County judge race: Democracy at work | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

County judge race: Democracy at work

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 10:29 AM

A strong challenger, Republican Phil Wyrick, and an issue that apparently has legs -- watershed protection, plus development controls to ensure it -- have had an effect on the race for county judge.

Kathy Wells, a government watchdog, reports to neighborhood groups that County Judge Buddy Villines, during taping of a League of Women Voters debate, has changed his tune on zoning. She's not ready to stand and cheer, but ....



The League of Women Voters of Pulaski Co. sponsored a Candidate Forum taped yesterday, and candidates for Pulaski Co. Judge appeared.

In an astonishing reversal of the position held for years, Co. Judge Floyd (Buddy) Villines announced the current pending ordinance was only to be the first of two steps to protect our drinking water by regulating new development around Lake Maumelle.

Subdivision regulations would come now, Villines said, and zoning would come later, once a land-use plan had been prepared and enacted. that process takes a year, Villines said.

All those who have urged Villines to provide for development only on large lots, with septic tanks, and to allow subdivisions with sewer lines only on a limited basis, and been soundly rebuffed, were astonished. Villines has steadfastly - until yesterday - replied that providing for 5 or 10-acre lots demands zoning, and he would not propose zoning in the county. The fact the
watershed around Lake Maumelle amounts to only 7 percent of the county's area made no difference.

Voters must decide for themselves how far to trust this campaign-trail reversal.

Note that protecting drinking water is such an important issue this election year that the question came from the League panel questioner, the Chamber of Commerce panel member and the Coalition of Greater LR Neighborhoods panel member.

Villines continued to exaggerate the difficulty of creating a land-use plan and zoning in the area of heavy forests with few residents. the complexity of uses, and many varied uses close together, as we see in our cities, will not be repeated here.

As advocates have noted, the Washington Co. ordinance might be a model. All that county's rural area is zoned residential, and any other proposed construction requires a Conditional Use Permit. Granted, the debate would be renewed over how many subdivisions with sewer sysytems would be safe to allow, considering the pollution risk to drinking water.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation