Hillcrest Is Great – Keep It That Way!

Is Hillcrest a Great Place to Live? Yes! I love Hillcrest. I want to raise my family there and I want other families to be my neighbors so my home and yard will be full of friends and family –...

Is Hillcrest a Great Place to Live? Yes!

I love Hillcrest. I want to raise my family there and I want other families to be my neighbors so my home and yard will be full of friends and family – old and new.

What Makes Hillcrest Great?

  1. Great food scene: Hillcrest has a variety of great restaurants, cafes, and bars that offer a wide range of cuisine – from classic southern fare to international cuisine.
  2. Shopping: Hillcrest has a great selection of unique and independent shops and boutiques where you can find everything from vintage clothing to handmade jewelry.
  3. Parks and green spaces: Hillcrest is home to several beautiful parks and green spaces, including Allsopp Park and Kavanaugh Park, where you can go for a walk or enjoy a picnic.
  4. Community events: Hillcrest hosts several community events throughout the year, including the Hillcrest HarvestFest, a fall festival featuring food, live music, and local vendors.
  5. Farmer’s Market: The Hillcrest Farmer’s Market is a popular spot for fresh produce, baked goods, and locally made crafts.
  6. Strong sense of community: Hillcrest is known for its tight-knit community and great neighbors, which work together to make the neighborhood a great place to live.

I love Hillcrest and want to raise my family there. In order for my kids to enjoy Hillcrest as well, we need other families to want to live there.

Should We Keep Hillcrest Just the Way it is? YES!

There are some changes being lobbied by a select few people, and they are representing that the neighborhood is behind them. The truth is that most of the people in the neighborhood do not know about these proposed changes.

Stop the HRA and New Restrictions

I have been to a couple of meetings about this and every time I have been to a meeting, there have been more objections than agreements. But that is not what the Hillcrest Resident’s Association (HRA) is telling the Little Rock Planning Commission.

Should Hillcrest Change? No – But that is already handled.

They act like they need to save Hillcrest, but there are already restrictions in place to keep it from needing to be saved. But they just keep pushing. In fact, at the first meeting I attended they wanted to limit all new construction to 1,500 sq. ft. You may think, “that does not apply to me,” but you have to read the definition of new construction.

The HRA Board is not being transparent about what they are doing. I have tried to track the progress of this and they do not even keep the public notified in a transparent manner that the public should demand! The current regulations they propose are not even located on the page dedicated to this very project – Design Overlay District | Hillcrest Residents

I tried to get a copy of what the HRA submitted to the Planning Commission, but I was denied access to that information. I was forced to FOIA the information and I am currently waiting on it. I will attach the information I receive from the FOIA to this post.

From my understanding, a mailer will be sent out soon, there will be a public hearing in March, and the Planning Commission will vote on it in April. I believe that this will occur without most people in Hillcrest even being aware of what is happening in their neighborhood.

What Will This Do to Hillcrest?

  • Make it Harder for Families to Live in Hillcrest
  • Make it More Costly to Renovate
  • Make it More Expensive to Remodel
  • Lower Property Values

Let’s try to keep Hillcrest the way it is. It is not the Heights, and it shouldn’t be. People (and families) should want to live there and be able to move in and fix up the houses (especially the vacant ones).

Here is what Hillcrest becomes:

Buy a house – lose money

Have a kid – forced to move.

FOIA Update

I received some FOIA information from the City of Little Rock. I did not receive all of the information. If you are interested in it, here is a link to the FOIA info: Hillcrest DOD FOIA Info

The Changes:

Added definition of “reuse existing structure” To qualify as a reuse of the existing structure, the front three (3) sides and associated roof framing, up to the back wall, must be retained as the exterior front portion of the house.

What this means for you:  The front and sides of your house must stay the same as well as the roofline. If you change any exterior walls on the front or side of your house OR change the roofline, then your house will be considered New Construction.

Lowered Square Footage available:

Additions to Existing Structures, as follows:

  • Single story – 37% (currently 37%)
  • Two-story – 45% (currently 50%)

Basements and attics located within the reused portion of a structure are not counted against the FAR.

Removed * For residential structures with more than two (2) floors, i.e. built-out attics, the FAR shall be .55.

Sites Without Existing Structures, or for Sites where there is not a “reuse of the existing structure” as defined in Proposal #2, as follows:
37% for single-story, and 40% for multi-story structures, to include all heated and cooled space other than basements, or the size of the immediately preexisting structure, whichever is greater.

What this means for you: If you want to remodel your house and it includes changing the front, sides, or roofline, then you will fall under the New Construction scenario and be limited to 40% FAR. So, for a 7,000 sq. ft. lot, you are limited to 2,800 sq. ft.

  • Left House – Current Little Rock Rules
  • Middle House – Current Hillcrest DOD Rules
  • Right House – Proposed Hillcrest DOD Rules

Added a setback provision: include minimum combined side yard setback equal to 28% of the average lot width, with a minimum side yard setback of 10% of lot width per side, the minimum requirement not to exceed a total of 17.5’.

What does this mean for you: You are not allowed to put your house in the center of the lot.

Added a requirement that you repair or put in a new sidewalk: Repair or replace any existing sidewalk as per municipal code 30-48. Install a sidewalk if half or more of the block, determined in linear feet, has a sidewalk, the width to be 4′ or to match existing walk, whichever is greater.

What does this mean for you: You can add the cost of a sidewalk to any construction project you want to take on. You will even be forced to put in a sidewalk if your neighbors don’t have one. You get to pay to put in a sidewalk to nowhere.

Added a requirement regarding where your driveway goes: When a building is located with frontage on two streets, the entrance shall face the street having the higher classification according to the city master street plan. In the instance that development occurs at the intersection of two collectors and one being Kavanaugh Boulevard, the entrance shall face Kavanaugh Boulevard.

What does this mean for you: You do not get to choose how to use your yard or what is best for your household.

Here is a link to Hillcrest DOD Redline I received from my FOIA Request.

Would you like to Oppose the New Hillcrest DOD Restrictions?

What Can Be Done If These Regulations Pass?

In 2015 the Private Property Protection Act was passed. This Act makes governments liable for lowered property values based on regulations.

The law states that an owner of real property claiming the goverment “took” property from them by lowering the value shall bring a cause of action in circuit court claiming that the implementation of a regulatory program by a governmental unit has permanently reduced by at least twenty percent (20%) the fair market value of the real property.

The reduction in the fair market value of the real property shall be determined by comparing the fair market value of the real property as if the regulatory program is not in effect and the fair market value of the real property determined as if the regulatory program is in effect.

If you believe that government regulations have impacted the value of your property and would like a free strategy session to discuss this, please fill out the form on this page and select Civil | Other as the case type.

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