Housing development delayed by city council

By Crystal Carter Harrell
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO – The Jonesboro City Council motioned to postpone a zoning request at 1130 Greensboro Rd. on April 7 and left an African-American entrepreneur waiting another 60 days for his project to get the “green light.”

The rezoning request, made by Jackson’s Construction CEO and licensed realtor Rickey Jackson, managed to garner 86 signatures on a petition causing the delay according to Councilman Charles Coleman.

Coleman said the citizens on the petition do not have any problem with the request, but they want to appear in person to voice public opinions on the matter.

“When it comes to things like that, I would rather people be in front of me to voice their opinion. If I was in that area, I would feel the same way,” Coleman said. “I’m very impressed by Mr. Jackson trying to do something with the area. I understand, but I’m only going to vote with my conscience.”

Councilman Chris Moore said he had also received considerable objections to the request. He moved to second the motion of postponement for 60 days. Restrictions because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic prevented the public from attending the meeting in-person at the time.

The council received a zoning ordinance map amendment application for the 8.84 acres of land in December. Before the application, the property sat vacant for 10 years.

Jackson has worked as a licensed residential and commercial contractor since 2006, building duplexes for private owners and investors for years. He currently holds contracts with the highway department and has plans to develop a new roundabout connecting Harrisburg and Caraway Roads.

The first property solely owned and developed by Jackson, at 1130 Greensboro Rd., is five minutes away from Arkansas State University.

“Instead of apartments, I want to build stand-alone homes that serve single individuals or small families. I only want to place 41 homes in the area. I could go up to 53, but I do not want to congest the area. I’m only asking to build variant home sizes. I only want to help the area, not hurt the area,” Jackson said.

Each all electric unit in the 41-unit housing complex will range from 1,000 to 1,300 square feet. Some of the units will have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a garage. Fencing will be put up for privacy in backyards.

The rental cost with utilities could be between $800 and $1,000, but nothing has been set in stone. Jackson plans to break ground as soon as rezoning is approved at the third reading by city council.

“I’ll abide by what the city council decides and take it from there. It is setting me back, but I am an entrepreneur.”

Editor’s Note: Feature photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash