Planning commission OKs plans for Echo Village
After months of planning, the Echo Village
is closer to becoming a reality.
The Eureka Springs Planning Commission
heard from Dan Bell about the
affordable housing community on Passion
Play Road on Tuesday, Dec. 12, with Bell
describing what the project will entail. It
will include 24 homes ranging from 400
to 800 square feet, Bell said, and eight of
the homes will be designated for certain
“There will be two of the homes for
transient homeless, two of the homes possibly
for prison release, two of the homes
for mental health issues and two of the
homes for disabilities,” Bell said. “The
other 16 homes are intended to be for people
who live there permanently, a mix of
young and old people who want to assist
others and live in an ideal community.”
Volunteers plan to visit Eureka Springs
to build seven of the homes in June, Bell
said, and it should be easy to get those
done. He said a grant will pay for one of
the homes, the Methodist church will help
build another and one individual in town
has agreed to pay for their home.
“We think the first seven can be done
relatively inexpensively,” Bell said.
At the end of the project, Bell said, the
homes will be surrounded by a circle drive
with a central gathering place in the middle.
He plans to make the project as energy-
efficient as possible, Bell said. Planning
Commission chairwoman Melissa
Greene read letters from fire marshal Jim
Kelley and public works director Dwayne
Allen saying they support the project.
Commissioner Ann Tandy-Sallee asked
if the houses would be for long-term or
short-term residents, and Bell said some
residents won’t stay long but others will
live there on a permanent basis.
“The core, the 16 families … they may
live there more permanently,” Bell said.
“That’s the core of the long term.”
Tandy-Sallee asked if the residents
would be required to follow guidelines to
live there, and Bell said they would.
“So it’s going to be kind of like a halfway
house?” Tandy-Sallee said.
“Not exactly,” Bell said. “It’s going to
be a help to those who need help.”
Does that mean individuals who have
been arrested for a sex offense, Tandy-Sallee
asked, wouldn’t be allowed to live
there? City preservation office Glenna
Booth said the planning commission can’t
make decisions based on that.
“He can rent to whoever he wants to.
You’re looking at infrastructure,” Booth
“He’s also looking at rules and conditions,”
“Not from your standpoint,” Booth said.
“You’re looking at the infrastructure of the
project. Who he rents to is his business.
You don’t go around and tell other people
who they can rent to.”
Bell said the project has the community
“What we’re trying to do is meet a need
for the community,” Bell said. “People
can’t find places to rent right now.”
Commissioner Tom Buford moved to
approve the application for the project on
the stipulation that parking requirements
be included in the plan and a document
will be filed saying the project will comply
with the provision regarding the maintenance
of common areas and the streets.
The commission voted unanimously to
approve the project.
The commission adjourned and moved
into the Board of Zoning Adjustment
meeting where Bell presented an application
for a tree removal permit for the
project. Commissioner Doug Breitling
recalled a site visit to the area where the
houses will be built, saying he was impressed
by how few trees will be removed
“I think they’ve taken a great deal of effort
to minimize the number of tree cuts
that are involved,” Breitling said.
Breitling moved to approve the tree removal
permit, and the commission agreed
to do so.