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Planning commission examines bike shop development

by Keith Bryant | April 7, 2021 at 5:27 a.m.

The planning commission examined a large-scale development for a Phat Tire Bike Shop on Riordan Road during its Thursday, April 1, regular meeting.

The development plan is for a three-story, roughly 14,900-square-foot multi-use building at 10 Riordan Road, with retail use planned for the lower level and residential spaces for the upper level. The 0.51-acre parcel is zoned C-4 commercial.

The board of zoning adjustments tabled a variance request to reduce the required parking spaces for this property during its March 16 regular meeting, citing a desire to hear from the planning commission before making a decision.

Senior planner Derek Linn said the new building is planned because the old building at this location needed a great deal of work.

The parking spaces, building setbacks, throat length and turning radius will all require variances, he said.

Vice-chair Doug Farner said he was concerned about the number of needed variances and the lack of parking on-site.

"They're talking about having six living units ... they're going to be needing a couple of parking spaces for each one of those," he said.

Tim Robinson, one of the property's co-owners, said that he's currently working to get more parking spaces.

Further, he said, the residential spaces are intended to be used as short-term, vacation-oriented rentals.

Mayor Peter Christie said he believes the parking issue will be resolved and he believes this development is important for the city.

The city needs more commercial development, he said, and this fits with the growing cycling trend in the greater area as well as Bella Vista. The location is useful for Bella Vistans, he added, noting the eventual northern stretch Razorback Greenway is expected to pass nearby.

"We need this building, we need to have a good bicycle shop; we also need to have more accommodations," he said.

The commission also looked at rezoning requests on Oldham Drive and ordinances to remove parking number requirements for nonresidential development and move some development standards from zoning to subdivision and development.

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