City Squashes Apartment Development

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A Fort Smith neighborhood fought back Tuesday night after a developer tried to build an apartment building in their community. The city’s planning commission sided with residents in a 6-2 vote.

Residents living along Free Ferry Road let the planning commission know Tuesday night they do not want an apartment building at the intersection of Free Ferry and Waldron.

“The citizens there are concerned that it will devalue the property around,” said Stan Ramsey, of Fort Smith.

Congestion concerns, crime, and drainage issues all came up at the meeting. After almost an hour of listening the commission voted against the apartment development.

“I'm thrilled that they did what they did, thrilled, and all the neighborhood is too,” said Sandra Summers, of Fort Smith.

The developer, Rocky Walker, said he was “disappointed” with the vote. “We were wanting to rehab it and revitalize it and make it something that is presentable on that corner,” he said.

Walker wants to build three separate three story buildings on the two acre lot. The complex would have 56 units.

“It just destroys the characteristic of the neighborhood,” said Ramsey.

“Roofs are good. People need places to live. Unfortunately not everyone can afford a house. A nice apartment is a very nice place to live,” said Walker.

The developer still wants to build the complex. Walker said, “I will say this in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘we will be back’. We are not done by any stretch of the imagination.”