An e-mail from Kathy Wells, who leads the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods, demonstrates that those who sought to slow down proposed land use rules for the Lake Maumelle watershed used a red herring in urging delay on account of a U.S. Geological Survey study.
Martin Maner of Central Arkansas Water, who is overseeing watershed management, wrote to water commissioners:
Please find attached a letter addressed to members of the Pulaski County Quorum Court dated January 23, 2012, from USGS regarding the USGS model and the misunderstanding surrounding the intent of the model. There has been much misunderstanding regarding the model, that it would provide a basis for the proposed zoning ordinance for the Pulaski County portion of the Lake Maumelle watershed. This is note the case. The letter also notes that the first model published in January of 2011 had errors that needed correction.
Note the model’s purpose, including the January 2011 version, was never meant to be used in a regulatory context. To quote from the letter “This report will not provide a level of detail that would enable policy makers to determine zoning ordinances. It has never been the purpose of this study to simulate the effects of specific land use changes, nor to predict the result of these changes in the future.”
It’s time for rules covering land use on the land that drains into the region’s water supply. The only reason for delay and looser rules now is the fervent opposition of a handful of some affected rural landowners and the organized corporate lobbying by Koch brother, teabagger and other interests who oppose regulations for the common good should they pose a potential for profit reduction.