John Todd was reelected chairman of the Maumelle Planning Commission meting on Thursday, Feb. 28 during its monthly full committee meeting.
Mike Fisher was elected vice-chairman and Hall Ramsey was elected secretary.
Todd had just been reappointed to another full-term on the commission last month by the mayor and City Council. Members said Todd has become one of the most knowledgeable chairs of the commission and praised his skill at diplomacy dealing with all sides in what can become a very controversial issue.
A retired telephone company technician, Todd installed most of the telephone lines and telephones within the city and has a great knowledge base of the history of Maumelle, one commission veteran said.
In business that night the commission approved two minor variances for homeowners who ended up with their homes built just inside the 25-foot setback required by city ordinance.
The commission also approved a conditional use permit, preliminary development plan, landscape plan and commercial building design for construction of a new liquor store next to Starbucks in an outlier of Tract D.
During Monday evening’s City Council members some aldermen expressed displeasure at the liquor store’s location citing the importance of Track D as thee last big centrally located business tract within Maumelle.
City Attorney JaNan Davis warned the council members they must have good reason for denying a commercial application and couldn’t just do it on a whim.
Mayor Mike Watson was also defensive towards the use of outlier property saying this was similar to Walgreen’s and Starbucks and wouldn’t have any impact up[on the use of the larger Tract D., owned by the late Doyle Rogers and his longtime partner Tommy Lasiter.
Alderman Jan Hogue said the city was eyeing Track D for a possible events center to come out of the extensive long-range planning now underway.
Also during the council meeting some aldermen complained about the current liquor store across from Cheers and its use of boxes stacked up in front of the establishment in apparent violation of the city code.
City Code director Jim Morley said the business had been responsive and working with city officials.
Watson also noted that liquor store would be moving into the new one.
In other business the commission approved a conditional use permit, a revised preliminary plat, site plan and a landscape plan for a new Health Education Facility to be located northeast of the police department in the Burkhalter Business Park.
City planner Jim Narey said it is the first of its kind in the Maumelle area and the business is a trampoline based entertainment venue called Sky Zone.