A third reading that could have passed a new rental property ordinance for Cherokee Village was removed from the agenda at the Nov. 15 meeting of the city council, and plans were made to hold at least one public meeting on the subject before the ordinance is read again.
The ordinance was taken off the agenda by a 5-4 vote, with Mayor Lloyd Hefley casting the tie-breaking vote.
Alderman Lynn Maxedon said he had 36 years of experience as a landlord and believes the ordinance will be a good thing for Cherokee Village.
"People may think they're against this, but, after this ordinance is put into place for a while, you'll like this," Maxedon said. "It's actually a good thing for good landlords. It's a good thing for good landlords who truly care about their properties. People that always fight against this are what are commonly called slumlords. They are landlords that don't want to invest in their property. This will make rentals in Cherokee Village more valuable. It will be a good thing from the tenant point of view, too. It's better housing."
Citizens Peter Martin and Steve Thompson asked the council to hold a true public meeting, rather than just one with Realtors, noting there are non-Realtor rental property owners.
Bill Olson, of Batesville, the incoming president of the Arkansas Realtors Association, was also on hand to offer his assistance on the wording of the ordinance that could "bridge" the language for all sides.
"An ordinance such as this one would be good for tenants and property owners," Olson said.
Mayor Lloyd Hefley said the meeting would be open to anyone and that the city was "not sliding anything under the door."
Bob Bickle of Code Enforcement noted that, during his three months volunteering with the city, he had found "countless rentals" that he said needed cleaning to meet standards.
Alderman Curtis Bratcher made a motion for "no less than one public meeting to be advertised in the newspaper" before a third reading.
In other business:
Alderman Tom Thone asked Police Chief Ricky Crook if his department had a policy regarding high-speed chases, referencing the wrecked Highland Police unit recently during such a chase.
"It is several years old," Crook said. "Ours, along with Highland's, needs to be re-written."
However, when Thone asked if Crook would concur that due to the type of roads in Cherokee Village, such chases should not take place, Crook said, "I would not."
Crook noted that deciding to pursue someone in a car chase was not determined because of location, but usually because of the type of crime committed.
"Broad answers don't suit anyone's purpose," Crook said.
Glenn Curtis of Planning & Zoning said that the pet shelter is being cleaned and a new director was being sought. Curtis noted that the failure to maintain proper limits of dogs and cats led to the opening.
Chuck Kristopeit was named as a new addition to the Planning & Zoning Commission.
CHECK ON THESE
Christmas Farmer's Market Nov. 23-24 from 9 a.m. To 4 p.m. each day.
Christmas Village at Town Center Dec. 1-3.