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Council goes through lengthy agenda, plan for city’s future

It was a bakers dozen worth of business for the Maumelle city council on Monday night.

The council heard 11 items of new and two items of old business in a meeting that stretched late into the night and ended at 8:38 p.m.

Two items of business dominated the night’s conversation.

The longer of the two was on a resolution adopting the strategic plan put together by Crafton Tull after extensive input from city residents.

The report had been amended following the last planning commission meeting to include only allowing cluster developments in areas zoned R1 and R2 and that the plan would be reviewed and updated after five years.

Crafton Tull’s David Roberts said an important part of the plan was expanding the commercial and retail development as they city is weighted towards residential development.

The big idea, Roberts said, was expand the planning jurisdiction to include I40 and “allow for expansion of job opportunities.”

Most of the discussion was a conversation between Roberts and alderman Steve Mosley who dominated the night with three rounds of multiple questions that ranged from asking the definition of “vibrant” to asking about the bond task force and wondering if needs were addressed that the task force could take up.

The Council only discussed the resolution and Mayor Mike Watson encouraged the aldermen to send in their written thoughts and questions so they could be addressed at later meetings.

But, as he noted, some parts of the strategic plan are already happening.

“Having community gardens was one of the recommendations,” he said. “And they’re already going at the [United] Methodist Church.”

The shorter item of the two was about extending the extra territorial jurisdiction of the city, a key part of the plan for Maumelle’s future.

The map now extends a mile past the current city limits as per state law and takes in the entirety of the Interstate 40 corridor from beyond the Morgan Exit north and west and until the interstate enters the North Little Rock city limits right before interchange of 40 and 430.

The move also takes in where a proposed third exit for Maumelle would be on the Interstate. The ordinance moved on to second reading and will be addressed again at the next Council meeting.

In old business: The Council took to third readings a pair of ordinances. The first is on power lines and the placement of them in industrial zoned areas and the other is about sponsorship banners at the city’s parks.

City Attorney JaNan Davis again said that content restrictions would run afoul of the First Amendment.

In new business, the eight proposed resolutions all passed by unanimous votes of the Council with the exception of one about the purchase of a new street sweeper.

Mosley was the nay vote and questioned if the city actually needed a street sweeper.

That resolution passed 6-1, as Alderman Rick Anderson was absent.

An ordinance to buy a weather warning sign also moved on to the second reading.

The next meeting of the City Council will be held Monday, Oct. 21.

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