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How to Make the Most of Plan Bentonville's Pop Up Meetings: A Recap of Last Week's Events



Do you know anything about PLAN BENTONVILLE, and the community meetings that took place in various spots all over town last week? If so, go read another post (maybe this one on Debunking some coworking myths. Or this one on Bentonville's history). 


If not, let us explain. In 2018, the city of Bentonville asked their citizens what they want the city to look like in twenty years. They came up with five guiding ideas upon which to build: 


1. Thoughtful Growth 

2. Sustainable Economy 

3. Be Welcoming and Diverse 

4. The Bentonville Experience 

5. A Great Place to Plant Roots. 


In furtherance of this, last week, the City hosted a series of pop-ups where attendees could share their thoughts on the city’s growth, and how Bentonville should look in the future. 


The entire plan and all the data can be found here, in a 192 page document full of charts, graphs and buzz-words. What follows is a very high-level overview. Rest assured that despite our fast paced summary, the plan is thorough and comprehensive, and refreshingly, the city is welcoming resident feedback at every step along the way. 


Unlike some cities, who grow uncontrollably and sprawl without a plan, Bentonville has made the decision to be thoughtful in its growth. By seeking resident input, and keeping citizens informed and involved, it is hoped resentment and NIMBY-ism will be replaced with excitement and anticipation as we all move together towards the inevitable growth and change that is already happening to the sleepy town many of us moved to just a few years ago. 


Some of the most basic ideas in the works can be summed up with one sentence from the Plan: “aligning our zoning regulations with the outcomes we've envisioned”, such as completing sidewalks in areas where there are few or disconnected sidewalks; working intentionally to allow current residents to Age in Place ( a large percentage of Bentonville Residents are age 55 and over and would like to remain in their homes and community for as long as possible); to support housing variety and affordability, and maintaining the existing historical charm and character of the downtown Bentonville square. 


 

The plan is divided into ten “chapters” including thoughtful and in-depth sections outlining the Community Profile, stating the Vision and Guiding Principles, 8 pages on Neighborhoods and Housing, a section on Commerce and Industry, and the inevitable chapter about Transportation and Mobility (hint: it’s not just bikes…and no, light rail does not feature). 


Since so many of us are here for the outdoors, there’s a lengthy discussion on Open Spaces and Environment. 


Community Facilities and Infrastructure includes a section about supporting arts and culture.


The last section is dedicated to development of “sub-areas”, or districts, including the Downtown area, 8th Street (through the new Home Office campus and all the way to where it dead ends at the fire station on Elm Tree road), 14th Street, and Regional Airport Blvd at “I” Street. 


This brief summary in no way does justice to the entire document. Don’t take our word for anything - sneak a look at the plan for yourself. Bentonville is growing and changing, whether we like it or not. We’re fortunate to be in a city that welcomes the input of those who will be the most impacted.




 

And now some shameless self promotion: If you’d like to set up your office surrounded by a community of people who love Bentonville and everything it stands for, join us at either of our

locations. Click the button below to get in touch.






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