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الگوهای توسعه و کاربری زمین - NAVIDKHOSHDOUN - ۲۰-۴-۱۳۸۹ ۱۰:۳۰ صبح
Land Use and Development Patterns
The central part of Benton was laid out in blocks and lots in 1836 (refer to Figure No. 1). As the city grew over the next 100 years it retained a rectangular grid street system. An aerial or map view of Benton reveals that the city continues to have a somewhat compact and rectangular shape. Chapter 7 indicates that the city has largely avoided the diseconomy of scattered and separate utility systems and service providers. In recent years, however, Benton has grown northeasterly along Interstate 30 into the Hurricane Lake area interrupting its compactness. In response to this expansion, interest has been expressed locally to effect annexations that would keep the city borders square and compact.
Land Use Patterns
Within Benton’s corporate limits the arrangement of land use has developed a pattern that is highly influenced by highways and railroads. The traditional Central Business District (CBD), anchored by the Saline County Courthouse, was from 1836 traversed by the principal highway, initially called the Southwest Trail (refer to Chapter 2, History of Benton). Businesses catering to the traveling public chose locations along the highway leading into and out of the CBD, that is, Military Road and River Street (and later West South Street). That pattern of commercial development persists today and continues to grow along Military Road, which has recently been reconnected to State Highway 5 North. However, since the U.S. Highway 67/70 route was moved in the early 1940s, commercial development has gradually drifted away from the route through downtown to sites near what later became one of the frontage roads that parallel Interstate 30 (I-30). The result has been the gradual decline of business activity in downtown Benton.
In an effort to rejuvenate Benton’s CBD, the courthouse, which was rebuilt in 1901 and 1902, was rehabilitated during the 1990s. The block south of the courthouse is currently undergoing a facelift, with the implementation of a streetscape plan that complements the courthouse improvements. In addition, a new municipal complex has been built on the edge of downtown next to South East Street (State Highway 35). The downtown traffic signals are also being upgraded and interconnected to make traffic flow better. However, it is probably too early to judge if these efforts will lead to a resurgence of business activity in the CBD. Other concerns that have been expressed regarding downtown redevelopment include whether the streets should be converted from one-way to two-way operation, the lack of loading areas for deliveries, angle vs. parallel parking, drainage concerns, and whether liquor laws should be changed to attract fine restaurants to the area.
The industrial areas of Benton are traditionally located in the south part of the city where railroad access has long been provided. Industrial uses extend west and north from the railroad to either side of the Saline County Airport, where ready access to I-30 is available. The closure of that airport is expected in the near future when a new county airport opens near State Highway 183 southeast of Bryant. The old airport property is currently for sale by the county. The planned extension of the Benton Parkway around the southern parts of the city would serve industrial and other uses, improve access to the freeway for existing and new developments, and reduce truck traffic passing through downtown Benton.
Map No. 17
Benton Area Minority Population
Source: Metroplan Geographic Information System
In general, each quadrant of the city, with the CBD at the center, developed residential neighborhoods that contain the complementary parks, schools, churches and fire stations. The most common type of housing, historically, has been detached single-family dwellings. Complexes of apartments are a more recent addition to the housing stock.
Benton is home to the majority of African-Americans in Saline County, and most this population is concentrated a single neighborhood south of the railroad between South Market and Neeley Streets as shown on Map No 17. In the late 1990s, this neighborhood was connected to Edison Avenue (State Highway 35) by an overpass of the railroad via South Second Street, which improved accessibility to the neighborhood and reduced delay due to train traffic at railroad crossings.
Map No. 18 shows the location of recently established subdivisions in the City of Benton. These subdivisions are primarily for detached single family dwellings.
Land Use Map and Qualifications
Within the Benton Planning Area, the generalized locations of existing land uses are shown in Map No. 19. These uses are defined as follows.
1. Residential – Land that has been developed or subdivided in order to accommodate families or individuals with housing structures whether built or vacant at this time (Lot size less than 5 acres).
2. Commercial – Land used for retail or wholesale trade, professional services, commercial recreation, and private office buildings.
3. Industrial – That portion of the city with designated land use characterized by production, manufacturing, distribution, or fabrication activities. Railroad right-of-way is included because of the fundamental tie with industry.
4. Public–Semi-public – Land owned by a public/government agency or otherwise offered for appropriate public activity; including schools, streets, parks, and uses of a public nature such as clubs, hospitals, churches, and cemeteries.
5. Vacant – Vacant land is that not given over to any urban use even though it may be potentially available for development. Agricultural land in the city is considered vacant land, as are open bodies of water and undeveloped flood plains.
A historical comparison can be drawn between Tables No. 8 and No. 9, if it is assumed that Benton in 2000 and the 28 cities reported by Bartholomew in 1955 are typical. Most obviously, Benton has become considerably less dense than cities of a similar size were 50 years ago. Although the data suggests small U.S. cities have more vacant land and have become more spread out since the advent of the Interstate highway system, residential uses remain the largest share of the developed land area, while the proportion of land consumed by commercial uses has grown, again reflective of auto use and the need for parking.
Table No. 8
Table No. 9
New developments, both public and private, within the study area may be constrained by a variety of factors, including:
1) Development regulations and policies (refer to Chapter 4);
2) Existing development patterns (as discussed in this Chapter);
3) Inadequate infrastructure or public services such as no sanitary sewer system or public water supply, poor access, etc. (refer to Chapters 7 and 8);
4) Environmentally sensitive areas (e.g., wildlife habitat, archeological and historical sites, etc.), soil types (refer to Chapter 5), steep slopes, flood plains, un-reclaimed pit mines, public parks and cemeteries; and
5) Proximity to incompatible land uses (e.g., railroads, airfields, sewage treatment and solid waste facilities, certain industrial facilities and agricultural uses, etc.).
Map No. 20 identifies some of the development constraints in the Benton Planning Area. The areas north of the city along county roads, such as Salt Creek, Mulberry-Salem, Congo, River Ridge, Brazill and Carrie Roads, have developed principally as low-density residential. The population density is low in these areas due in part to the lack of public sanitary sewer service. This low density arrangement of residential parcels could forestall a transition to urban densities, due to the dispersed large lot development pattern. In some areas, future urban densities may only be possible by leapfrogging existing low density development which would increase the cost of extending public sanitary sewer service.
Map No. 18
Benton New Subdivisions
Map No. 19
Generalized Land Use in the Benton Planning Area
Map No. 20
Development Constraints in the Benton Planning Area