at a conditional use permit for the library's expansion. During the June regular meeting, the commission approved the expansion but requested that the library address a zoning issue. The parcel is zoned R-1 Residential, a designation in which libraries are not permitted by right. The library is currently a legal nonconforming use for the property, which predates the zoning, but an expansion means the property must be brought into compliance.

The commission initially suggested rezoning the parcel, though Gambrill said a conditional use permit is a viable alternative because institutional uses, like the library, are allowed as conditional uses on R-1 properties.

"It can stay an R1 just as long as they have a conditional use permit," he said.

There's no saying for sure what the property's future is, he said, and creating a commercial property in this location may cause headaches down the road. Further, he said, changing the zoning could result in different setbacks than the expansion is currently designed to fit, which could cause the library to go through some redesigns.

Robinson said that this is not the only legal nonconforming use in that area and a conditional use permit seems appropriate.

"I think this is the easiest way to go," he said.

The commission will vote on these items during the Monday, July 9, regular meeting.

General News on 07/04/2018

Print Headline: Planning Commission considers secondary salt storage, library expansion

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