Monette Council talks zoning

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Pictured are Shawn Nance, City Planning Commission, and Monette City Council members viewing maps for zoning requests.

Monette City Council met April 25 with Shawn Nance, present on behalf of the City Planning Commission, to discuss findings in current zoning requests as well as possibilities for the future.

Nance recounted the events of a public meeting held Tuesday, April 19, at City Hall in request of Glen Harrell to rezone property.

Harrell shared his plans to use the of blueprints of existing apartments to build a complex consisting of eight to twelve apartments on Carol Street. The construction would require rezoning of the location from Agricultural to R-3. R-3 zoning allows for anything from single family dwellings to apartments.

Two property owners were present for the public hearing. Concerns were raised concerning view obstruction as well as noise and trash issues. Harrell agreed to placing a fence in back of the property to separate lands.

The Planning Commission passed the rezoning unanimously and sent the request to the City Council.

Following discussion, the council accepted the approval of the Planning Commission for the rezoning of the Harrell property.

Jason Stewart has requested that one acre of his property currently found to be within city limits be withdrawn.

City Recorder/Treasurer Vickki Carrol spoke with Johnny Dunigan, City Attorney, and was informed the Council needed the owners deed, the affidavit and the original annexation ordinance.

The planning commission has approved Stewart's request. A motion was passed by the Council that all property North of County Road 514 be withdrawn from city limits with all necessary expenses to be paid by Stewart.

Buffalo Island Central parents have also met with the city planning commission to discuss the use of the Bibb/Halsey barn for FFA and 4-H participants. Students who wish to join the orginazation but have no place to keep animals will be given access to the barn.

Nance shared the Planning Commission found no zoning issue. The location is zoned as agriculture.

The planning commission established that, as an educational facility, the building would need to meet certain requirements.

The commission did find the project would fall under violation of a city ordinance involving livestock within city limits. The Planning Commission recommended that contact be made with the Council due to the ordinance, as well as suggesting anyone living within 200 feet of the structure be notified.

One resident living across the street from the location falls within the 200 foot limit. Plans were made to contact the property owner, and the planning commission suggested the City follow up on results of the notification.

The Council voted to exclude the property for educational purposes to house animals, subject to approval of land owners within 200 feet.

Police Chief Brian Carmichael announced news of the arrival of the recently purchased police truck. The special service vehicle was picked up at Steve Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Little Rock April 25. Carmichael shared that the list price of the vehicle is around $42,000. However, the department purchased the truck for $27, 147.

Following the installation of equipment including lights, radio, consoles for an additional $4,600, the vehicle was expected be ready for use by May 2.

The department hopes to retain all current vehicles in case of repairs or for use by additional officers who may be hired in the future.

Mayor Jerry "Chub" Qualls reminded the Council that a $20,000 grant is expected to be awarded within the year and may be used to purchase another vehicle.

The annual clean sweep is scheduled for May 9-13.

Letters for unsightly and unsanitary yards were issued by the police department in March. Of the 11 residents notified, four complied. The remaining seven were issued citations.

Alderman Bob Hurst, Sr. gave thanks to Nance and the Planning Commission along with Carmichael and the Monette Police Department for their efforts.

"You are trying to improve the environment for our citizens." Said Hurst, "Some people don't realize that."

Alderman Aaron Uthoff announce his recent move. He is actively looking to fill his position in the City Council. Uthoff shared that he is willing to continue in his responsibilities with the Council until a replacement is found.

Funding from USDA Rural Development for a new sewer project was announced during the Earth Day celebration held at BIC West Elementary. The city of Monette received the combination of a $1.397 million loan and $1.005 million grant to fund a new wastewater treatment plant to replace the current outdated plant. Mayor Qualls shared that all paper work has been sent to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Equality and an answer is expected in three to six months.

Mayor Qualls shared events of the April 18 Veterans Park Committee meeting. Two of five bids were returned for a monument and statue of a kneeling soldier on the site. The committee compiled a list of questions for both companies and a decision is expected to be made in the near future.

Tom Carrol, Alderman, shared concerns for the maintenance of the cities tennis courts. Recent damage caused by falling trees was noted. It was decided that repairs need to begin as soon as possible.

Carrol agreed to serve on a committee to look into the repair.

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