The Conway City Council was hobbled by a lack of councilmen on Tuesday night, and wasn’t able to pass any ordinances.
Council members David Grimes, Wes Pruitt and Theodore Jones Jr. were absent, and since it takes a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules and pass an ordinance without reading it at three separate meetings, the council couldn’t make decisions on rezoning or the budget.
Pruitt and Grimes were out on business, and Jones was handling a family health issue.
Mayor Tab Townsell said today that the council should be able to take wrap up all of Tuesday night’s business at the next meeting on Sept. 9 without disrupting any plans.
Though the council couldn’t take any action, public input was still invited for the rezonings on the agenda. Local developer Gene Salter told the council that he opposed a proposed rezoning that would allow for a storage unit at the 2200 block of Dave Ward Drive across from the UCA campus and next door to Salter’s office/restaurant development. Salter and another member of the public who spoke up said that they thought the area would be better served by office/retail development than a storage unit.
A rezoning at 2595 Nutters Chapel Raod from R-1 to PUD found more favor, with a representative of a neighboring property owner’s association saying that the plan for another subdivision fit the area.
The council also couldn’t act on the rezoning of the Dennis F. Cantrell Field property from industrial to PUD zoning. The rezoning would allow development of the Central Landing shopping center, but only if the voters of Conway approve a sales tax rededication to build roads associated with the project. That special election is on Sept. 9, so the necessity of the rezoning may be known by the time the council votes on it.
For these and other rezoning requests, there will be another opportunity for public input at the Sept. 9 council meeting.
The council also invited discussion on a resolution "establishing the intent of the city" to annex land east of Mill Pond Road and north of Mountain Park Estates, generally in the Round Mountain area.
A resident of the area told the council that with only one road in and out of Round Mountain’s several neighborhoods, continued development would be inviting problems. For example, he said, rescue workers would have a hard time getting in and out of the area in a large-scale disaster.
Townsell said that the city, including his administration, had "kicked the can down the road" for more than 20 years, and needed to look into another road for the area.
Also, a request for a conditional use permit to allow for in-home childcare on South Davis Street was withdrawn by the woman who’d requested it, and will not be reconsidered by the council.