City denies C3 zone
Pea Ridge City Council members rejected a rezone request that had been approved by the Pea Ridge Planning Commission during their regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19. The request, from Abundant Life Properties was to rezone 7.23 acres from Commercial (C-3) to Residential (R-3).
According to building official Tony Townsend, the zone allows for three- and four-story buildings and the developer planned to construct 72 units of luxury apartments.
“The commission thought it was well suited,” Townsend said. “The vote was 5-1.”
Aldermen Ray Easley and Bob Cottingham noted that land is prone to flooding.
“I’m opposed to it. We’re defeating ourselves taking it away from commercial. I don’t think it’s a great place for R3,” Easley said.
Easley, Cottingham and Lance Sanders voted against the rezone. Alderman Steve Guthrie voted in favor of it.
Aldermen approved increasing the maximum ceiling of the undercover operations fund from $10,000 to $50,000. City Clerk Sandy Button told city officials that the amount had been set at $1,000 in 1990 and increased to $10,000 in 1993. “Every year it comes close to having to be amended,” she said.
Button, who is also the court clerk, said the money is derived from court cases involving drugs.
“We want to set this amount so we don’t have to amend the budget. We’re having more and more cases … $50,000 is just a number. We’re not trying to set it as a number to use,” she said.
The mayor said anything over the limit goes into the general fund and that city statutes state specifically how the money can be used. He said some of it could be used to take care of the canine.
“It’s not a slush fund,” Button said. “We’re trying to get it to a point where we don’t have to amend the budget. It’s pretty much a ceiling that will work for several years.”
City officials authorized the mayor to accept statements of qualifications and performance date for evaluation with respect to the city’s need for legal services.
“What’s going on with the city attorney?” Sanders asked.
“We were doing his service on a month to month basis,” the mayor said. “We need to go ahead and advertise … Mr. Bearden is welcome to look at it.”
Mike Bearden was introduced to the council in November 2016 when city attorney Howard Slinkard announced his retirement and told the council that Bearden was buying his practice. Bearden has served as the city attorney since then.
In other business, the Council:
• Approved Res. 406 to levy ad valorem taxes of the city of Pea Ridge. The amount was 5 mils as it has been for many years, according to Mayor Jackie Crabtree.
• Authorized the mayor to advertise for a city attorney; and
• Authorized the mayor to discuss potential sale or trade of city-owned land to TH Lumber.