Beth Day 0

Rezoning of The Hole in the Wall

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In a time of social distancing that has reminded us the importance of connection and community, we have felt prompted to try again. To reconnect and start a conversation that can ultimately lead to a beautiful collaboration. We are asking residents of Bella Vista to cast a vote and a voice for rezoning of the 12 acre property with cave at the SW corner of Chelsea and Highland known as The Hole in the Wall. Below is the letter we are sending to the Planning Commission and to the City Council. We appreciate your time and consideration in helping us ensure that this property can be enjoyed by everyone in Bella Vista. Thank you for hearing us out.

Dear Planning Commission and City Council Members,

We, the owners of the property at 581 Chelsea Road, Ariane Grazian, Andrew Mainer, Elizabeth Day, Julie Duncan, Duane Paterson, Steve Outain, Haley Tranum, and Trey Staley, under the LLC entity The Hole in the Wall NWA, petition the Planning Commission and City Council of the City of Bella Vista for a rezoning from residential to C-2 zoning.

• Reason (need) for the requested zoning change.

We are requesting the rezoning because we believe that a commercial zoning designation represents the highest and best use of this land.

The unique geological feature of the cave on the property (known by residents for decades as “The Hole in the Wall”) is a beautiful amenity that should be shared with the community.

In addition, the property’s proximity to the Little Sugar Creek Trail System makes it an ideal natural gathering place for residents and tourists wishing to make use of the trails, and will provide Bella Vista with an additional amenity that brings tax revenue and tourism. Plans for the property, either by the current owners or by future owners revolve around low-impact events and activities such as mountain biking club gatherings and clinics, family reunions, scouting and educational programs, weddings, concerts, community gathering nights, and lodging/camping requiring minimal development, thus preserving the natural beauty of the property and the enjoyment of residents and tourists alike.

• Statement of how the property relates to surrounding properties.

This property sits well below Highland Subdivision, the neighborhood on top of the cliff/cave. There are only 2 neighbors on Leona Drive, the road closest to the property. There is a third neighbor to the south of the property, and a fourth to the southeast. Other neighborhoods across Chelsea Rd. to the east are insulated by dense timber. The owners are open to including in a rezoning any restriction/mitigation of noise, lights, or environmental impact that the city deems necessary to preserve the quality of life for our neighbors.

Our Vision

Every city, every neighborhood, benefits from gathering places where neighbors, friends, families, and strangers can meet, play, and create community. The Hole in the Wall is one such gathering place. It’s a green valley with a beautiful room-like cave connected to the 11-Under Trail System.

The Hole in the Wall is a place for community collaboration. Local bikers and hikers envision helping to build a trailhead, bike cleaning and repair station, and showers for visitors enjoying the trails. Neighbors have proposed helping to build monarch gardens and bluebird boxes to attract and protect wildlife. In addition to our current offerings, local small business owners hope to bring kiosks offering a bite to eat, a morning cup of coffee, and maybe even a local beer to share with friends around the campfire.

The Hole in the Wall is a place for music. The cave itself provides an acoustically intimate listening room experience for local artists and small audiences. We have even explored collaboration opportunities with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Hole in the Wall is a nature-centered learning place. Local scouting programs, homeschooling groups, and life-long learners of all ages have helped us envision educational programs from nature walks to bike clinics to stargazing, and everything in between.

The Hole in the Wall is a place for making memories. From weddings to family reunions, movie nights in the cave, hammocking hangouts, and more, this is a space for connection. We hope while you are here you will put away your phone. Run around like a kid. Play tag. Explore. Hide. Seek. Step back in time and find yourself and your connection to the people who really matter.


Your Neighbors,

Elizabeth Day, Ariane Grazian, Andrew Mainer, Julie Duncan, Duane Paterson, Steve Outain, Haley Tranum, and Trey Staley

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