Board OKs rezoning for Pine Street strip mall

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

With a light agenda, the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors met Tuesday, Oct. 5, in the Town Hall Boardroom. The action items discussed were an annual 5-mil tax ordinance and the rezoning of a Pine Street property to make way for a clinic and other businesses expected to be rented on that lot.

Green Leaf Properties, LLC, has plans to raze most of what once was Park Hill Baptist Church, 2410 Pine St.

The board unanimously approved the second reading of the 5-mil tax ordinance. The ordinance now heads to a third and final reading at the next board meeting. Mayor Scott Byrd reminded that the tax isn’t a new one.

Directors also gave their nod to the city’s planning commission to rezone three properties on the 2400 block of Pine Street. The former Park Hill Baptist Church property is expected to be razed in the near future to make way for more business spaces and a clinic, a Green Leaf Properties LLC representative told the board. The properties to be rezoned from medium density residential (R-2) to highway commercial (C-2) are located at 215 N. 24th St.; 227 N. 24th St.; and a portion of 2410 Pine Street.

Representing Green Leaf Properties was Scott Nelson, of Malvern, who said the plans are to turn one of the existing buildings in the back of the lot into a veterinary clinic, as well as to demolish the larger building that most recently housed Ascent Children’s Health Services. Construction of a new building there would allow new retail and office spaces. Nelson said there are already “several businesses” interested in leasing a suite in a strip mall.

The rezoning ordinance heads to its second reading the next time directors meet, on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Should the ordinance pass its final readings, the rezoning would not affect how any surrounding properties are zoned.

Directors also heard an update on the upcoming Arkadelphia Festival of the Arts event, to be held Oct. 15-16 in downtown. Before giving the floor to the coordinator of the festival, City Manager Gary Brinkley said city staff “very intentionally plan on it being the premier South Arkansas event this year and for years to come.”

After a video highlighting the musicians of the three-tiered festival, which will include music, art and culinary arts, directors heard a more in-depth synopsis from Julie Lacy, event coordinator with the City of Arkadelphia.