Water, not city codes, is preventing an Ash Flat man from building on his own property.
The city Planning Commission denied the request Jason Hale made to construct a 40- by 50-foot building on property he owns behind Red Willow Day Spa at the corner of Sharp Street and Highway 167 in downtown Ash Flat.
Planning Commission Chairman Fred Goodwin said one reason why the commission declined Hale's building is because of the dimensions. The lot is narrow and the commission was concerned about setbacks, although the city has no ordinance specifying what setbacks will be, he said.
"Where is it in the ordinances that I can't build?" Hale asked the council at the June 19 council meeting.
Mayor Brien Nix Hall said all of Hale's lot is commercial, but it is up to the council to determine if Hale is awarded a building permit.
"It's not a matter of 'can you?'; it's a matter of 'should you?'" Hall said.
The area where Hale is proposing to build is near a dry branch.
Alderman Jerrell Lesley, who lives in the area, said during heavy rain, water crosses the road and gets more than a foot deep in spots.
"If you get very close to the ditch -- Sandy Gully -- if you make much of a fill it's going to flood me out," Lesley said.
Alderman Carolyn Stewart said it is against the law to divert water onto someone else's property.
Hale offered to clean out the gully, which he said contributes to the flooding, and to divert the water from Lesley's property himself if required.
Lesley said his property ends in the middle of the branch. "I'm not trying to be hard nosed," said Lesley, 61. "I don't want to be flooded out. One the other hand I don't want my side of the ditch cleaned out."
Hall wants Hale to get an environmental study done before the July 17 council meeting.
"I don't want to get into a technicality on this," Hall said. "We can't give you a permit to build a building without assurance that you won't throw water on someone else or encroach on someone."
Hall also said the city requires commercial buildings in the city to have an entrance from the main highway. The exception is Main Street, which is a city maintained road, and Nix Ridge Road, which is zoned completely commercial, he said. Hale said he could make an access to his proposed building from the highway if necessary.
Alderman Marty Goodwin said another issue remains ---- noise.
Hale said the building, which will container grinders, will be insulated to cut down on the noise.
"It's the only place I have to put the building," he said.
In other business, the council passed a resolution specifying the terms of a $140,000 loan for the purchase of a firetruck and a police car.
The city will be required to pay $2,000 a month for 60 months plus quarterly payments of $3,000.
The resolution passed unanimously.
The American Veterans Memorial Committee is putting themselves in debt to make sure the memorial is completed by Veterans Day.
The committee, which includes members Leonard Holden, Sharron Mathis, Nelson Gatewood, Charlotte Ratliff, Renee Clay-Circle, Charlotte Goodwin and Hall, is applying for a $175,000 loan with Liberty Bank of Arkansas.
The committee will apply for the loan using the city's tax identification number, but the city will not be responsible for any of the note, Hall said.
The council agreed to accept sealed bids for a mobile radio for the police department
The council agreed to obtain sealed bids before selling the fire department's old pumper truck.
The council voted to solicit bids for paving.G