July 18, 2012 Edition

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WR Council discusses
subdivision zoning



Walnut Ridge Middle School student Auggie Wicker (left) shadowed Mayor Don House on July 10 and served as Mayor for the Day. He also attended the city council meeting that evening.
TD Photo ~ Gloria Wilkerson

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council discussed zoning issues with city resident John Andrews at their meeting on July 10.

Aldermen were presented with a legal description of four lots owned by Andrews, lots he wants to have separated from the subdivision they are located in. However, the city must have a survey of the land before they can vote to change the property's zoning classification from an R2 to an RR.

Andrews recently purchased four lots behind the property his home sets on in the Benson 1983 Subdivision. He plans to build an accessory building on the land, but city ordinances are in place that prohibit building that type of structure in an R2 zone unless a house is also located on the property.

The subdivision was platted in 1983 but was never developed. According to city attorney Adam Weeks, the lots should have been developed before they were sold.

The survey will cost Andrews between $1,200 and $1,500, but will put all four lots into a single tract, making it one property. His hopes are that the city council will then detach it from the R2 subdivision. As soon as Andrews can get the survey done, the council will hold a special meeting to vote on the matter.

Councilman Ed Lawson asked if Andrews could have only the lot he plans to put the building on surveyed, possibly saving him some money.

"Whatever he wants to do," Weeks said.

Andrews asked Weeks for written and signed instructions as to what he has to do to meet the city's requirements so there will be no misunderstanding.

Auggie Wicker, an upcoming seventh grader at Walnut Ridge Middle School, participated in the Shadow the Mayor for a Day program on July 10. He and Walnut Ridge Mayor Don House visited the city's police, fire and street departments, attended meetings, and participated in the search for the largest walnut tree in Walnut Ridge. Wicker also sat with city council members during their monthly meeting that evening.

Wicker is president of the Lawrence County 4-H Discovery Club, where he especially enjoys parliamentary procedures. He plays on the Walnut Ridge Recreational All-Star baseball team and is a straight-A student. He is the son of Chad and Andrea Wicker of Bono.

In other business, the council:

  • learned the application for a "Fun Park" (water park) grant through Arkansas Parks and Tourism is being prepared this month. The Northeast Arkansas Planning and Development District is working with the city on the grant application. The grant will be matched by a donation from Don and Fran Cavenaugh and Chevrolet. They are donating a $32,000, 2012 Camero to be gifted to the Walnut Ridge Kiwanis Club, who will raffle it off and donate the money to the park.

  • was told that the city continues to be contacted by businesses searching for a place to locate and/or expand their operations.

  • was informed that KAIT-TV is planning a stop in Walnut Ridge for their 5 and 6 p.m. news programs on Thursday, July 26, in the downtown area near Beatles Park. Council members and the public are invited to be there for the broadcasts.

  • was told that state auditors are currently auditing the city and should be finished in about three weeks. Federal auditors recently spent a few days doing their routine audit.

  • learned that the airport commission is planning a fly-in for September 22, with a variety of planes on display for the public to view. "They want people to see what's going on at and around the airport and the Wings of Honor Museum," Mayor House said. "The museum and Parachute Inn are attracting visitors on a daily basis."

  • discussed increased revenue for the city pool. "We usually just hope to break even," Mayor House said. "We hope to do a little better than that by the time the pool closes for the year."

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