Rezoning could bring commercial business to residential area

A major residential area in west Little Rock could be re-zoned soon to allow more commercial business in the area.

The Little Rock Board of Directors will have a big decision to make, on whether or not to allow Deltic Timber to re-zone company owned land in hopes to redevelopment.

Through traffic was such a major problem on Pebble Beach Drive, the neighborhood asked for some much needed speed bumps to help slow down people using it as a short-cut.

Now, the area faces a new bump in the road with the possibility of re-zoning.

"I'd really prefer not to have more commercial (business), I think we already have enough in this area," said Marsha Johnson who lives near Rahling Road.

Johnson said she's been approached about a petition to stop any commercial change. She doesn't look at commercial business as bad, she just wants her neighborhood to be livable.

"My big fear is that Rahling Road's already in bad enough shape now. There's a lot of potholes in it because of all the traffic, and it's just going to tear up the roads even more," Johnson believes.

"Our neighborhood opposed it three years ago because of the street connections that were going to be made," said Little Rock Board of Directors member Lane Hines.

Hines, the Ward 5 director in west Little Rock, stands by the decision to open the area up to apartment buildings, office space and certain businesses like banks and clinics.

"One of the things that's come out of this whole deal is the traffic counts are such that Deltic is going to be required to finish widening Rahling Road to handle the current traffic," Hines added.

"I think some of those things we'll start to look for in west Little Rock is actually those neighborhood conveniences."

Deltic timber denied comment Tuesday on what the company plans to do with the land if it is indeed re-zoned.

The property mentioned covers about 85 acres, but Hines said the complete project could span up to 120 acres.