Capi­tol zon­ing panel vet­ting $5M pro­ject

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Noel Oman

The Capi­tol Zon­ing District Com­mis­sion will con­sider a $5 mil­lion planned res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in down­town Lit­tle Rock.

Called Fort Steele Com­mons, the 16-house de­vel­op­ment is pro­posed on a va­cant city block bounded by South Gaines and South Arch streets and West 15th and West 16th streets.

The com­mis­sion is a state agency cre­ated to pro­tect his­toric and ar­chi­tec­turally sig­nif­i­cant struc­tures and en­cour­age com­pat­i­ble de­vel­op­ment in the vicin­ity of the state Capi­tol and the Gov­er­nor’s Man­sion.

The com­mis­sion voted 6-1, with one mem­ber ab­sent and one mem­ber ab­stain­ing, at its monthly meet­ing Thurs­day to move the pro­ject for­ward as part of its rule-mak­ing process, which is how the agency weighs pro­posed zon­ing changes, and to seek pub­lic com­ment on the pro­ject, said Boyd Ma­her, the agency’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Carol Wor­ley, a pro­ject prin­ci­pal, had wanted the com­mis­sion to re­fer the pro­ject to the city’s Plan­ning Com­mis­sion for ap­proval.

“They’ve voted to ex­pe­dite the pro­ce­dure and in­di­cated that they may ac­tu­ally be able to get us ap­proved be­fore the city could if we go through their for­mal process for the [planned res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment] re­quest with the city,” she said Fri­day.

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