Community Gathers To Block Plastic Company Construction Near School



Parents at Shaw Elementary in Springdale, and some of the surrounding community, want to stop a manufacturing facility from building on land near the school.

Some of the community spoke out at Tuesday’s city council meeting. More than 200 people against a rezoning proposal were at the meeting.

They told the council the proposal is bad for the city.

“Where we live, there’s no room for industrial out there. It’s not the place.” Said Tonya Nelson, a property owner next to the proposed building sight.

The proposal presented to the Springdale City Council would rezone a current property from residential, to industrial.

That has some in the community distraught.

“It’s a very old school and neighborhood feel,” said John Shuler, a Shaw Elementary parent. “Where kids can kind of run freely and ride bikes with their neighbors.”

The proposal would build a plastic manufacturing company near the local school.

Council members decided to delay a decision until the next meeting.

“The factory was going to be built literally across the street from an elementary school, where kids play freely on recess every day,” Shuler said.

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse says this proposal is important to survey for both supporters, and nay-sayers.

“There’s a lot of information that needs to be shared. And, I think, a lot of discussions that need to take place,” Sprouse said.

The city council will once again revisit the topic in early September.

“I think the council took the best course of action tonight,” Sprouse said. “There were a lot of concerns, a lot of questions, by the surrounding residents. Those are good, legitimate, questions. Any possible impact that there is on the school would be considered.”

Meanwhile, those against the rezoning stand by their initiative to stop the plans from going forward.

“If you’re handling any chemicals, there’s a chance for an accident, there’s a chance for fumes to get out. Or, for things to leak into the ground,” Shuler said. “I can’t take that risk with my kids. I don’t want to take that risk with any of the kids at Shaw Elementary School.”

It’s not the rezoning which bothers those opposing the factory, it’s the type of rezoning.

“We’d love to keep it nice farm land forever,” Nelson said. “But, we’re not opposed to growth. We know that Springdale needs to grow, and it’s going to grow. But, it’s doesn’t need to grow industrial. Not in that area. I don’t think that we would be opposed to anything commercial.”

Right now it’s just a request to rezone, one which won’t be reheard until September.

“It was a request by a property owner for a rezoning, and they have that right to ask that,” Sprouse said.

The group against the construction has created a Facebook page to show community support.

They say they’ve received more than 1,000 likes in just a few days.

5NEWS was unable to speak to a representative from the plastic company trying to buy the land.

Currently, the land is owned by Signature Bank.


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