JONESBORO — A proposal to introduce a new style of housing for Jonesboro returns to the city council agenda Tuesday, after a month-long pause for revisions.
The third and final reading of the proposed cottage housing ordinance was postponed at the council’s March 2 meeting, after several people said the standards were too loose.
The initial proposal would have authorized construction of smaller detached housing constructed in clusters surrounding a central village green. The cottage homes would be built in clusters of four with a maximum of 12 under the proposal. The vision is to use this housing as infill in older sections of town.
While many of the vocal opponents have said they favor the concept, but without stricter standards written into the ordinance, developers could just build “glorified trailer parks.”
In response to some of the complaints raised at a meeting of the West End Neighborhood Association, Planning Director Derrel Smith drafted some revisions.
Some opponents said Jonesboro should craft its ordinance after a 2011 document approved by the Fayetteville City Council. It prescribed the building materials to be used and other issues.
But Smith said the state Legislature in 2019 enacted a law prohibiting cities from imposing design standards for single family housing.
Residents also expressed concern that the cottage development should reflect the character of the existing neighborhood. To address that concern, Smith wrote in a provision that the planning commission would review site plans for the development and determine whether “it blends with the character of the neighborhood that it’s going in.” Another tweak was phrased to the effect that no more than two other houses can look alike.
The Fayetteville ordinance also requires at least 1,000 feet of separation between cottage communities.
Separation isn’t addressed in the current Jonesboro document.
Two other proposed ordinances also also appear on the agenda for final action.
P & H Investments seeks to abandon a portion of a drainage easement at 2203 E. Parker Road.
Ignacio Islas seeks to rezone the seven-acre former Eagles Club property at 305 Airport Road to RS-8 single family residential.
Scheduled for the first of three required readings is an ordinance proposed by Citifirst Property Group to abandon a five-foot portion of an existing 25-foot drainage easement within the Brendar Village Development, east of Stadium Boulevard. A public hearing on that matter is scheduled for 5:25 p.m.
Proposed ordinances scheduled for their second readings would:
Define and provide zoning classifications for homeless shelters.
Rezone 21 acres adjacent to 3506 Southwest Drive from commercial to RS-6 single family residential. It would provide for 72 single family homes.. The property would become part of the 118-acre multi use Southern Hills Development.
Authorize a restaurant private club permit for Supporting Advancement Inc., doing business as Lost Pizza at Hilltop, 3410 E. Johnson Ave. The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division would also have to give its approval.
Resolutions on the agenda would:
Approve the ballot language for electing the Position 1 council members by ward in the 2022 election.
Create a new video analyst position within the police department to handle video from body-worn cameras. In the case of Freedom of Information Act requests, certain audio and video have to be redacted to prevent the release of personal information.
Approve a $68,145 assessment by the Arkansas Public Entity Risk Management Association.
Approve a partnership with Post Foods in which the company would contribute up to $400,000 of the cost to make rail track improvements.
Amend the 2021 budget to add three firefighter positions.
The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in Municipal Center, 300 S. Church St. The council’s public works committee will meet at 5.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic attendance within the meeting room is limited.
The meeting will be broadcast on FacebookLive and Suddenlink Channel 24. Another online option is Jonesboro.Legistar.com to watch live or recorded video and view agendas.
Residents and interested parties can participate either by sending email to Council Comments@jonesboro.org or calling 870-336-7248 when agenda items are being discussed.