Fighting for clean water | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fighting for clean water

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Lake Maumelle protectionists soldier on. Today, they got an important legal opinion from the attorney general that says a county need not get into zoning to put a minimum lot-size on developments. County Judge Buddy Villines has thrown up this imagined obstacle as part of his smokescreen to resist land use protection of the watershed. 

NEWS RELEASE FROM CITIZENS PROTECTING MAUMELLE WATERSHED

Little Rock, Arkansas – Arkansans hoping to protect the quality of water in Lake Maumelle have received a “tremendous legal boost” from an opinion from Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office that counties can indeed restrict the size of development lots without zoning. 

 
Lake Maumelle provides high quality drinking water for nearly 400,000 people in central Arkansas.   Regulations are now under consideration to protect both the water quality of the lake and property rights of those who own the land supporting the lake.  After years of study, discussion and debate have narrowed to this issue – legal authority of the county to conserve open space as development occurs.


During a recent rally, Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed (CPMW) called upon Pulaski County government to amend the proposed regulations to require minimum lot sizes of five (5) acres throughout the Pulaski County portion of the watershed.
Judge Buddy Villines was quoted in a March 6th Arkansas Democrat Gazette article: “That takes us into zoning ordinances, and under state law you have to have a land-use plan before you can implement [zoning]”. 


In Arkansas Attorney General Opinion number 2009-018 dated March 5, 2009, it states, “….the statutes discussed above generally address the `county’s authority to regulate subdivision development. This distinction strongly supports the conclusion that lot-size restrictions, which clearly appear to be contemplated in the statues recited above, need not be imposed exclusively through zoning restrictions.”


“This opinion should give Pulaski County Quorum Court JPs the legal confidence they need to restrict the lot sizes in the Lake Maumelle watershed. This opinion means Pulaski County Government can require minimum lot sizes through the County’s subdivision rules and regulations avoiding a delay associated with zoning which can take up to 18 months or more” said Kate Althoff, spokesman for Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed.


The Attorney General opinion states, “I believe current legislation would authorize Pulaski County to impose reasonable lot-size restrictions designed to address environmental concerns.” Senator David Johnson in response stated “We want all parties to be assured of local county government’s authority to use all tools necessary to help Lake Maumelle.   This opinion offers that assurance.”


“The League is heartened by this news and we would hope Judge Villines is, too,” said Ruth Bell of the League of Women Voters of Pulaski County. 


Opinion Number 2009-018 may be found at http://ag.arkansas.gov/opinions/docs/2009-018.pdf

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sunday open line

    Open line and “news” on the Hog football coach.
    • Nov 19, 2017
  • The Clintons side by side in Little Rock 25 years after

    Bill and Hillary Clinton side by side taking questions from Donald Carville. The only thing more I could have asked for was a seat for Donald Trmp to handle the same topics.
    • Nov 19, 2017
  • Arkansas a leader in laws against better working conditions

    The Economic Policy Institute has compiled a national look at state laws that prevent local governments from mandating better working conditions in cities and counties than state law provides.As you might expect, Arkansas is among the leaders
    • Nov 19, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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