A Pine Bluff City Council committee on Tuesday passed some proposed changes to the city's zoning code on to the full council for a final vote, while deciding to keep others in committee for further discussion.
A Pine Bluff City Council committee on Tuesday passed some proposed changes to the city’s zoning code on to the full council for a final vote, while deciding to keep others in committee for further discussion.
The Development and Planning Committee gave a do-pass recommendation to a proposed ordinance that would update the city’s zoning code as it pertains to in-home businesses.
Zoning official Lakishia Hill said that currently, people who want to run an in-home business have to collect signatures from their neighbors. The proposed change would do away with the signature-gathering process.
Instead, it would set up definitions for what types of in-home businesses are considered “no impact,” “minor impact” or “major impact.”
No-impact home-occupation businesses — like artists, writers, photographers — would not require a permit and would be permitted in all residential zones.
Minor-impact home-occupation businesses — like music teachers, dance instructors and other educators who teach more than three groups of two or more students a day — would require approval from the zoning administrator and would be permitted in all residential zones.
Major-impact business would require a conditional use permit and approval from the Pine Bluff Planning Commission.
The proposed ordinance outlines definitions and rules pertaining to each category of in-home business. Any in-home businesses not on the list would come before the Planning Commission for consideration.
In other business, the committee decided to postpone making a decision on two other proposed ordinances to amend the zoning code and call a meeting where more zoning staff and city officials can attend and discuss the changes.
Alderman George Stepps, chairman of the Development and Planning Committee, was concerned about language in one of the proposals that would treat modular homes essentially the same as manufactured homes and restrict them from being placed in some residential zones. Some modern modular homes can be indistinguishable from normal housing, he said.
Hill said the city could chose to allow modular homes in all residential zones, but include in the regulations that their outside appearance meet certain aesthetic standards.
Another proposed ordinance would define and set restrictions for portable storage facilities and structures like railroad cars, truck trailers, mobile homes and more. It would also amend the code to restrict RVs from being used as permanent residences in residential zones (not RV parks). The committee also decided these proposed changes should be further discussed.
In other business, the committee heard appeals from members of the public asking that property be removed from the city’s condemnation list. The committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to the full council for a final vote.
• Tommy Rice — speaking on behalf of his daughter, Dawn Rice, who owns the property — asked that 1519 W. 14th Ave. be removed from the condemnation list because he intends to repair the house, which was damaged when thieves tore up floor boards and knocked holes in walls to steal copper. Inspection and Zoning Department staff recommended and the committee agreed that the property be left on the condemnation list, but that Rice be given 60 days to show significant progress on the house. If Rice does so, the committee will consider recommending the house for removal from the list.
• Calvin Trice asked that a house he recently purchased at 18 Shirley St. be removed from the condemnation list so that he can buy title insurance and repair the house. Inspection and Zoning Department staff recommended, and the committee agreed, to remove the house from the condemnation list, but revisit it after 60 days to make sure that Trice has shown significant progress on repairing it.
Committee members Stepps and Alderman Charles Boyd were present. Alderman Thelma Walker was absent.