A 6.3-acre site on South Olive Street could become the site of a new convenience store/truck stop if the Pine Bluff City Council agrees to rezone the property.
At a meeting Tuesday, the Development and Planning Committee of the council voted unanimously to recommend that the council approve the rezoning to B-3, highway commercial, when they meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Larry Reynolds, director of the Southeast Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, said the site is at 5807 S. Olive St. on the east side of the highway and south of Interstate 530.
“Less than a year ago, the council approved rezoning a section of property south of there to B-3, and the Pine Bluff Planning Commission voted unanimously to rezone this section,” Reynolds said.
He said the same owners who built and opened the Southern Edge Truck Stop near the Pines Mall own the property in question. Reynolds said the owners have said the new business will be a “little bit bigger and a little fancier” than the other location.
Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington, who attended the meeting, added that the owners have also said “the food will be as good or better” than the location near the mall.
Council members Bill Brumett, Thelma Walker and Glen Brown Jr. make up the committee.
In the only other item of business Tuesday, the committee recommended that a proposed resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a contract with Crafton-Tull to create a new comprehensive city-wide plan.
Reynolds said the current city plan is over 30 years old and is “woefully out of date.”
He said that a new plan would update and consolidate existing plans, including a plan for land use, and was a part of the Go Forward Pine Bluff initiative.
Documents submitted with the proposed resolution showed that in March, the city sent out a request for qualifications from companies interested in submitting a land use plan, with a deadline of April 25.
In the documents, Reynolds said five companies submitted proposals and, after a committee review, that list was narrowed to three. All three were given one hour to make presentations on their plans with Crafton Tull being selected.
He said that when the City Council passed a resolution this year regarding the use of sales tax funds from the Go Forward tax, a municipal master plan was listed as one of the primary needs, and an overhaul of the city codes and enforcement was a proposed use for the tax receipts.
The total cost for the plan, according to documents submitted by Crafton Tull, will be $520,000. Ryan Watley, CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff, said in a memo to Reynolds that $525,000 has been budgeted for the project.