Planners look at R-4 zone

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Eureka Springs Planning Commission is almost going back to square one to develop an ordinance to allow manufactured housing within the city limits.

The group has been trying to get something in place to meet state mandates since the first of the year.

Initially, the commission presented a proposed ordinance to the city council allowing manufactured homes in R-3 and A, agriculture, zones.

Alderman and former planning commission chairman Robert "Butch" Berry opposed inclusion in agriculture zones, saying housing would be inappropriate in those areas.

The commission held a public hearing over two meetings, July 22 and last week's Aug. 12, to re-zone areas along Pivot Rock Road and Dairy Hollow Road to R-3 for placement of the houses.

After the July 22 meeting, they recommended to the city council that the areas along Pivot Rock Road with apartment buildings in place be rezoned as R-3, multi-family dwellings, but held off on recommendations for the remainder of the properties under consideration.

In last week's meeting, the group agreed to start work on setting up guidelines for an R-4 zone, particularly for manufactured housing, and to identify other undeveloped areas where R-3 would be appropriate, according to the city's Vision Plan.

Teresa Mills, coordinator for the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program here, said she has talked with J.D. Harper, author of the manufactured housing legislation, about coming to Eureka to work with the commission to find some suitable areas.

The state statute says cities with zoning districts must allow manufactured homes, on individually owned lots, within residential zones. Historic districts are exempt.

Cities were supposed to have had zoning ordinances in place by Oct. 1, 2003.

Mills also suggested contacting the newly-formed Arkansas Manufactured Housing Commission for guidelines and standards for placement of manufactured housing.

Berry has suggested design guidelines be determined for the siting of the houses.

Commissioners Terry McClung, Patrick Brammer and Leah Karnes volunteered to work as a committee on the issue. They asked Mills to contact Harper and the state's commission for information.

Public hearings were set for the Sept. 9 meeting on requests for a zoning variance and a conditional use permit (CUP) for Susan Misavage to operate a bed and breakfast at 46 Hillside.

The property is within 200 feet of an operating bed and breakfast. It is currently operated as Angel at Rose Hall, a wedding establishment owned by Sandy Latimer.

The commission will hold a hearing Sept. 23 on the sign ordinance completed in June of 2002.

The ordinance went to the city council in 2002, but has not been acted upon. Berry asked that it be sent back to the commission for updating, particularly with reference to changes in state statutes regarding billboards.

Commissioners will have the sign ordinance on the agenda for the Aug. 26 meeting for general discussion.

Eric Scheunemann is still trying to determine what responsibility, if any, the commission has for placement of directional traffic signs.

Several weeks ago, Lower Wall Street was paved and made one-way, going down.

Scheunemann says he and residents of North Main have been inconvenienced by the loss of their short-cut to Highway 62/Van Buren. He believes one-way down is adding traffic congestion to the downtown area.

The city council generally determines the direction of traffic on streets, although the direction of Lower Wall was set by the public works department.

Scheunemann said he would talk with Police Chief Earl Hyatt and Fire Chief David Stoppel about the situation.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: