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.

11 comments

  • Ron Snider

    This is insane. I don’t even know who the manufacturer is, but I can assure you that with a brand new facility, that safety would have been built into every process of the facility. We need all the jobs that we can get. OSHA, AR State, Washington County, etc would have made sure everything was extremely safe.
    Hopefully we didn’t run the business out of the area and yes even 25 or 50 new jobs are huge deal to those families that can’t find decent work.

    Hopefully the manufacturer will be offered/shown some land in the NWA area. We need every job possible.

    • Mike

      There’s more to it. An alderman and a planner both said there’s over 100 acres in the industrial parks. There’s almost that much in the tech parks too. The city actually owns a lot of the industrial area land but they didn’t even try to sell it to the factory. The residents are upset partly because this was railroaded on them without the city even trying to encourage it to go to the actual industrial parks. The neighborhood’s not unreasonable especially since there won’t even be a good road for the tractor trailers. The land for the access road hasn’t even been aquired yet and the road that’s there is just barely two lanes. Heck, the only outlet to the east from the site goes dead through that subdivision. Look it up on google maps. You’ll see. It’s a stupid place to put something like that.

  • Mike

    To be clear, those acres in the industrial and tech parks is empty land unoccupied. It’s all flat, clear, and has streets. Close enough to the highways too.

  • Sarah 300

    Before anyone agrees with this manufacturing plant, I suggest driving out there.
    Shaw Elementery deserves the respect of the Springdale City Council and Mayor. There is a vault company on the way to the school off 112.
    They are located anout 400 yards from Hwy 112. They were already in place when Shaw school was built. Not even close to each other. But 112 is a crazy, busy highway. No manufacturing should be built. The beautiful rolling land to the north of the area has already been scarred to put in exits and road to the airport.
    Springdale choose another site!

  • Get Real

    Make up your mind Springdale, do you want more jobs and more tax revenue from the plastics plant, or higher property taxes you pay yourselves? I’m pretty certain it doesn’t matter all that much to the company. There are lots of other locations that would love to host the plastics plant. As an unaffected observer, it sounds like typical “not in my backyard” mentality. Make your decision Springdale, then prepare to live with it, bless your hearts.

  • Arkajun

    Don’t spin your wheel too long Springdale, Rogers would welcome another plastics company and we have plenty of space and hospitality. Rember, Fayetteville drug its’ feet on the AMP and lost it. Rogers wants the jobs too.

  • Ron Snider

    I can’t even believe this is all up for debate, take the jobs. Some one better approach the manufacturer real fast and offer them a reasonable building site real fast. I can promise you that they are looking at other areas and states like Texas are offing free land and huge incentives to attract jobs. We need every possible job and we need to act fast before it is too late. It is just like Springdale loosing the Sam’s club because they couldn’t make a decision on the Alcohol. Now Fayetteville is drowning in the sales tax collections that should have stayed in Springdale.

    • Kelly

      Springdale city owns land they can offer. Plenty of it. They just won’t offer it. The manufacture wants to buy land. The city wouldn’t even have to give it away if they don’t want to. Plenty of land is there. Springdale has been mum on why they won’t steer the manufacturer toward it.

      • Sarah 300

        Mayor Sprouse needs a real press conference where citizens and press ask REAL questions. This is right across the street from a school. Is there another manufacturing plant next to a school?

      • Sarah 300

        The Mayor of Springdale should have a news conference in a central location, maybe Shaw School, and allow the press and public to ask pertinent questions as to proposed location of the plastics plant? Is there any other school located in such close proximity to a manufacturing plant in NWA? If so, how is the traffic, smell, noise? More information should be provided for the welfare of our school children.

  • Sarah 300

    UPDATE:
    Creative Things was planning to develop the area into a manufacturing facility at the time. The company makes plastic components and products sold in Walmart stores. The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to table the appeal until Sept. 9.

    The company alerted the bank on Monday afternoon (7.14.14) they decided against building a facility on the property, said Kathy Jaycox, alderwoman. The company decided to use a location in Bentonville instead.
    The power of public opinion to protect our elementary school children. Remember the school closed Emma Avenue to prevent a teenager being hit by a car at the high school.

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