Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Kate Althoff, who has worked to keep Lake Maumelle from being polluted by those who care more about money than the quality of our drinking water, has issued this midnight hour plea for people to contact Central Arkansas Water before the Pulaski County Quorum Court votes tomorrow night on the lousy watershed zoning code that authorities have caved to.
To: the residents of Pulaski County
From: Kate Althoff
It is with great disappointment, frustration and worry that I write you today.
The Pulaski County Quorum Court is expected to vote this Tuesday, February 26, at 7 P.M. on the Lake Maumelle Watershed zoning code. But the proposed code is severely flawed.
You as ratepayers have not been given all the facts.
It is a well-established fact the more woodlands in a watershed, the higher the quality of the water. Yet within the proposed zoning code not one existing tree is protected. While the code uses terms like “conservation, ” yet in practice it does not require conservation.
The zoning code does require each development to set aside 25% of the proposed developed area as “open space,” and yet it is possible for the developer to first clear cut the entire area. The developer is required to file a plan with the county to replant the “open space,” but there is no deadline to replant nor is there any restriction on what plant material must be used.
I have failed you. Since 2005 when we stood on the steps of the Capital to defeat Senate Bill 230, you knew I would advocate for reasonable protection of Lake Maumelle. When I went to Pulaski County over two years ago insisting land use zoning be adopted, it was to create laws that would preserve some existing woodlands according to the conservation standards established within the Lake Maumelle Watershed Management Plan of 2007. Instead what we have before us today is the end product of Pulaski county politics and it is ugly. It is far from the standards of the Watershed Management Plan.
I am not frustrated with the county elected officials. Imagine you were one of these JP’s trying to make a decision on this complicated issue while being hammered from all sides. Who would you depend upon to provide the bottom line? It would most likely be “water experts.” I stand before the JPs and say the woodlands need to be protected and then Central Arkansas Water, “ the water experts”, stand before the JPs and say “Please enact this zoning code.”
Why is the proposed zoning code without conservation? Because Judge Villines brokered negotiations between Central Arkansas Water and Deltic Timber and Central Arkansas Water caved. CAW earned award-winning achievements in water distribution and management, but in the arena of politics they are inept. It will be the ratepayers who will pay the ultimate cost of their incompetence.
Who are you going to depend on to protect your future drinking water in the political battle ground?
Central Arkansas Water?
I will provide you with contact information below. I urge you to contact Central Arkansas Water
as soon as possible and ask one or more of the following questions. Additionally, I encourage you to ask them questions of your own.
It is up to you the ratepayers to protect your future drinking water.
Suggested questions (on the jump):
· When has replacing woodlands with 35,000 houses near a body of water ever improve the water quality?
· Didn’t Tetra Tech confirm that under the proposed zoning it is possible to build 35,000 houses?
· Why didn’t you insist on the preservation of some the existing woodlands?
· Didn’t the watershed management plan call for at least 30% of the land to be undisturbed? (Vegetated area that is left undisturbed during construction, and remains in natural vegetation.)
· Do you have any plans to assure preservation of some of the existing trees within Pulaski County part of the watershed?
If so, who is paying the cost of protecting those trees? The ratepayers?
· Just exactly how much of the existing trees are protected by the proposed zoning code other than that which is on land owned by CAW?
· Can you please cite the section and paragraphs within the proposed zoning code that protect existing forest?
· How will the new neighborhoods in the watershed look different from any other neighborhood in Little Rock?
· Is it true that the upkeep of any water protection devices will be the responsibility of the neighborhood associations?
· How many houses were envisioned in the Watershed Management Plan?
Please copy me, Kate Althoff, on any emails that you send so that someone outside of CAW will know.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS WATER LEADERSHIP
Graham Rich, Chief Executive Officer
Commissioner Carmen Smith, Chair of Commission
Commissioner Marie-Bernarde Miller, Vice Chair
Commissioner Eddie Powel
Commissioner Jay Hartman
Commissioner Anthony Kendall
Commissioner Roby Robertson
Please forward this email to friends and family living in Pulaski County. Post on facebook.
PULASKI COUNTY QUORUM COURT meeting to be held at
PULASKI COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
201 S. Broadway, Suite 410
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 340-8310
February 26, 2013 7:00 p.m.
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