This week’s council agenda was brief even though there were some important decisions under consideration that will impact our city.
To begin the evening, we were supposed to have the second of three readings that would annex property into Maumelle to the west of Ridgeland Drive and to the north of Maumelle Valley Estates. The second reading was pushed back until Sept. 7, since there is a public meeting with the developer and residents scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight in the South Room of the Community Center. This is an open meeting and the public is invited to attend.
I’ve mentioned this development in previous council reports, but the city, in my opinion, should be thankful that this property owner has asked for voluntary annexation into the city. This property already has an easement access to the land through an extension of Ridgeland Drive. I looked up the original plat (filed in September of 1989) for the west end of Ridgeland and it clearly shows an area for Ridgeland to be extended onto the land that’s currently out in the county, see below.
If the council denies the annexation, the development will still move forward as a development in the county. That development will still use Ridgeland as their access point and those new homeowners will drive through Maumelle and on our roads to get to their home in the county. Maumelle will receive no financial benefit from property tax revenue if this development remains in the county nor will we be able to control and enforce our building codes for the development.
Personally, I believe the residents of Maumelle will be better protected by this annexation being approved so that we can have a say in what happens out there. Otherwise, the development is still going to go forward as a county project and Maumelle will receive zero benefit from those property values in the county. I think this project caught a few residents off guard and just recently became aware of it but I’ve been following this project for about six months as it has worked its way through the planning commission process. The development has been under public review for quite some time, so it’s not been rushed through by any means. I look forward to the meeting with the residents so all parties can be better informed about what’s been proposed.
The other item of unfinished business on the agenda was the voluntary annexation of the Bradley Property which is on the northern end of Maumelle. This is on the north side of the Union Pacific railroad tracks and will connect Maumelle with Hwy. 365. At present, I’m not aware of any plans to develop this property, but I think this is another important opportunity for Maumelle to expand since this will allow us to touch Hwy. 365. Future projects that come to this corridor could then be considered for annexation into Maumelle and allow us to grow our city. One concern I’ve heard from residents in the city and in the county would be a connection of Old Maumelle Road back into the city. Most would be opposed to making a connection, but it’s my understanding that Union Pacific does not allow any new at-grade railroad crossings for roads. So there’s your answer… we’re not going to be connecting these roads unless we build an overpass to connect them. That’s not happening!
The last agenda item of the evening was an appointment to the Planning Commission for a term that ends in 2025. Congrats to Mary Wnek on her appointment! She’s a local resident who wanted to get involved and make Maumelle a better place for our residents. I look forward to having her on the commission!
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Chad. 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org