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PRAIRIE GROVE -- After five months of back and forth between the Planning Commission and the City Council, a request to rezone one acre on Danny Bryan Road to allow a multi-family development has been approved.

The City Council last week voted 7-1 to adopt an ordinance to rezone one acre from agriculture A-1 to R-2, which would allow a duplex or tri-plex on the property. Council member Brea Gragg voted against the ordinance.

In July, Brad Hancock asked to rezone the land to R-3 for a four-plex but the commission denied his request. Hancock appealed to the City Council and the City Council voted to send the decision back to planners for further study. In August, the commission denied the request a second time.

The city's zoning ordinance allows a property owner to go back to the council and request a new zone, and Hancock appeared before the council Oct. 21, asking for the land to be rezoned R-2. The Council placed the ordinance on first reading.

In previous meetings, Hancock has explained that the reason he purchased the property for a multi-family project was because the city's land use plan shows the area would be suitable for multi-family zoning. Hancock did not speak last week, noting he did not have anything new to add to the discussion.

Residents in the area have voiced their opposition to the request for many reasons, including impact on property value and how a four-plex or tri-plex would alter the character of the neighborhood. Only one person, Lloyd Beal, spoke against the ordinance last week.

Beal said the city should have investigated the area before deciding it was suitable for a multi-family development.

In other action, the City Council approved an ordinance to collect a $10 jail fee that will be added to court costs and fees for a defendant found guilty of a misdemeanor or traffic violation within the city of Prairie Grove and who is charged in Washington County District Court-Prairie Grove Department.

All money generated by the new jail fee will be used exclusively to defray the city's cost of incarcerating prisoners in the Washington County Detention Center. For 2020, Prairie Grove will pay $16,224 under a per capita agreement with the county to help with jail funding. This is $2.57 per capita based on the estimated 2018 census.

The city's new jail fee will be effective Jan. 1.

The council also approved:

• A resolution authorizing a contract with Burns and McDonnell Engineering Co., to provide engineering services for a downtown drainage study for about $127,000.

• An ordinance to simultaneously detach land from the city of Prairie Grove and annex it into Farmington. The Farmington-Prairie Grove boundary line goes through the middle of two lots in the Valley View area. This would place both lots in the city of Farmington. Farmington City Council has already approved its ordinance for this action to take place.

-- A resolution in support of an amendment to the state Constitution to permanently continue a .50% sales tax for highway and transportation projects.

• Longevity bonuses for city employees that range from $150 to $350.

• A paving variance for a parking lot at Faith Covenant Church. The church will have 24 months to pave its parking lot.

Community on 11/27/2019

Print Headline: Council Rezones Land, Despite Objections

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