County attorney finds flaws in watershed measure | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 21, 2013

County attorney finds flaws in watershed measure

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

County Attorney Karla Burnett has analyzed the surprise amendment by Pulaski Justice of the Peace Tyler Denton that may torpedo the land use ordinances aimed at protecting the Lake Maumelle watershed.

She found flaws. The claim that the amendment expands the list of prohibited uses in the watershed during a four-year development moratorium is, for example, inaccurate she said. The wording actually expands possible uses of land in the watershed, she wrote.

A number of other problems are mentioned, including that the amendment could inavertently put in place a four-year moratorium on subdivision development countywide. She also said the county has no authority to establish a governing board to study watershed issues as the amendment proposes. Also, the amendment makes no mention for how to pay for such an agency.

Burnett's memo said she was told a further amendment may be offered at the next Quorum Court meeting to cure some of the problems.

Here's the opinion.

Delay is nothing more than constructive defeat of ordinances developed over months of debate and fi;; consideration by all relevant parties. The urgency for getting the job done is compounded by a legislature spoiling to wrest regulatory authority on the watershed out of the county's hands. The delay ordinance is the work of those who want to defeat regulation. That was made clear when the Koch lobbyist cheered Denton's support for the four-year delay. Rather than amend the amendment, the Quorum Court should act with finality on the ordinances it has long had before it.

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