PRAIRIE GROVE -- In a special meeting March 29, Prairie Grove City Council approved the preliminary plat for a new single-family residential subdivision called Hudson Heights.
The new development, which is on 80 acres along Bush Street and Ditmars Road, will have 90 lots, two detention ponds as part of its drainage system, and three access points, two from Bush Street and one from Ditmars.
The ordinance for the preliminary plat was placed on first reading at the council's regular March meeting. Council members had some questions about the development, so Mayor Sonny Hudson suggested the council not approve it that night to get their questions answered.
The council also discussed the city's mask ordinance, which was adopted July 13, 2020. After some discussion, it was decided not to take any action.
The 2020 mask ordinance stated that the city of Prairie Grove would require face coverings according to Arkansas Department of Health guidelines in an effort to help curb the spread of covid-19.
The ordinance also said local law enforcement would act in a support capacity to local businesses that wished to require face masks on their premises.
Gov. Ash Hutchinson lifted the statewide mandate on March 30. In his weekly press conference, Hutchinson said businesses could require customers to wear masks and schools could implement their own mask policies. Hutchinson also said cities could approve their own mask mandates.
City Attorney Steven Parker last week said his understanding is that Prairie Grove's mask ordinance was tied to the governor's mask mandate and directives from the Arkansas Department of Health.
"As long as the state has their mandate, we have one, too," Parker said.
The governor's action to lift the statewide mandate means that Prairie Grove's mask mandate is lifted also, Parker said.
Parker said his recommendation to the council was that at some point it should rescind the mask ordinance so it is not "hanging out there" and causing confusion.