Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2005. How about cutting off a nose to spite your face? Worried residents along Rockwood Trail are being short-term not farsighted.
The North Sequoyah Neighborhood Association opposes, to the extreme of buying a full-page ad in today’s Northwest Arkansas Times of Fayetteville, a strict conditional use permit allowing Temple Shalom to convert a 1960s E. Fay Jones house into a modest synagogue. The adjacent vacant lot would be parking for two dozen vehicles, hidden by landscaping, lit subtly and using grass pavers (such as these) to preserve the park appearance.
Much already has been written: Click on the Times’ site and in the search field type "temple."
But hold those noses by thinking long-term, in two parts.
1) The Temple not only would not change the famous Butterfly House but also would plant Fay Jones’ never-implemented landscaping plan. If a family bought it, they could do anything as long as it remains — a home. Anything.
It’s impractical for young children, owing to Jones’ love of stone and sharp angles. It’s too large for empty nesters. Only a family with several teenagers will take it. With Temple Shalom, neighbors will get what they’ve been spoiled by for several years, an empty house for 159 of a week’s total 168 hours. Upon sale, it reverts to single-family zoning.
2) Rockwood Trailers still get the whole lot. They don’t want to lose it as green space for children to play in and for adults to enjoy the unobstructed view of the hills beyond from their own homes.
When the empty lot sells to a family, that 21st-century couple inevitably will build a McMansion, to complement the land price. As it’ll be decades removed from nearly all the nearby houses, it will look very different. Multistory? Likely. Neighbors won’t be able to see through it.
Every aspect of Temple Shalom’s current and future plans are transparent. -30-