Hole in the Wall faces zon­ing is­sue

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - KEITH BRYANT kbryant@nwadg.com

A camp­ground is work­ing to set up shop de­spite a mis­un­der­stand­ing re­gard­ing city lim­its and the prop­erty’s cur­rent zon­ing, which does not per­mit a camp­ground.

Hole in the Wall NWA, lo­cated off Chelsea Road south of its in­ter­sec­tion with High­land Road, is a camp­ground and event space owned by half a dozen part­ners. Beth Day, one of those part­ners, ex­plained that ev­ery­one in­volved be­lieved the land was in the county when the prop­erty was pur­chased but later learned it had been re­cently an­nexed into the city and zoned R-1 res­i­den­tial.

Cassi Lapp, com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for Bella Vista, ex­plained that a camp­ground is not per­mit­ted as a use by right or a con­di­tional use in R-1 zon­ing dis­tricts, mean­ing the busi­ness will need to re­zone its prop­erty to ei­ther A-1 agri­cul­tural or SPR spe­cial res­i­den­tial and ac­quire a con­di­tional use per­mit.

The par­cel was an­nexed in 2016 by an or­di­nance passed by the city coun­cil, Lapp ex­plained, when Bella Vista was work­ing with Gravette to clean up the cities’ borders.

“How­ever, for some rea­son, we have now dis­cov­ered the pa­per­work was not filed with the county. So, un­der a ti­tle search, the par­cel does not show as be­ing in­side city lim­its and zoned R-1,” she said.

The prop­erty own­ers were granted a one-time tem­po­rary per­mit for an event last Satur­day, she ex­plained, be­cause this was not deemed to be the prop­erty owner’s fault. This per­mit re­quired the prop­erty own­ers file a park­ing plan with the city to en­sure pub­lic rights of way were not blocked.

Beth Day, one of the own­ers, said that she wants this busi­ness to get off the ground be­cause she be­lieves Bella Vista is in need of a gather­ing place.

It’s also a prime spot for the moun­tain bik­ing crowd, she said, be­cause it’s less than a minute from a pro­posed trail­head for the cen­tral trail sys­tem, which is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

It’s a beau­ti­ful prop­erty with a lot of po­ten­tial for a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent events, in­clud­ing art shows and con­certs, Day said.

There’s a clear­ing on the prop­erty with a large tree Day has nick­named the ‘wel­come tree,’ as well as a cave that could serve as a hang­out. There are fire pits and seat­ing avail­able and spa­ces to set up tents.

“Peo­ple can come and hang out and sit by a bon­fire, roast some marsh­mal­lows, have a beer,” Day said.

Spe­cific ser­vices are still be­ing ham­mered out, Day said, but the first hur­dle is go­ing to be the re­zon­ing process.

“We’d like to re­zone,” she ex­plained. “We’ve got to fig­ure out how to deal with that sit­u­a­tion.”

Out­side of any le­gal re­quire­ments, Day said she sent let­ters to neigh­bors and she wants to en­sure this busi­ness is a good neigh­bor.

Day said that, while this is an ob­sta­cle, she’s cer­tain it can be fig­ured out.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful piece of prop­erty and we think it ought to be shared,” she said.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

The Hole in the Wall camp­ground in­cludes a cave that ex­tends into a rock wall on the prop­erty.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

A sign is up for Hole in the Wall NWA, a camp­ground that was re­cently es­tab­lished off Chelsea Road, just south of its in­ter­sec­tion with High­land Road. The half dozen part­ners op­er­at­ing the busi­ness ini­tially be­lieved the prop­erty was in the county, but it was an­nexed into the city in 2016.

Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista

Beth Day, co-owner of Hole in the Wall NWA, said this tree, lo­cated near the mid­dle of a clear­ing on the prop­erty, could make a nice gather­ing space.

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