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The planning commission approved amendments to the city's master street plan on Tuesday that will potentially cost developers more in building costs.

The commission forwarded the amendments to the city's board of directors for its May 7 meeting.

Under the amendments, any no-outlet street extending greater than 1,250 feet will require developers be approved by a variance and abide by mandatory conditions, such as including residential sprinkler systems in all homes on the street. Developers are also responsible for any additional fire hydrants, to be compliant with Arkansas Fire Code, and "other features as directed by the city fire department or fire code official."

Chairwoman Judy Nation expressed concern about the additional costs born by the contractor. Fire Marshal Dustin Kindell used his own home as an example, and explained a residential sprinkler system for a 2,400-square-foot home was estimated to cost $7,500. However, there are ways for developers to cut down on costs, such as building systems with particular materials and working with the city to fine-tune their building plans, Kindell said.

"We don't want to push policy. We want to save lives," Kindell said.

Hydrants have been pre-selected and are non-negotiable, Kindell said. The city and the Siloam Springs Fire Department have mutually agreed on a fire hydrant that meets the city's needs without adding to costs associated with fire equipment or maintenance, Kindell said.

The city estimated fire hydrants cost $3,280.75, not including labor.

Both residential sprinkler systems and additional hydrants aren't necessary for streets that don't exceed 1,250 feet, as outlined by the amendment.

Should these amendments be approved, they will apply to future developments within the city.

Other amendments included no-outlet streets may have no more than 30 homes, no matter the length. The length of the streets shall not exceed 750 feet, up from 500 feet in the original master street plan. Variances may be issued by the board of adjustment "upon the board's finding of a hardship arising from unique characteristics of the property and approved by the fire code official " for street lengths that exceed 750 feet.

The commission also approved the following:

• a lot split development permit for 675 E. Kenwood St.

• a lot consolidation permit for 617 N. Mt. Olive St.

• a lot consolidation permit for 1617 E. Central St.

• a lot line adjustment permit for 14207 Lake Forrest Heights Road

Commissioners John Engle and Jerrod Driscoll were absent.

General News on 04/14/2019

Print Headline: Commissioners approve Master Plan changes

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