INADEQUATE FOR SERVICES: The existing VA drop-in center at 2nd and Ringo.

  • INADEQUATE FOR SERVICES: The existing VA drop-in center at 2nd and Ringo.

After offices open, I’ll try to get a sense of what comes next for the proposal to relocate veterans day services to 10th and Main. An emergency ordinance to complicate that move was deferred last night by the Little Rock City Board.

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There seems little doubt that, even if the VA moves forward, there’ll be a need for city Board of Adjustment review of the design plans, parking spaces and landscaping. I don’t think the use of the property would be an issue at that level, though it would almost certainly arise in public comments. A negative decision by the Board of Adjustment could be appealed to Circuit Court, not the City Board.

No matter where you stand on the vets’ center, this emergency ordinance was a cluster****, a classic example of no-brain, reactive city gimmickry. To come up with an excuse to block the vets center, city geniuses acting at Mayor Stodola’s direction rounded up a laundry list of legitimate enterprises that would be removed from a comprehensive zoning plan and made to go through a cumbersome and capricious conditional use process. In the end, this included drug stores and grocery stores. A parade of speakers illustrated the manifest problems in the ordinance. It didn’t stop the vets center and it, again, made city leadership look petty and inept.

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Meanwhile, I got an e-mail last night to supporters of the VA with a rundown on last night’s action. It included the list of reasons why the VA is seeking to move from 2nd and Ringo. In the event an interest in serving veterans might interest you: