October 21, 2015 Edition

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Containers discussed
at Hoxie meeting

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

As requested by several Hoxie citizens, city attorney Bobby Gibson attended the Oct. 13 city council meeting to discuss the current situation regarding shipping containers in the city.

The most recent zoning plan, which is meant to eventually develop more separated residential and commercial districts, allows only temporary placement of containers for already established businesses.

Businesses that were established may continue their container business under a non-conforming use clause but may not grow, rebuild or relocate their business.

Gibson said the city cannot force these businesses to close as that would be considered taking without compensation, and the city would be liable for the investment owners had made in their businesses.

"You're not going to be able to exclude that business model in Hoxie," Gibson said.

However, if a property is in violation or has lost its non-conforming use status and adequate proof can be shown to that effect, then the city may be able to take action.

Mayor Lanny Tinker said that he understood the frustrations regarding the containers but he also had to defend the rights of the city's business owners.

Gibson said the zoning code changes won't bring an immediate impact but are designed to have good long-term effects on the city.

In other business:

Tinker announced that there have been some additional delays in the selling of the former Save-A-Lot property but the city is still working with a buyer to establish a new store for the city.

aldermen discussed if the city should continue to have its building code inspections done through Walnut Ridge at a fee. The discussion was tabled to allow research to be done into the possibility of Hoxie Fire Chief Chris Ditto doing the inspections.

the council approved an amendment to the general zoning code changing certain property located in the Beloate's Addition from R-1 to R-MH on first and second readings. The third and final reading will be held at the next city council meeting.

the city of Hoxie will hold budget planning meetings Thursday and Tuesday to look into offsetting the deficit left by the loss of the Sheriff's Office work-release program.

Tinker requested that citizens not collect their fallen leaves in ditches unless they are burned immediately. This will help the city keep its drainage open.

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