A Benton commission considers annexing one property, renewing two commissioners, and condemning three properties.
The Benton Community Services Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, February 13, 2024. The meeting will be held immediately after the Streets/Drainage and Parks Committees. Those begin at 5:00 p.m. The location is in the Council Chambers at the Benton Municipal Complex, at 114 S. East Street. Scroll down for the full agenda, and the January meeting minutes at the end.
Scroll down for the rest.
Committee Members – Chair, Evelyn Reed; Vice Chair, Ann Spencer-Cole; Staff Liaison – John Parton, Director of Community Development.
I. Establish a Quorum / Call to Order
II. Recognition of Attendees
III. Approval of January 9th, 2024 minutes (scroll down 👇to read minutes for decisions made in the January meeting)
IV. New Business
1. 518 A&B South Market Street (Condemnation)
2. 2001 Edison Avenue (Condemnation)
3. 6601 Alcoa Road (Condemnation)
B. Proposed Resolution to Reappoint Commissioners to the Planning Commission
1. Mark Chilton
2. Brent Chumley
C. Proposed Resolution to Reappoint/Restate Terms for Historic District Commissioners
D. Review Petition for Annexation by 100% of Owner(s) – Thomas Property Tract 2
V. Old Business
A. Monthly Development Review Committee (DRC) Report – January
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Meeting Minutes from Jan 9, 2024
In Attendance: Council Chair Evelyn Reed, Council Member Jeff Hamm, Council Member Ann Spencer Cole, Council Member Shane Knight, Council Member Steve Lee, Council Member Judd Hart, Council Member Bill Donner, Council Member Jeff Morrow, Council Member Steve Brown, Council Member Frank Baptist, Community Development Director John Parton, Code Enforcement Supervisor Bruce Thomas, and Mayor Tom Farmer.
Council Chair Evelyn Reed declares a quorum and calls the meeting to order. Introductions are made around the room. Council Chair Reed made a motion to entertain approval of the December 12th minutes, Council member Steve Lee made a motion, Council member Jeff Hamm seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Community Services Agenda:
NEW BUSINESS –
DISCUSSION AND REVIEW FOR PROPOSED LIENS
A property on Grayson– Bruce Thomas approached the podium and stated that the amount for this property has been paid, the homeowner had come in January 8th, 2024 and paid by check. Mr. Thomas asked that this property be removed from further discussion.
A property on Ranchwood– This property was a simple cleanup. The charge was $400.00 and the owner has agreed to come in and pay the amount. Mr. Thomas said they wood like to go ahead with the filing of the lien on this property.
There were no questions on these properties. Council member Shane Knight made a motion to move the lien for 2737 Ranchwood forward to council, Council member Steve Brown seconded the motion. Motion carried.
OLD BUSINESS – NONE
DISCUSSION/REVIEW OF PROPOSED REVISION OF ZONING ORDINANCE TO
ADDRESS MINI STORAGE AND SELF UNITS
John Parton, Community Development Director stated that in March 2023 the council passed a one-year moratorium on mini and self-storage development projects. That is due to expire March 27th of this year. The discussion on what the next steps should be were as follows:
Should the moratorium continue or end in February 2024 as scheduled or, what should be done in terms of managing mini storage facilities moving forward. One of the concepts would be to limit it to remove the right of permit for mini storages in C3 and limit it to LI. If it’s removed as use by C3, LI would be the only option. We had the city planner look at all the LI zones. We can also look to expand or amend LI zones. Mr. Parton stated that the Planning Commission is holding a special hearing on Thursday, January 18th to take any comments or suggestions.
Council member Shane Knight asked if the council needed to take immediate action on this item or were they waiting on the P&Z to have their final public hearing with any amendments that they may propose in changing this ordinance. Mr. Parton said there needs to be a version sent to P&Z that they can vote on and adopt then it would be sent to council. Council member Knight also stated and made a motion that he would also like to look into adopting an amendment to this that if a conditional use permit is granted by the P&Z and council, that the permit is transferable as long as the original intent of the conditional use does not change. Council member Steve Lee seconded the motion.
Quarterly Litigation Report – City Attorney has sent this to the media.
Mayor Farmer discussed the details and plans of the warming center for the upcoming bitter cold weather. Northside Church of Christ has agreed to be the site. The mayor commended the community for their effort in putting all of this together.
Todd Pederson with Benton Utilities approached the podium to report on a letter he received from Entergy regarding the property purchased by the A&P Commission for the proposed RV Park. Mayor Farmer stated the letter was regarding utilities being moved from Entergy to Benton Utilities. Entergy stated that would be fine if we agreed to pay them 3% they’ll do it.
Mayor Farmer said the problem is that a few years ago, that property was annexed and we made a deal with Entergy for them to be able to choose any 500 acres they wanted to supply. They chose 500 acres west of the purchased property. Mayor Farmer is asking the committee and the council to consider is right now, Entergy pays us a franchise fee. Utilities is going to incur expenses moving utilities to get everything setup for all that is going to be placed on that property. For the 29-acre plot on the corner, if we reduce our franchise fee, we don’t have to pay our commission. Mr. Pederson agreed that the mayor basically explained everything. Mayor Farmer stated if the committee chooses to do this, he’ll have City Attorney Baxter Drennon draft an ordinance to present to council. Council member Shane Knight made a motion for the 29 acres to reduce the city’s franchise fees of 1.75% for a 10-year period. Council member Jeff Hamm seconded the motion. Motion carries.