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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Five JPs must exit land use committee

Thursday, March 14, 2002

It was an oversight. Fulton County Judge Curren Everett

The Fulton County Land Use Planning Committee must replace its members who are on the quorum court, Judge Curren Everett announced at the land use meeting March 11. Everett said it was brought to his attention by committee member Mary Rivera that under Arkansas County Government Act 742 no member of a quorum court shall serve as a member of a county advisory or administrative board. Everett said, "It was an oversight."Currently there are five members from the quorum court on the committee. County Attorney Dwayne Plumlee was directed to prepare an ordinance to appoint new members who are not on the quorum court.Rivera said even though the quorum court members cannot serve on the committee they need to stay interested in the land use plan.The committee has been working toward implementing a comprehensive land plan. Rivera said, "We have a road to hoe here." A land use plan is designed for the county government to have to protect the rights of the landowners. It can also serve to protect the county history, culture and economic base when federal business is enacted within county boundaries.Bob Woods, committee member, said if there is unity it's a bonus, but he was undecided if a comprehensive land plan was needed. Rivera countered that a lot of work has already been put forth with the plan and questioned the sense of working on something if there is no goal to complete the plan. Rivera consulted with Bud-Falen Law Firm, of Wyoming, which specializes in environmental issues and told Rivera the interim land plan is not a good plan for a comprehensive land plan, because it is not specific enough.It was decided Rivera would consult with the law firm to see if they could provide guidelines for completing a comprehensive plan. The Fulton County Quorum Court members met before the Land Use Committee and, according to the treasurer's report, there is a carryover of funds from last year in the amount of $49,818.37 in the county general fund. A carryover of $218,480 in the road department fund was also reported.The court approved Ordinance 2002-4 to appropriate an additional $100 in petty cash for the collectors office to increase the fund from $400 to $500.Rivera addressed the quorum court members to discuss the Fulton County Land Plan. She said there are three ERW (Extraordinary Resource Water) watersheds in the area; Spring River, Strawberry River and South Fork River. Rivera defined a watershed as all land that drains into a river, stream or lake and its tributaries. She said the ERW designation is the most restrictive use the state of Arkansas can designate on a waterbody. The Arkansas Attorney General has determined the ERW designations require individual landowners to maintain and provide scenic beauty, aesthetics, scientific values, broad scope recreation potential and intangible social values, for the use and benefit of the general public, (Opinion No. 97-047). More than three quarters of the county is in a watershed. She said everyone wants clean water but these restrictions will put farmers and loggers out of business, and she would like to see these restrictions removed.She added the ERW's are all in the northern part of the state, and she thought this could possibly be illegal because they should be spread throughout the state. She requested the board to make a resolution to remove Fulton County from the ERW. Resolution 2002-4 was approved by the board in opposition to the ERW designation.



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