Maumelle land use debate heats up | Arkansas Blog

Maumelle land use debate heats up

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The Pulaski County Planning Board meets tomorrow afternoon on the proposed land use plan for the Lake Maumelle watershed. Clean water advocates want a delay on a decision until experts can evaluate changes inserted in the plan by Deltic Timber that allow denser residential development (many thousand more homes) in the watershed, the majority of which is owned by Deltic, the developer of Chenal Valley.

County Judge Buddy Villines is distributing a memo justifying the change in plans favored by Deltic. That memo follows on the jump, as does an objection from architect Mark Robertson, who happens to be a candidate for state legislature next year in the Hillcrest/Capitol View neighborhood.

Memo distributed by Buddy Villines from the county planning and development department:

Hello All,

We have compiled some facts that may help you with questions regarding the proposed densities in the watershed regulations. Please see below.

The potential watershed development density increase is mitigated by the fact that:

(1.) all development is controlled by SET requirements;

(2.) monitoring is and will continue to occur in the Lake Maumelle watershed and should the data indicate, the county has agreed to re-visit the SET calculations as necessary;

(3.) the ongoing program by CAW to purchase additional mitigation lands.

(4.) all development that use BMP's must set aside a minimum of 25% Undisturbed Open Space and, development not using BMP's will typically require 35-50% Undisturbed Open Space to meet the SET; and last but not least,

5.) there are 67 square miles in the Pulaski County portion of the Lake Maumelle Watershed minus 14 square miles of lake which equals a total of 53 square miles of land area. Of the 53 square miles of land area, the Conservation District contains 15.82 square miles of Undisturbed Open Space (CAW and miscellaneous public ownership). Therefore, 37.18 square miles of potentially developable land is left within the LI, V & NR Districts. However, a maximum of 27.88 square miles would be developable due to our proposed 25% Undisturbed Open Space requirement which would leave a total of 25.12 square miles or 47.40% of the Pulaski County portion of the Lake Maumelle Watershed in Undisturbed Open Space.

Van McClendon, CFM
Director, Pulaski County Planning & Development

Note to Villines from Mark Robertson

I would like to know the maximum build out under the proposed plan.

I would also like to know:

Why is any development allowed that would not use BMPs?

Who is maintaining long term and how is this managed?

Why is the carefully reviewed and previous density being changed?

Who is benefitting from this as it is certainly not the hundreds of thousands that depend on clean drinking water?

Item 2 is ambiguous. How is this triggered and how is anything potentially reversed? What mandates if any are included?

I do NOT favor the increased densities. The previous was an acceptable compromise. In my opinion every measure possible should be considered to protect my drinking water and the water thousands of others depend on.

This resource was considered important enough that great effort went into limiting access to protect it. What has changed?

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