The city of Little Rock is gearing up to fight a private club alcohol permit for a nightclub proposed for the former Osco store space in the decrepit University Mall.
City officials have expressed their unhappiness to Simon Property, which manages the mall, but that hasn’t brought any change in the plans. Permit applicant Bryan Stewart has said the Envy Restaurant and Lounge will feature R&B, blues and other urban sounds until 5 a.m. daily.
City Director Stacy Hurst, who’s been a force in efforts to redevelop the University Avenue corridor, says police will appear before the state ABC Board June 21 to object to the permit. “It’s a concept that doesn’t work there,” she said.
Construction on a home at 4410 I St., part of a planned development that’s rankled neighbors from the start, has been halted by orders of the city Planning Department.
Builders Gary Purcell and Larry Chisenhall, who tore down an older home to carve out four lots from property adjoining Allsopp Park, submitted plans that said the footprint of the homes would not exceed 32 percent of the 7,300-square-foot lots, or 2,336 square feet. The house under construction, the first to be built and which has already been framed and partially roofed, has a footprint of 3,066 square feet, or 42 percent of the lot.
The house also apparently has violated a side lot setback provision with a deck on its west side. Neighbors have also raised questions about the lowest floor of the house, which is described as a basement by developers and is thus not counted toward the agreed 3,500-square-foot size of the home. The level will not have heat or air, but does have windows and a deck.
Tony Bozynsky, head of planning, said the department may ask Purcell and Chisenhall to replat the development to meet the 32 percent footprint — which could result in fewer or smaller homes — or go back to the Planning Commission to seek approval for greater lot coverage.
We’ve told you in recent weeks about new efforts to solicit answers from judicial candidates to questionnaires from a couple of organizations long active in that work — the Arkansas Family Council and Arkansas Right to Life. The surveys had a limited response this year.
With 24 judges on the ballot for state judgeships, the Family Council reported that it heard back from only two candidates. One, Justice Robert Brown, responded with a letter saying that he was unopposed in his election this year. Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen, who lost a race for Supreme Court, responded primarily with a professional biography. He invited the organization to review some 800 published opinions.
Arkansas Right to Life received only a single response in which questions were answered, from circuit judge candidate Ray Spruell of Jonesboro. Among other answers, he said he agreed with the statement that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Another candidate in that race, Alan Seagrave, returned a survey but did not answer questions. Price Marshall, a candidate for Court of Appeals, wrote to say he would not return the questionnaire because he was unopposed.