The Pulaski County Planning Board will hold a public hearing from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Winfield United Methodist Church, 20100 Cantrell Road, on the evolving Lake Maumelle Land Use Regulations.
I say evolving because new drafts continue to reflect changes and Planning Director Van McClendon said the plan may change right up to the point that the Quorum Court votes whether to adopt the plan or not. You are aware that the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is depicting the plan to protect the Central Arkansas water supply from pollution as something akin to fascism. This has a touch of irony because Deltic Timber, the biggest single land owner in the watershed and not exactly known for its socialist tendencies, is doing all it can do to make the plan friendly to its aims to develop tens of thousands of acres around the lake someday.
I can’t evaluate the latest plan, but perhaps the blog family, which includes some watershed activists, can do so.
UPDATE: McClendon wrote me Monday to say:
A provision has been made to allow an increase in density for a part of a larger development (the SET will still apply to all developments). In addition, a larger allowance would be granted for by-right NR (Non-Residential) zoning, i.e. from 25 Square Feet to 75′ Square Feet per residential unit. Also, the Stream-side Buffer requirement has been reduced to a standard 50′ for all streams in the watershed.
Denser development? Is this a good thing? I asked McClendon if he supported these changes. He responded:
We support what it takes to get a regulation in place that is fair and equitable, protects the watershed by good planning practice and allows development to occur. Any changes that may be made will be publicly highlighted as we work our way through the process.
Some of the grassroots group fighting for effective land use rules are already objecting to the latest changes, which they fear allow too much residential development. The changes with insufficient time for an independent analysis of the impact to be made and with scant notice for those attending the public hearing.