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Zoning variances approved for planned Aloft Hotel near west Little Rock shopping center

By Brandon Riddle

This article was originally published December 11, 2017 at 2:10 p.m. Updated December 12, 2017 at 10:52 a.m.

a-side-elevation-sketch-of-the-planned-aloft-hotel-at-716-rahling-road-in-west-little-rock

A side elevation sketch of the planned Aloft Hotel at 716 Rahling Road in west Little Rock.


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TUESDAY UPDATE:

Little Rock’s Board of Adjustment on Monday approved zoning variances for a planned Aloft Hotel on the city’s west side.

Dana Carney of the City of Little Rock Planning and Development Department said the board voted 4-0 in favor of the requests at its latest monthly meeting. The board's fifth member, Robert Tucker, was not present.

One variance now allows developers to build at a height of 45.5 feet — about 10.5 feet above the building height restriction for a C-3 zoned property. The other allows building signage on the hotel’s east side, which does not directly face a street.

Carney said the project’s next step involves a building permit application to begin construction.

EARLIER STORY:

A proposed Aloft Hotel on Little Rock’s west side was set to go before the city’s Board of Adjustment Monday afternoon.

Brian Dale of White-Daters & Associates filed an application with the board Oct. 31 seeking two zoning variances at the site of the planned four-story project at 716 Rahling Road.

That property, owned by El Dorado-based Deltic Timber Corp., is north of the Promenade at Chenal shopping center and west of a Bank of the Ozarks branch.

The application seeks two zoning variances, including one to forego a height restriction. The planned building height of 45.5 feet exceeds the restriction for C-3 zoned property by about 10.5 feet.

Another requested variance seeks the approval of wall signage on the building’s east side, which would not directly face the street. The city’s zoning ordinance mandates that signage be placed on sides of buildings that face streets.

According to the application, city staff have expressed support for the proposed variances, stating that they would “have no adverse impact on the adjacent properties or the general area.”

Discussions surrounding the opening of an Aloft Hotel in Arkansas’ capital city have been ongoing for several years. Other proposed projects in downtown Little Rock, including one at the Boyle Building at Main Street and Capitol Avenue, have not come to fruition.

Work on the Aloft Hotel at the 12-story Boyle Building began but was put on hold amid questions about the neighboring M.M. Cohn Building’s future.

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