North Little Rock residents speak out against quarry development
North Little Rock residents met today to voice their opposition to the city's proposal to turn Big Rock Quarry into a residential development.
"The people that use those parks are kids that don't have anywhere else to hang out. It's always been a special place for me and my friends growing up," said John Crow, who has lived in North Little Rock all of his life.
The proposal would allow Real Estate Commercial 1 Inc. to buy 40 acres of land at 1.2 million dollars for a condo development called "The Bluffs." The biggest issue residents are finding with this proposal is that they are just now learning about it.
"I've heard some of the city aldermen say, and some of the city officials say, well nobody said anything. Well nobody knew anything. We didn't know this was going to happen and apparently the 300 or 400 people that joined the Facebook page didn't know anything about it either," said Kevin Miller, a long time Little Rock resident.
Residents say the quarry should remain the way it is. They believe it a residential development would spoil a section of river trail.
the mayor who's been a strong proponent of the development says North Little Rock has more than enough parks and it can stand to lose one for the benefit of the city.
"We've worked hard for urban development. We've worked hard to support our downtown businesses. I dare say that 95 percent of our population has never really seen the quarry property," said North Little Rock Mayor, Patrick H. Hayes.
Crow says the mayor and most residents don't see eye to eye.
"I respectfully disagree with the mayor he's a visionary he's done some great things but I think he's on the wrong side of this argument," said Crow.
The land was last appraised at $1.75 million. According to attorney Kent Law, this is much less than what the land is worth. The city's offer is less than the appraisal.
But whether the development is built or not, all residents are asking for is to be heard.
"If the people of North Little Rock truly want this to happen then at least let the people of North Little Rock have a voice in this," said Miller.
The proposal will be voted on by city council on Monday the 27th.