Some Bentonville residents wanted to consider an alternative to honor area's 'historical significance'
By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- The Warren County Board of Supervisors approved a road name change from Browne Top Way to Hazard Ford Road on Tuesday night after receiving input from planning and zoning staff as well as concerned citizens.
In May 2011, the Zoning Administrator realized there were two sections of Acorn Hill Road that were disconnected by 1,300 feet, and according to county code, "disconnections more than 60 feet offset will require a new road name on the disconnected section."
There are five property owners on the disconnected section of the road, and for situations like this in the past, property owners were asked to come up with a road name as they were the most affected by a new name.
Planning and Zoning Director Taryn Logan said that one of the property owners is deceased, and one of them is Steele Enterprises. Resident Jeff Browne owns two homes on the road, and another home is owned by the Munson family. The road name was changed to Browne Top Way after Browne suggested it.
Logan said that since then, the department has received concerns from Bentonville residents about the change, and many of them wanted to consider a different one that honored the area's "historical significance."
A petition with 78 signatures, including those of three property owners on the road, was turned in to the department in December 2011 asking that the name be changed to Hazard Ford Road. This week, Browne asked that the name be changed to Mill Ford Road.
"It's usually not this controversial," Logan said of the name change process.
Thomas Lockhart of Bentonville spoke to the board in favor of Hazard Ford Road, and reminded them of the importance of a petition.
Browne also spoke, and explained frustrations that come with road name changes for residents.
"Besides, who would want to live on a road named 'Hazard' anything," he asked the board. "Don't go with the petition, go with the three homeowners."
Supervisor Linda Glavis, South River District, said she felt she had a responsibility with the issue since the road is in her district.
"While I sympathize with Mr. Browne and the circumstances that brought about re-naming the road, I received overwhelming responses from my long-standing constituents who favored the name Hazard Ford Road," Glavis said via email. "Bentonville residents whose ancestors settled in the area identify with the spot where the river was forded to the Hazard Mill on the other side. This is not a private road, and I am compelled to consider the preferences of my constituents who access their properties through, or drive by on a daily basis."
The name changed pass with a 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Tony Carter being the only board member to vote against it.