Update: Convenience Store Kum & Go Plans New WLR Location, Sparks Zoning Battle

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 27, 2013 12:00 am  

“After three months of discussion and notice on this issue, less than 1 percent — less than 1 percent — of Pleasant Valley residents expressed interest in this issue,” wrote Mark Hunter, president of the Pleasant Valley POA, in a message to members. “And the response has been mixed. Some residents are opposed to this application, and some are in favor of this application. Another month of discussion will not create a majority interest.”

The Pleasant Valley POA opted to take no stance on the Kum & Go rezoning but encouraged individuals to voice their opinions to city government.

James Downs, vice president of the Breckenridge Neighborhood Association, estimates that of the 134 households represented by the group, more than 80 percent are against the project, based on door-to-door canvassing.

Similar petition efforts were mounted in the Colony West neighborhood, north of the proposed Kum & Go site.

(For more on Kum & Go, see Kum & Go Aims for Top Spot Among C-Store Chains.)

Home Ground

David Arnold is among those in the Colony West neighborhood who didn’t sign the opposition roster when the petition drive knocked on his door. Arnold’s family owns part of the property that would be used for the Kum & Go development.

He grew up in the house at 10115 N. Rodney Parham Road, built in 1952 by his parents, who raised six kids there.

The Arnold family watched Rodney Parham transform from a two-lane county road into a commercial corridor and the woods across Grassy Flat Creek behind the home give way to rooftops as Little Rock grew west.

Change was part of the package the family accepted as their country home —featured in the Arkansas Gazette in 1954 for its modern design and state-of-the art building techniques — became surrounded by urban development.

To make the 2-acre convenience store development happen, Kum & Go needs a part of his family’s property along Rodney Parham Road rezoned for commercial use.

The house, designed by his architect father, Fred Arnold Jr., would go away, but most of the family’s 2.6-acre property would remain as a wooded, green buffer to the nearest three Breckenridge homes across the creek.



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