Friday, May 29, 2015

EDITORIAL >> Whit Davis gets cold shoulder

Whit Davis Lumber Plus is set to open a beautiful new hardware store on Brockington Road in Sherwood. But the city council is not happy about it.

Jobs, sales-tax revenue, economic development, a family-owned local business, none of that matters for the aldermen. Instead they are fixated on the building’s architectural design and whether it abides by city code.

They are not happy with the store’s use of metal on its facade. Now that construction is nearly done and Whit Davis employees are preparing for a grand opening, some aldermen would rather halt progress and make the company build a new storefront that suits their particular tastes. One thing is for sure, the store does not look like a cheap metal building.

The city’s planning and zoning commission approved the plan, which was then sent to the city council for approval before building started.

Now, rather than take responsibility for not examining the building plan earlier, some aldermen claim Whit Davis skirted the ordinances.

City Attorney Steve Cobb said there was nothing the city can do to stop the project since the plans were approved by the same people who are now crying foul. Aldermen could have done something about it long before building got underway.

The company followed all the rules required by Sherwood. Now that officials there realize they weren’t paying attention to details, they are blaming Whit Davis, an unlikely bad guy.

Whit Davis has a long record of excellence in the communities it serves. It has stores in Jacksonville, Cabot and Greenbrier, and its lumber has built thousands of homes in central Arkansas. Sherwood residents will be glad to have them.

The Sherwood City Council should clear this up before they alienate other businesses considering moving to town.

We’ll see you at the ribbon cutting.