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Enthusiastic Pop-Ups Set the Stage for Tonight’s Open House

Plan Bentonville project team takes the show on the road.

Launching this past Saturday and continuing through tomorrow, Tuesday, February 27, the Plan Bentonville project team has been conducting a series of pop-up community input activities designed to transcend the more conventional public meeting model in favor of engaging the community right where they are, in the course of their daily routines — visiting the Market at Record or the Amazeum, getting coffee, hanging out at the 8th Street Market, playing in the park, going to school and more.

All in all, there’ll be 11 distinct pop-up events, each prompting different groups throughout Bentonville on their ambitions, fears and hopes for the city’s future. Perspectives shared join the results of our initial survey as prelude to this week’s ‘Design Week’ main events: the open houses. 

A schedule of the remaining events can be found here. And if you find yourself unable to connect with one of them, you can still share comparable input using our Design Week survey here instead.

Bring on the Big Ideas

This evening, Monday, February 26, from 5-7pm at the Bentonville Public Library marks the first of our two open houses where drafts of various ideas, proposals, and other information will be “pinned up” for public review and comment. On the docket is a broad examination of Bentonville and the choices facing the city — particularly the financial implications of continued population growth.

How can our projected growth — a phenomenon outside the direct control of the city — serve as a resource to be leveraged rather than a liability to be overcome?

Purposeful and potentially difficult choices will need to be made in how and where we choose to grow if we’re to balance the diverse and uniquely personal aspirations voiced by the community with the inevitable financial obligations those choices can incur.

More compact models of development — or ‘place types’ in the language of this week’s discussions — typically generate more in tax revenue than they take out in infrastructure and city services, while others, like broadly dispersed housing and commerce, do the opposite. Yet Bentonville residents, collectively, have been clear that they don’t share a single development preference.

In short, not everyone wants to live the same way. 

That’s okay, say planners. The ultimate goal is not to maximize revenue at the expense of certain segments of the community, but to balance place types — from the vibrant density of downtown to walkable neighborhood villages to the rolling acres of the countryside — to maximize choice, affordability, and quality of life for all while ensuring net positive revenue on the city’s balance sheet.

Come join us tonight and share your thoughts on the work in progress. Those proposals will then be taken back to the drawing board, revised based on the community's feedback, and then presented again, Thursday evening between 5 and 7pm.

It’s an open house forum so feel free to come and go any time during the event. We look forward to seeing you.



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