The Pine Bluff City Council on Monday will consider amending a current city ordinance that will require business owners to keep up their parking lots. During a meeting of the council’s Development and Planning Committee Tuesday, aldermen Glen Brown Jr., Bill Brumett and Alderwoman Thelma Walker voted to send the proposal to the full council with a do-pass recommendation.


The amended ordinance also will require commercial dumpsters to be enclosed and will amend the number of parking spaces required for restaurants. City Zoning Inspector Lakishia Hill said during the meeting that there are currently no maintenance standards for parking lots and, according to the proposed amendment to the ordinance, the parking lots will have to be maintained to “prevent areas of standing water, potholes and dust.”


Business parking lots will also be required to post signs to “provide a clear identification of parking spots and facilitate the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”


Also, entrances and exits to the lots from the street will have to be maintained free of potholes. The ordinance says that the city will seek voluntary cooperation with the ordinance, and Hill said property owners who are in violation will be sent a notice informing them of the violation and giving them time to correct that violation.


Those who don’t can be fined in Pine Bluff District Court. No property will be grandfathered in with regard to the requirements of the ordinance, and any violation that currently exists after the ordinance is adopted may be cited for corrective action. Hill said the amendment is in line with requirements in other cities.


Regarding the section of the amendment dealing with dumpsters, this will apply to all new construction and will require an enclosure “to provide a visual barrier from adjoining properties, adjoining streets or other public space, as well as to prevent trash from blowing onto neighboring properties.”


Hill said the current ordinance regarding parking spaces did not take into account fast food restaurants that offer only pick up service with no seating, and the amended ordinance will provide that such establishments be required to have 15 parking spaces, 10 for customers and five for employees.


Also on Tuesday, the committee voted to recommend that a part of the east-west alley located east of Olive Street in the 3800 block be closed so that a dentist’s office can be constructed on the adjacent property, which is already owned by the dentist.