The Conway Planning Commission will consider a zoning ordinance amendment for homeless shelters in the city at its regular meeting Monday.
As part of the proposal, the planning commission would limit the existence of homeless shelters in certain areas while giving more opportunity for a shelter in other areas.
Zoning currently allows a homeless shelter in the following zoning districts through a conditional use permit: R-2A, large lot duplex; R-2, small lot duplex; MF-1, multi-family low density; MF-2, multi-family medium density; MF-3, multi-family high density; C-2, neighborhood commercial; C-3, intensive commercial; and C-4, large shopping center.
A homeless shelter is allowed by right in the C-1, central business district, and TJ, territorial jurisdiction zone.
“The C-1 zoning allowance is likely due to the time frame that many of the Conway Zoning regulations were created; the 1960s and 1970s,” the planning commission states in its July meeting agenda. “At that time, downtowns across the United States were in decline and this was seen as an appropriate use.”
The Conway Planning Commission’s proposed amendment would require a conditional use permit for a homeless shelter in the C-1, TJ and RMH (mobile home) zoning districts.
Currently, the RMH zone does not allow a homeless shelter by right or through a conditional use permit.
The Ministry Center of Conway, at 766 Harkrider St., is in the process of applying for a conditional use permit for an on-site homeless shelter in C-3, general commercial district.
The planning commission added that its proposal is “appropriate,” given an effort to revitalize downtown Conway, to add additional land use control through a conditional use permit process.
If approved Monday, the recommendation will then go to the Conway City Council for review at its Aug. 11 meeting.
In addition to the proposed zoning amendment, the planning commission will also consider a conditional use permit request from Hounds’ Hideaway LLC at 1238 McNutt Road for a pet grooming and lodging business.
Conway’s planning commission typically meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Russell L. “Jack” Roberts District Court Building in downtown Conway.
The subdivision committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. prior to the regular meeting to discuss a variance request to waive requirement to construct a boundary street to a property boundary at Allyson Lane.
(Assistant managing editor Brandon Riddle can be reached by email at email@example.com, by phone at 505-1215 or on Twitter @BrandonCRiddle. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to thecabin.net. Send us your news at thecabin.net/submit)