Interested citizens review maps showing the various zoning specifics of the Tryon Equestrian Properties development. (photo by Samantha Hurst)
Interested citizens review maps showing the various zoning specifics of the Tryon Equestrian Properties development. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

White Oak development moves forward with county approval

Published 8:11pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Following two hours of public comment and a handful of compromises, the Polk County Board of Commissioners, during its April 22 meeting, unanimously approved the rezoning of the White Oak development in Pea Ridge and a development agreement with Tryon Equestrian Properties, resulting in an eruption of applause from the audience.

“I think the process played out – I think people should see we listened to their concerns and addressed their issues,” said commissioner Tom Pack. “[The] developers are trying to work with us and I think they want to be good members of the community.”

Tryon Equestrian Properties requested that the county rezone 1,022 acres that includes the original White Oak development and additional adjacent properties from multiple use zoning to a new Equestrian (E) district.

Polk County resident Anne Pierce said she has grave concerns over the generality of the rezoning.

“I find it hard to understand how this is an equestrian zoning issue. There’s one or two sentences about equestrian facilities; most of it seems to be changing the multiple use zoning,” Pierce said. “The developer does not have to come before this commission again to get any additional exceptions to allow them to build things that are going to have a big impact on the surrounding community … to me this is anything but an equestrian development.”

Project plans include a maximum of 800 dwelling units including single-family residential and clustered multi-family condo/townhouses, a maximum of 450 hotel units, private and public clubs; sports and recreation both indoor and outdoor including golf, tennis, fishing, hiking and nature, obstacle courses; multi-discipline equestrian center, summer camps, retail stores, restaurants, offices, fitness, spa and wellness center; camping/rental cabins/RV park; museum, covered arena, indoor arena, amphitheater, winery/vineyard; hospitality/convention center; lighted stadium with seating for 6,000; heliport, festivals; stabling for horses or other animals; auctions (animal and/or products); temporary tents; conservation easements or areas and retirement facilities, independent living and assisted living up to 100 units.