Jonesboro Council Tables Property Maintenance Code Proposal

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 109 views 

A proposal for the city of Jonesboro to adopt a property maintenance code heads back to the drawing board with people on both sides of the debate wanting something different done.

The Jonesboro City Council approved a recommendation by Mayor Harold Perrin to table discussion on the issue at least until the council’s Oct. 6 meeting.

Council members were scheduled to discuss an ordinance adopting by reference the 2012 International Maintenance Property Code to the city’s code book, involving multi-family housing.

The ordinance was approved by the council’s Public Safety Committee on May 19, while the first reading was approved June 2.

There was also a proposal to widen the scope of the code to cover all property in the city, but no action was taken.

Perrin told the council that he and his office have received feedback on the proposals, both pro and con, on the issue.

“There were a lot of questions but not a whole lot of answers,” Perrin said.

City officials also hosted a public meeting June 11 to a packed house at the Jonesboro Municipal Center. While both sides believed something needs to be done, there was some discussion over the way to get there.

Supporters of the plan said the proposal would give city code enforcement more teeth in going after dilapidated buildings and homes, instead of condemnation and no other options.

However, several who attended the meeting Thursday opposed the idea saying it gave city code enforcement officers too much power and could infringe on private property rights.

After the meeting Tuesday, Perrin said pushing the deadline back to October will give people enough time to work on the issue.

“I think we need to dig more, be more clean and clear,” Perrin said. “We need a maintenance code, but let’s do it right. We will revisit the whole thing.”

The proposal will now head back to an ad hoc committee that spent 16 months reviewing the issue.

Perrin also updated council members on a plan to build an overpass at the intersection of Nettleton Avenue and Highland Drive.

The city received a $1.2 million federal TIGER grant last year to do an environmental study on the project.

Perrin said the company working to design the overpass, Bridgefarmer and Associates in Little Rock, is already working on the design and right-of-way for the project.

As part of the project, an overpass will also be built on Watt Street as part of a detour.

Perrin said he expects the environmental study will be done within 12 months and the project will be let out for bid.