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Parking district in Indian Hills rebuffed

North Little Rock Alderman Murry Witcher on Monday night stood alone in his support for a restricted parking district for the Indian Hills area.

Witcher’s motion to approve Ordinance 2013-62 died for lack of a second.

“You have done a great disservice,” Witcher said after none of his fellow aldermen seconded his motion.

If the ordinance had passed, North Little Rock residents in the Indian Hills area would have been prohibited from parking on front or side yards, in addition to being stopped from parking commercial or larger recreational vehicles within the district.

The bulk of the opposition came from people complaining the proposed banning of large RVs being allowed to be parked within the confines of the proposed district.

“In districts implementing this rule, it shall be unlawful for any person to park, store, or keep any commercial vehicle or larger recreational vehicles within the district.

The proposed parking district would have stretched northward to areas near Ozark and Wewoka drives, bordering Osage Drive and Point Lane areas, extending south near Black River and Cedar Creek roads, and also bordering the regions of North Hills Boulevard near John F. Kennedy Boulevard near the Sallisaw Avenue and Hopi Drive areas.

The region of town comes close to North Little Rock’s border with the city of Sherwood.

Public hearings were held on the issue on both June 24 and Monday in the chambers of the North Little Rock City Council.

“I’m here today to voice my opposition to the 25-foot maximum RV length the Indian Hills Parking District proposes,” said Bill Sosebee, 7505 Flintrock St.

Sosebee said there are many other problems facing the Indian Hills neighborhood more than large RVs parking in the area.

“I will show you that we do have a parking problem and a property upkeep problem in our neighborhood and that cracked and crumbling driveways, over grown lawns, gutters, soffits, and facia falling off houses, roofs with blue tarps do much more to devaluate adjoining property values than the length of an RV parked down the street,” Sosebee said. “Our code officers have enough to do now without running around measuring RVs.”

Sosebee said out of the estimated 1,200 homes in Indian Hills, a survey taken found:

31 front or side yards had vehicles parked in the grass or dirt (2.5 percent);

25 had boats parked at their house, with eight of them on the grass;

Six had RVs over 25 feet long. “That’s only .5 percent,” said Sosebee said. “Only one (was) parked on the grass.”

28 had utility trailers or enclosed trailers, with 12 parked on the grass.

Eight had RVs or campers under 25 feet, with two parked on the grass.

Sosebee said the length of an RV should not be the reasoning for implementing new parking codes in the Indian Hills neighborhood.

On June 7, the Indian Hills Neighborhood Association submitted an application to the city requesting the creation of the restricted parking district.

The association asked that the district allow no parking in front or side yards; and that there would be no parking of commercial or larger recreational vehicles on properties.

According to the application, the parking restrictions would have been implemented in the city’s Ward 4 in all of the Indian Hills Subdivision.

Some aldermen expressed reluctance to proceed with the ordinance because of prohibiting larger vehicles from being parked in the restricted zone.

Alderwoman Linda Robinson said the city should consider allowing people who already have larger vehicles to be grandfathered in.

Alderman Maurice Taylor if the legislation passed he would not be able to park his large vehicle behind his house if he lived in the Indian Hills subdivision.

“That wouldn’t be good. I can tell you right now,” Taylor said.

Ross said other prior proposals to create city parking districts have failed because of the desire by some people to ban parking larger RVs.

Before Mayor Joe Smith called on the council to vote it up or down, Taylor suggested Witcher not go forward with the proposed legislation until more support could be garnered on the council.

Witcher made the motion anyway and his motion died.

Following the failed motion, Smith and City Attorney Jason Carter said Witcher had the option of withdrawing his motion so that the issue could come up on the council agenda for motion’s lack of support, Witcher opted to withdraw his motion which means the issue will be on the council agenda for July 22.

Carter said Witcher had the option to withdraw his motion if no other aldermen objected, which none did.

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