Cottage house ordinance tabled by jonesboro city council

Maddison Smith
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO, Ark. – The Jonesboro City Council tabled the cottage house ordinance last Tuesday.

If passed, the ordinance, will allow cottage housing in Jonesboro. According to the city’s website , “The cottage house development is an alternative type of detached housing providing small residences for households of typically one to two individuals without undergoing the subdivision process.” 

Before the floor was open to discussion from the council members, Mayor Harold Copenhaver made a statement in regards to the ordinance.

“I would like to thank the West End community to allow our staff to attend the West End neighborhood meeting on Sunday where they listed a few concerns regarding this ordinance,” Copenhaver said. “As a result of that meeting, Mr. Smith has some amendments he would like to propose to help address the questions he received.”

Director of Planning and Zoning Derrel Smith then spoke about the amendments in the ordinance.

The amendments include: 

  • Only two houses can have the same design or layout.
  • The character of the cottage homes must blend in with the rest of the neighborhood.
  • All houses will be up to code in every aspect.

“The ordinance was first introduced in May 2020 after talking with realtors and developers in Jonesboro,” Smith said. 

Council member representing Ward 2, position 1, Dr. Charles Coleman then motioned to postpone the ordinance temporarily to the first city council meeting in April. “So that some of these items can be addressed to the community because they still are not satisfied with the information,” Coleman said. 

The council will need to vote on the amendments and then vote on the amended ordinance. The motion to postpone the ordinance was a 7-3 vote.

During the mayor’s report, Copenhaver spoke on the recent death of Sanitation Department Director Donny Gibson. 

“Donny died in a tragic accident Feb. 17. He had people that really adored him and loved him in the city and in the staff. We continued to keep him and his family in our prayers … We will miss Donny,” Copenhaver said.

Copenhaver announced there will be a “mass vaccination” held at the Arkansas State University in the First National Bank arena from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. Copenhaver said, “I want to thank all of our healthcare partners, our hospitals, NYIT, health department, Arkansas State University and others.”

Other items on the agenda include: 

  • Resolution to construct the Veterans’ Village community center; passed
  • Resolution to distribute funding through the Coronavirus aid, relief and economic security (CARES); carries to the next meeting 
  • Ordinance to place various traffic signs at designated locations as determined by the traffic control committee; passed 
  • Ordinance for the transfer of location of a private club permit for North Hills Social Club; passed