The City Board of Directors
tackles several controversial issues tonight
when it meets at 6 p.m. (moved from Tuesday to accommodate National Night Out events. Among other things on the agenda
, directors will consider:
* The approval of a Planned Zoning Development and Planned Commercial District to allow Murphy USA
open a convenience store and gas station with 10 "fueling stations" at the southeast corner of Cantrell and Taylor Loop Roads. Planning staff recommended after the site plan was amended to limit left turns into the site from Taylor Loop and out of the site from Cantrell. The Planning Commission approved, 8 to zero (with three absent). Like Murphy USA's earlier plan to put a convenience store and gas station at University and 12th Streets, this one has drawn objections from the neighborhood. Resident Pat Anders presented the Planning Commission with 370 signatures opposed to the rezoning because the station will include 24 pumps and will intensify traffic at the intersection. UPDATE: At 8:30 p.m.,
the board has just begun to hear from those who object to the development. Seventy-five people asked to speak; Mayor Stodola has asked if they would consider appointing a spokesman. The speaker, with the neighborhood safety patrol, said that intersection is one of the busiest in the state, according to the Highway Department, and said that because a private traffic study was not released until tonight, neighbors have not been able to evaluate it. The group disputes the private study that said only 9 accidents had been reported at the intersection in the past 12 months, saying they've witnessed 5 in the last 12 days. Another speaker presented to the mayor 1,300 signatures of people opposed to the rezoning, and another (there were many opposed) said she doubted Murphy's position that drivers of the vehicles would not be likely to pause and use the convenience store — a spokesman for the company said only about 25 percent of those who fill up at the pumps will shop. (Supporters for the station apparently decided to let the Murphy representatives do all the speaking in favor.) At 9:15 p.m., neighbors were still pleading with the board not to ignore the problems traffic is already causing to people in neighborhoods near the intersection. Director Joan Adcock, after the public comment period, said the board had turned down other gas stations because of traffic accidents; Director Ken Richardson jumped her, saying she was being disingenuous about the reasons for denial. Director B.J. Wyrick said she has personally experienced terrible traffic on Cantrell, that families would be affected and she would not vote to approve.
At 9:30 p.m.,
the ordinance passed 7 to 3.
* An ordinance requiring private clubs
that remain open after midnight to beef up security by hiring two certified law enforcement officers. The security proposal is a compromise supported by bars that stay open until 5 a.m. that under a previous ordinance would have had their hours cut short. UPDATE: :
* An ordinance that would require those clubs that stay open until 5 a.m. to close at 2 a.m. Removed from agenda.
* The authorization of third-year contract extensions
for Neighborhood-Based Afterschool/Out of School Time Programs, Youth Intervention Programs and Re-Entry Services to Little Rock residents. City Director Joan Adcock has opposed refunding unless the programs can show they work.
* An amendment to a 2002 resolution so that the Junior League of Little Rock
can make changes to the windows of the Woman's City Club. The historic preservation community is adamantly opposed to the change.
Synopsis: A resolution to allow modification of the windows at the Women’s City Club.