Council rejects bank design, to research building standards
by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter
The Rogers City Council initiated a public visioning process to assess what the community wants from their parks system.
The council also denied a building design for a new bank and declared its intention to “raise the bar” when it comes to the look of commercial buildings in the city.
The council gave approval to City Park Planner Candace Amberg to begin the process necessary to prioritize a list of the community’s vision for its parks, trails and open spaces.
Before she can compile a list of what the community wants, Amberg first needs to find out what that is. She plans to meet with public representatives, such as business owners or athletic association commissioners, to assess their needs and hopefully to identify what she calls “public champions.” Amberg descried these as, “… key figures in the community that can help us.”
She also plans to host three public meetings to receive feedback from residents about what they want to see at their local parks.
The City’s Master Park Plan has not been updated since 2007 and the council worried about moving ahead with plans that may not reflect the current needs and wants of the community.
“Pickle ball. I didn’t know what that was in 2007. Now it’s in high demand in the communities I work with,” Amberg said.
Several council members cautioned Amberg when approaching the process. They told her they want real public input, not just the plans of one group. They also wanted realistic options.
“When I talk to citizens, they want parks and trails. But when we tell them what it’ll cost them on a monthly basis, they shy away from it,” said council member Rick Ihli.
The process is likely to be a long one but the council expressed its desire to make a number of changes based on the results.
In other action, in June First National Bank received approval to build a 3,000-square-foot bank building with a 4-lane drive-through at 13785 Rogers Dr., near the building where Jimmy John’s and Dollar Tree are located.
The original building plans included a combination of glass, lapped siding, and cultured stone veneer along with a signature tower. The current application calls for a 3-color cement base plaster application, eliminating the glass clerestory element, stone, and tower on the basis that they are non-functional and too expensive.
The nearby building already in place does have three colors, as well, but also includes a stamped cement border along the bottom of the resembling brick and a pillar accent at each end of the building.
“I think it should look somewhat like what’s there,” said council member Don Hall.
The council agreed and denied the building plan.
Mayor Jay Bunting added, “I think it’s time to raise the bar in this city.” He pointed out a number of buildings, like Maynards and HOM Furniture, that have invested in high-quality materials on their exterior.
“I want to be proud of what goes up. These buildings are going to be up for decades. You’re going to have to look at that for a long time,” he said.
Bunting directed staff to research the building design standards of other local cities and bring forth suggestions to raise the standards in Rogers.