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Maumelle City Seal Michael for Maumelle City Council Great Seal of Arkansas

Maumelle City Council

February 22, 2024 Update to the Update

Mayor Norris just sent the following.
I can confirm that I've had no false alarms due to cell phone failure in several hours now.

"It is our understanding that all of the outages have been resolved. The police department will continue to monitor for a short
while to ensure that we don’t receive any emails from someone unaware that the system is restored, but going forward all emergency communications
should be directed to 911.

"Special recognition goes out to the Police Department for adapting quickly to the situation. They also made sure that School Resource Officers were
in communications with the schools. The Fire Department also sent personnel to all the nursing homes in the city as well as Audubon Apartments to make
sure folks were informed. Folks at the Center on the Lake were also informed about the situation and how to contact us for emergencies. Additionally,
my office was in contact with the press to get the word out through traditional media, and was updating the public on social media, and the city website.

"Nobody likes to see events like this, but I’m proud of City staff and how quickly everyone shifted gears to ensure emergency responses were as available
as they could be under the circumstances.""

February 22, 2024 Update

911 down, and false alarms being triggered.
Mayor Norris sent the following message about the ATT nationwide outages in Maumelle. I can also confirm that, in addition to making 911 calls difficult,
ATT is also causing false alarms to security systems. I've gotten three burglar alarm warnings already today, with the trouble signal BF, which means backup failure.
That's a fun thing to wake up to in the middle of the morning!

"As you may be aware, ATT is suffering a nationwide cellular outage. North Little Rock recently sent out an emergency broadcast notifying people in the area
that they are having troubles with their 911 system. I have verified that Maumelle’s 911 center is still largely operational. It appears, however, that some
individuals are still unable to dial 911 (it appears as though may be limited to some calls originating on the network ATT). Until the network is restored,
individuals that are unable to call 911 may send an email to This email address is being actively monitored for the duration of the
network issues. (Ordinarily this email address is NOT actively monitored and it not a good way to report an emergency.)

"The Police Department, Fire Department, and my communications folks are doing everything we can to spread the word."

February 20, 2024 Update

Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was the rarest of hen’s teeth.
We had full attendance!

Finance Director Beatriz Sousa, gave the financial report for January 2024, and explained about how the expenses seemed higher because of
end-of-the-year fluctuations while numbers are finalized. Funding accounts are still healthy. All information requested by the auditors has been provided.

Council member Mosley discussed about how the auditors would address the Council in March, and had said that Ms. Sousa was very responsive to their requests.

The third Reading of Ordinance 1109 Amending Section 2-64 concerned the order of business at Council meetings.

Member Mosley commented about how we already had similar launguage on the books, and felt that “we’re good to go on this.”

The Ordinance passed unanimously.

The third Reading of Ordinance 1110 amends the definition of “Family” for the purposes of zoning regulations.

Member Mosley discussed limiting the number of unrelated persons living in a household, and how City Attorney Thornton had told him about State
and Federal requirements allowing up to 8 persons, so he withdrew his previous objections.

The Ordinance passed unanimously.

The third reading of Ordinance 1111 accepts and confirms the dedication of certain streets and drainage in the development known as Stone Canyon Addition.
The Ordinance passed unanimously.

The second Reading of Ordinance 1112 amends code to create an Audit Committee.

Member Gardner discussed how this was amended in the previous meeting, but the packet provided to the Council contained the old language.
City Attorney Thornton read the minutes from the last minutes and the changes made, striking education requirements and removing limits on how many can serve.

Member Mosley discussed about how as many people who want to serve can now do so, along with the need to address weaknesses identified by the auditors.

Mayor Norris asked if he wanted to set controls on the Financial Department. He said No, it would follow up on suggestions made by the auditors.

Resolution 2024-02 approves a preliminary development plan of lot 1, Express Addition at the corner of Crystal Hill Road and Maumelle Blvd.

I asked Planning Director Grummer to discuss the Greenbelt path that was not shown on the opposite side of the street. He also added that a crosswalk
was not shown for the intersection, and that this oversight would be addressed.

Member Mosley asked Memeber Gardner if he had any comments, who discussed information provided by the City Attorney about the options
Council Members have when approving. Member Mosley expressed his support.

The Resolution passed by a vote of 6 to 2.

Member Mosley discussed the 2021 Audit Memo. The auditors mentioned how in the past that there was not a good separation of duties.
Mayor Norris asked how he felt an audit committee would help with matters such as this. Member Mosley replied that they could follow up with
the Financial Department to make sure they were addressing the concerns.

Mayor Norris said auditors are required to report to the City Council about certain things, and asked if they would now be required to
write down everything discussed while processing the information. He said that there was never been a year when verbal difficencies had not been reported,
and how we have a very small Fiancé Department, which makes it difficult to serparate out some duties.

Member Mosley discussed how the Finance Department had been getting behind for “abut 10 years now,” and if it was not needed in the future we
could disband it then. He also said that the two previous Finance Directors had expressed that “everything was good” as far as internal processing
of the information. Mayor Norris said that did not match with his recollection.

Member Holt commented about how a committee would allow Council members to more easily discuss revelent matters, since we are currently restricted b
y State Law to only discuss matters of the City during City Council meetings. “It has some good points, but it’s not going to solve all our problems.”

Mayor Norris said the City Council does not oversee every step of the Financial Department, like purchase orders and such. He did not want to oppose
the committee out of concerns for how it might look. But he also felt “I’m not really sure what it’s designed to do” and was concerned that it might
be “a hinderance” on the Finance Department being able to do their work. They are already asking for extra help to speed up their own process.
He felt committee meetings would be interruptions on their work. “Do you know how important 40 hours of uninterrupted work can be to the Finance Department?”
His point was that it could be a distraction that would actually slow down the audits, rather than speed them up.

Member Shinn talked about all the previous audits that were late, and wondered why we would add this now when we are starting to catch up.

Member Mosley said he had not thought about it until last fall when we had another Fiancé Director leave, and new delays were encountered.
He talked about how bigger cities hire internal auditors, and felt this was “a good sign of progression.” “If I were Mayor, I’d welcome it…
and would probably push for legislative audits.” He also pointed out that the committee would have no authority, and would only serve in an advisory fashion.

Resolution 2024-04 supports the Maumelle Friends of the Animals personalized Fire Hydrant Program in the City. This deals with patrons paying to have
CAW fire hydrants painted with a Dalmatian design. This Resolution shows support for the organization in their negotiations with Central Arkansas Water.

Member Williams made a motion to include a letter in our document packet that was provided by Friends of the Animals.

The letter and Resolution were both passed unanimously.

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2050 was discussed. Mayor Norris supported some of the core policies of the Plan, such as optimizing the existing
network before expanding it. He also discussed its recommendation for mixed used in housing.

Member Mosley expressed his concerns over the previous gridlock and does not want to see that happen again. He has called ARDOT,
and “there is nothing about another entrance” currently being planned for Maumelle.

I discussed how ARDOT is not planning for Maumelle’s growth. Member Mosley and I had both attended a presentation given by ARDOT in 2019 when they
were asking voters to approve turning the temporary State gas tax permanent. We were clearly told that one of the first projects, should it pass,
would be the wideing of Maumelle Blvd. The tax passed, but then ARDOT suffered a memory lapse and said that wideing would be part of their long-range
plans, and not an immediate project. According to a chart in the Metropolitan Plan that Mayor Norris shared with the Council, it appears that the
widening has been moved up to the 20 year priority list--but only from Instate 430 to Counts Massine in North Little Rock.

Mayor Norris talked about the tiered package that ARDOT was selling back then, and how the Maumelle Blvd was then included in their top 10 to happen in
the next 10 years. He also confirmed that the widening would just be between Counts Massie and interstate-430. He did not feel that the current traffic
patterns are what they were five years ago.

Member Mosley mentioned how the Plan talked more about equity and inclusion, "catchwords popular on a federal level,"" but did not see a lot of attention
to traffic conditions.

Member Gardner mentioned unplugging cords when not in use, and for people to turn off interior lights when not in use,

I asked Planning and Permits Director Grummer about recent changes made by the Permits Department, that now require the contractor to submit photos of the
completed work, something that was previously done by the Permit Department, and asked if this was a temporary measure due to damage that recent storms
caused to so many houses in Maumelle.

Director Scott Grummer confirmed that this was temporary. Last year they had around 22 rooffing permits, and in recent weeks have had between 120 to 130
permit requests, with hundreds more anticipated. He also warned about roofers trying to take advantage of residents, and encouraged citizens to make
certain that all contractors are approved by the city.

Member Mosley asked if the remodeling of Crystal Hill Road was a done deal.

Mayor Norris said the contractor’s work has concluded, but that Public Works is still working on making improvements like sprinklers and getting
Entergy to replace lights, plus other landscaping work.

Director of Public Works Mike Hogan said his department had inspected a spot that had been cut out, undercut, and replaced near to Ms. Watkins house.

City Attorney Thornton encouraged everyone to vote, and how early voting is now open, and many court positions are on the ballot.

City Clerk Tina Timmons talked about the “incredible influx of solicitors,” and how you can see an active list of who is legally authorized to
solicit in Maumelle on the City Clerk’s office webpage. “We take vetting incredibly seriously.” Background checks are made and the police and City Attorney
are consulted when questions about an application are raised. She did not mention it at this time, but told me previously about one solicitor
physically threatening her when he was not approved. This is certainly not the type of people we want coming to your door.

Right now there are under 10 roofers that have been vetted.
The City Clerks office has received 60 or 70 applications so far, and less than half passed the first background check.
Every person in their workforce is checked.

Mayor Norris confirmed that the background checks are on criminal history only, and NOT a recommendation of their service. That’s a whole other matter.

So PLEASE be careful in dealing with any roofers who might come knocking on your door.

February 5, 2024 Update

Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was once again one member short. It’s a rare thing whenever we have a full quorum.
By rule, all absentees count as a No vote.

Tricia Moran addressed the Council about Lake Willastein and advocating renaming the suspension bridge in honor of Robert Holloway,
who engineered and designed the bridge and park.

Alan Bruce Wagner spoke about Maumelle Forward, and the development of the city center. He feels Maumelle needs a destination like a University,
Museum, or amusement park. Otherwise he feels that Maumelle will remain nothing but a bedroom community catering to single family housing.
He apologized for bringing a problem without offereing a solution, but feels this is something that needs to be address.

Judge Mackie Pierce, who is a Circuit Judge for the area, announced his intention to run for higher office in Little Rock District Court.

Phillip Raborn with Parks and Recreation gave a department report. Currently he has all staff positions filled, which is something that hasn’t
happened for a couple of years. They are seeking lifeguards and aquatic staff for when the pool opens in Summer. He discussed other events being
planned and how the pickleball courts are under construction. Unfortunately, the recent rains have delayed this. Softball is being registered and
the solar eclipse is an event that is coming soon.

Council Member Mosley asked about his department’s involvement in the eclipse. Mister Raborn replied that right now they are working on parking,
and are anticipating huge numbers. He explained that the Maumelle Chamber of Commerce is planning a number of activities.

Member Mosley also asked about the takeover of Park on the River on September 1st, and when people will be able to make reservations.
Mister Raborn mentioned that he could work with Team Summit should anyone contact them first and be interested in the later date. They are still
“trying to iron out everything” to “get out the kinks.” They have needed repairs already budgeted.

City Attorney commented about how the actual takeover will happen on October 1st.

Mayor Norris complimented the Parks and Recreation department for the number of projects they have going on.

Member Gardner gave the Planning Commission report. The Commission approved the placement of an oil change company and another item that will
be coming before the Council.

The third Reading of Ordinance 1103 amends the City Code to include a category of Special Use Commercial (SUC).

Member Mosley suggested tabling the ordinance since another, related ordinance had been sent back to the Planning Commission.

Director of Permits and Planning Scott Grummer explained how the two ordinances are completely different things, and how we do not currently
have a mixed use zoning. He felt this would help promote development of the city center, and is not directly tied to the other ordinance.

Member Mosley disliked the idea of mixed use and felt it would damage “our commercial zoning.” He felt we should not “push this through”
because he felt it would “open the door to large scale apartments.”

Member Mazzoni felt “this is just setting up for the potential” of mixed use.

Director Grummer said this ordinance does not designate how much the mixtures would be, and how that will be decided in the other ordinance.
Having the new land use category now would alert developers that Maumelle is open to mixed use. It is not intended for large residential developments.
Leaving it as it is would make the area less pedestrian-centric. If the ordinance were approved, the next step would designating parcels as this
new land use category, but even if the ordinances were approved then residential apartment complexes would not.

Mayor Norris explained that this is a vote for or against mixed use.

Member Holt said it was his understanding that we are just opening up the format to allow this type of zoning to be used. He felt this is
“a professional step” and suggested that a professional come in and teach Maumelle how to use this. He felt we could be a star city if we
used a united design concept. He supported the ordinance, provided it had proper planning.

Member Mosley again proposed tabling the ordinance until mid-April. “I don’t know that we want them here in Maumelle” and suggested the city
concentrate on single family housing. He was concerned we might “make a big mistake” and recalled the recent traffic problems that occurred
before the third entrance was built.

Member Shinn discussed being in a downtown city in Texas, and how it had multi-use businesses with housing above them. The area had grown since then,
and did not feel this is a complicated issue. “It’s being done everywhere.”

Mayor Norris added a story about a resident’s concerns when a known apartment builder bought a tract of land. The Mayor explained that he was not aware
of any Council member who was an advocate for building apartment complexes. The resident then discussed his preference for mixed use.

Member Gardner discussed how “the council is very good about talking and delaying things” and how all this ordinance does is create a category.
“We are creating a shell” that can have things put into it.

Member Williams said “this is not complicated” and discussed similar developments in Little Rock, how they were beautiful and fun to walk around.
“It did bring in commercial, and there are people living there.” She felt bringing in mixed use would enhance the walkability areas in the city.
“We don’t need to be stuck in the 1970s or 80s.” “This is not going to hurt us.”

Member Mosley expressed concern about how the City had previously turned down a townhouse proposal and felt this was an end-run to try and get around that.
He felt that a vote for this was a vote for apartments.

Member Shinn said “”I’m not going to fall for fear mongering.”

Member Gardner agreed, and opposed tabling the measure. He felt it was okay for people to be opposed and welcoming the diversity of opinion.

Member Holt said we have discussed it and felt we should move forward, and rescinded his second on Member Mosley motion to table the ordinance.
There was no other second, so the motion failed.

Member Mazzoni said he did not feel it was fear mongering, and welcoming the discussion.

Member Mosley then made a motion to direct the Mayor to bring in a member of ARDOT to the next City Council meeting. There was no second,
but Mayor Norris said he felt it was a good idea, and he planned to do this. Member Mosley also suggested that Metroplan send a representative
to talk with the Council about our long term traffic plans.

The ordinance passed by a vote of 6 to 1.

The third Reading of Ordinance 1104 amends the Land Use Plan and Map for the property known as 1605 Club Manor Drive.

Member Mosley asked the City Attorney about language in the ordinance, and expressed his opposition.

City Attorney Thornton said they were from Code.

The ordinance passed by a vote of 6 to 1.

The third Reading of Ordinance 1106 amends City Code to add a new section regarding Cash Bonds posted and deposited with the City.
The ordinance passed by a unanimous vote.

The third Reading of Ordinance 1107 was one I sponsored, which amends Home Business/Occupation Definition to waive the license requirement
for an occasional refreshment/lemonade stand operated by a minor.

Member Mosley said we need more lemonaide stans and supported it.

Member Gardner joked about needing a possible change to the age of 17 for his two boys.

The Ordinance passed unanimously.

The Third Reading of Ordinance 1108, which I also sponsored, updates the annual business registration and Solicitor fees.

The ordiance passed on a vote of 6 to 1.

The second Reading of Ordinance 1109 amends Section 2-64 concerning the order of business at Council meetings.

Member Shinn asked if the Council could still add things to the Council packet.

Mayor Norris and Attorney Thornton said they could.

Member Gardner asked about residents wanting to pass out information. City Attorney Thornton said if it was a public comment, that would be fine.
But if it were concerning something already on the agenda, then the Council would need to vote on it. Member Gardner felt this might “bog things down.”
Attorney Thornton said it would not limit the public’s ability to pass out information.

Mayor Norris said this would only codify what we already do in the processing of Council packet information.

Member Mosley said his intent was to strengthen the requirements, but that added language had instead softened it from “what it was before” but that
the “intent was still there” and suggested tabling it.

Attorney Thornton said his intention was to protect the Council from having a decision opposed in court because of a decision not to table a
late addition to the agenda.

The second Reading of Ordinance 1110 amends Maumelle Code definition of “Family” for the purposes of zoning regulations. Member Mosley asked if
there were anywhere in Maumelle that might be affected by this ordinance. Attorney Thornton said he was unaware. Member Mosley suggested striking
some of the language. Director Grummer said this might cause some problems and that there are situations where several veterans might be living
in a home, and making changes that removed the allowance of up to 8 unrelated people to live together might restrict their ability to do so.

Mayor Norris said there was no way to track that unless someone complained.

Director Grummer said this is more of a matter of cleaning up antiquated language, and that there are instances where multiple people might need
to share a home and expenses.

City Attoney said the language was an alternative to assisted living.

Member Gardner talked about his expertience with houses like this and how it would not change the way the city does business.

Member Williams asked the City Attorney about possible legal implications for restricting group homes.

Member Mosley made a motion to limit housing to 4 people, down from the current limit of 8. The motion to limit occupancy failed for lack of a second.

Member Gardner pointed out that if the language were stricken totally, it would allow groups of more than 8 unrelated individuals to occupy a single home.

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1111 accepts and confirms the dedication of certain streets and drainage in the development known as Stone Canyon Addition.
There was no discussion.

The second Reading of Ordinance 1112 Amending Code to create an Audit Committee. Member Mosley discussed his proposal and his hope to help the
city establish better internal controls and catch up on our delinquent audits. He suggested changing some of the language should it encourage some
of the other Council members to support it.

Member Gardner asked Attorney Thornton about how the Council cannot delegate authority to a committee, and the committee would only be able to meet,
request information, and make recommendations to the Council. He felt that the Council members themselves could already do all those things,
and that “it has the feel of meddling” and creating “busy work” that would not help the City catch up on anything. He did not see the purpose
and questioned what good it would do. “We need to protect the City from ourselves, sometimes.”

Member Mosley said the Council had not been involved in the past. He did call them a lot, and “wished everybody else had” and that the committee
would do what he had been doing to make sure things were moving along. There was an instance where six months passed before the auditors had certain
questions answered. “We’ve been cited for deficentcies two years in a row” and he worried there were other problems we were not yet aware of.

Member Shinn discussed his mother’s experiences dealing with accounting, and felt that requiring a formal education level to serve on the committee
might not be the best way.

Member Mosley made a motion that all Council member be allowed to serve on the committee, if they were so inclined. He agreed that selection should
not be by degree. Other volunteers would require the Council to appoint them.

Attorney Thornton said he felt this was a measure to hold additional meetings of the City Council.

Member Mosley disagreed.

Member Gardner felt the Council was already interested in audit meetings, but questioned having more Council meetings.

The motion to adjust the language passed unanimously and Ordinance 1112 went back to its first meeting, which City Clerk Timmons immediately read.

Member Mosley asked if the Council would have administrative duties. Attorney Thornton did not think this was a legal question, but more one of philosophy.
It depends on what someone felt the City Council’s role was.

The Board of Sign Appeals was convened to consider a sign variance request for The Reserve at Country Club.

Director Grummer explained how ordinance kept the City from approving the sign, but staff did approve of the size after considering the size of the
roundabout where it would be placed along with landscaping that would “highly improve” the area. He confirmed that no lighting was currently
planned for the sign.

Member Gardner talked about how large the area was and that putting a little sign in the area would “look massively out of place.”

Member Mazzoni asked Attorney Thornton read the City Code regarding the Council’s ability to approve this variance.
Mayor Norris added that about how the road had originally been planned as an arterial collector.

Member Mosley asked about the size of the wording. Director Grummer confirmed that only the wording did not fit inside the code,
but that the frame of the sign did.

Member Mazzoni asked what difficulties might occur if the sign was not approved.

The applicant, Lloyd Andrews, said the intent years ago was that the road would be a circular road that connected with another, but that didn’t happen
and was now a dead end with a large roundabout. Their goal was to keep things in proportion and to let people know that the road was ending and
that they should slow down.

Mayor Norris read code that applied to the Council’s decision process in connection to the shift in the nature of that road.

I commented about the City’s need to limit the size of signs so that they did not become a distraction, but did not feel that was a concern
in this situation. I also complimented the curved design of the sign.

Mayor Norris commented about the number of cars that drive right through roundabouts, inadvertantly straightening them.

Member Mosley questioned if this might encourage other developers to enlarge their signs. Attorney Thornton said anyone can request the Council to
consider a variance. Mayor Norris explained about how different situations require different solutions. Director Grummer concurred with that assessment.

Member Mazzoni asked about the necessity to notify drivers. Applicant Andrews said that was the intent.

Mayor Norris asked if any members of the community would like to comment. None did.

The variance passed by a vote of 6 to 1.

Resolution 2024-02 approves a preliminary development plan of lot 1, Express Addition, at Crystal Hill Road and Maumelle Boulevard.

Director Grummer discussed how the Planning Commission gave it a 'Do Pass' recommendation. “That type of use is the type you would find in that area,
so it is a sufficient use.” The only concern discussed by the Commission dealt with drainage, and they requested changes for this and to reduce
traffic conflict. City Staff also gave their recommendation.

Member Mosley asked to hear from the applicant.

Andrew with Take Five Oil Change discussed their other franchises and said this would add to their footprint of growing into the area.
He said they are an express service that would not try to upsell you any unneeded repairs. Customers will not get out of their car,
and the parking was for employees only. The drive around was added to the design at the request of the commission, which would enable people
to change their mind and leave, and would also avoid traffic stacking out onto the road.

Member Mosley wished him well and welcomed him into Maumelle.

Member Gardner asked Attorney Thornton about how the Planning Commission does reviews, and how they follow City Code.
If it meets code they have a duty to pass it. He asked if we approve this resolution, would the Council see it again.

Director Grummer explained in a Planned Commercial District that there are no specific setbacks that they have to meet, only using the Code as a guide.
If the Council approved the plan, it would be a done deal and would not come back again before the Council.

Member Gardner asked if we voted against it, “what would that do?”

Attorney Thornton said he would need more specific reasons than “that’s not the type of business” we like.

Member Gardner called it the busiest corner in the entire city, and worried about how that entire corner might be developed in the future.
Thinking about it gave him “heartburn.”

Attorney Thornton said he did not know what else might be developed on that lot, and commented about how it had never been developed previously.

Director Grummer said this was the “type of discussion” we might get into about the town center. But to this specific parcel, there has been other
interest in that area, and indicated it might increase demand to develop the area. It might also diminish other development plans.

Mayor Norris said the Council’s job is to shape developments, and suggested the City Attorney educate the Council about their role in creating
Planned Urban Developments.

Member Shinn discussed about how the junkyard of abandoned cars had been cleared out and the area had been significatly upgraded.

Member Mosley complimented Member Gardner’s question. People can “show you a pretty picture” and once they get approval then build something else.

Director Grummer commented that any changes would go back to the Planning Commission for approval, and then they would go to the Council.
He is currently working with the land owner, and Courtney Dunn, Director of Development for Maumelle, had no concerns with the future development.

Member Shinn inquired about tabling the motion until more information is provided about the Council’s responsibilities with PUDs.

Member Mosley said such a motion was not unreasonable and second the motion.

Director Grummer discussed how “the applicant has worked extremely well with this type” of unique spaces.

Member Gardner advocated for tabling, and wanted more education about “what is good for this area.”

Director Grummer expressed concerns about how the property owner had tried previously to unsuccessfully develop this property.
We said that if the Council rejected the plan, we would need to provide a good reason for it.

Mayor Norris asked if this delay would cause any problems for the applicant.

The applicant said it could upset the timing of purchases and possibly the property owner.

The motion passed by a vote of 6 to 1.

The applicant said that Council cannot dictate how properties are developed, and told about how he had run into similar problems with other Councils.
When they held the public meeting, no one from the public expressed any opposition.

This will be voted on during the next meeting.

Member Gardner said for the applicant should not take this “as a precursor” of what will happen in two weeks. We only had a few days to examine the motion,
and welcomed more time to consider it.

Member Holt talked about how “something of this magnitude” required an opportunity to “sleep on it.”

Resolution 2024-23 was brought up for a vote to add this motion to appropriate funds for the construction of the pickleball courts.
To delay it might delay the construction of the courts.

Member Mosley expressed his opposition to the short time of consideration, and preferred to wait two weeks before voting.

The motion to consider the motion passed by a vote of 5 to 2.

Mayor Norris discussed the monies previously appropriated, and how the resoltuion was required to carry over appropriations from last year.

Member Mosley proposed tabling the measure, but that failed for lack of a second.

The Resolution passed by a vote of 6 to 1.

There was no other business before the Council.

January 22, 2024 Update

Delayed one week because of last week's blizzard, tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was one member short,
so all unanimous votes will be recorded as 7 to 1, since all absentees count as a No vote.

Tricia Moran addressed the Council on behalf of the FOA, Friends of the Animals, about the custom painted fire hydrants, giving them a
Dalmatian appearance. This is done on a charity donation basis and Central Arkansas Water has verbally agreed to do this,
but there are concerns about hydrants being painted over before their term was up. Because of this, FOA is asking for a
formal agreement with CAW put into writing. They asked for the Council’s help in making this agreement happen.

Finance Director Beatrix Sousa was out of town, so Senior Accountant Mary Nelson gave the financial report. There are still journal
entries to be made from 2023, which should resolve any discrepancies for the one month period. Staffing shortages have kept the
Sanitation Department below budget. Police and Fire are over budget, but this should reverse as taxes are collected.

Council member Mosley asked about the 2022 audit. Ms. Nelson said the auditor has been given everything they’ve asked for and are working on it now.
“You should pleased.”

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1103 amends City Code to Provide a New Land Use Category and include a category of Special Use Commercial (SUC).

Member Mazzoni expressed his concern over some of the wording and questions if it accomplishes the intent. He is concerned that a developer
might abuse the zoning code in Ordinace 1105.

Member Mosley shared member Massoni’s concerns. He felt it would make it easier to build apartments and high density housing in Maumelle.
Director of Planning and Permits Grummer had added some wording to address their concerns, but member Mosley did not feel that it would work for 1103 and 1105.

Director Grummer addressed the land use language. He pointed out that issues like population density was dealt with in the language in 1105.
The point of this change in Land Use is intended to encourage walkability and development in the Town Center.
He asserted that it would not allow apartment buildings.

Member Mosley expressed his opposition to high density housing, citing that this is something voters have told him that they do not want,
and that he is definitely a No vote.

City Attorney Thornton asked Director Grummer to describe the difference between the Land Use Map and the Zoning Map. He said this is for the
Council to say how we want our City to grow, and how to Zone it.

Member Holt asked how this matter came about, and how housing sales nationwide are the lowest in recent years. Director Grummer replied that it
was a result of a study done several years ago about how to help Maumelle grow as a City, and how to revitalize the Town Center area for mixed-use
opportunities. It had been on his agenda since he first took the job, and a developer's recent interest in the land has accelerated the need.
He emphasized the need for diversity in housing to provide opportunities for people to move into the City. He feels it will help grow Maumelle.

Mayor Norris talked about how he ran for office on a platform of economic development. He has since completed several courses that educated him on
how to do this, along with a fact finding trip to Northwest Arkansas to see how their communities are thriving. He also talked about how markets
are changing and Big Box stores and Malls no longer have the demand they once had. His goal with these new ordinances is to create purchasing
options for new residents, and to create a destination experience in the town center. Our current regulations are prohibiting the new reality,
and without change we will not have the amenities where people can accomplish the trifecta of “work, live, and play” in a local area.
Our code currently does not allow developers to build these.

Member Holt talked about a convention speaker discussing this type of plan, but his concern is that it is done in a balanced way.
He felt that the housing developers might “cherry pick” the areas.

Member Mosley asked if Mayor Norris is pushing for this, or if developers are.

Mayor Norris said this is an idea he had been working for years on creating a comprehensive review of the code to make it more dynamic and
responsive to needs. The urgency of this popped to the forefront when developers started talking about building mixed use properties for certain
parts of town. He advocates certain types of development of non-traditional housing.

Member Mosley discussed the Maumelle Forward plan made previously, but felt that plan was heavily influenced by developers and did not think
“these nodes” are something we should do.

Mayor Norris countered that planning is not a bad thing, and that this is more of a matter of declaring “where we want to go” to help Planning know.

Member Norris expressed a concern that the ordinance rewrite might allow apartments next to the Kroger building, and other places.

Mayor Norris said that is a prime location for a mixed use development with a primary purpose of commercial, with residential being a secondary
use as approved by the planning commission and City Council. He talked about killing plans that only had token commercial and were heavy into
residential for the same area. These plans were discouraged immediately.

Director Grummer talked about how language has been changed to remove allowances for residential, and provides language that gave the Council the
authority to decide what should be developed.

Mayor Norris talked about the City will have more authority, ability, and more leeway in deciding what will be built on the planning level and
Planning Commission, so that by the time the proposals reach the Council any problems should have been addressed.

Member Shinn talked about the commercial real estate, and how things have dramatically changed in recent months. Maumelle houses are selling,
albeit slowly, but asking prices are being met. He felt commercial developments have not been happening is because the properties
are overpriced. A small group of people own the land along the interstate and they set the prices. He wanted Maumelle to be comparable
with other cities like Conway.

Member Mosley expressed a concern that should the city administration change, they might take advantage of it in the future.
Mayor Norris said that these matters would ultimately be decided by City Staff and the City Council.

Director Grummer said the reasons for these changes are to meet the needs that residents have been expressing to him.
He felt the flexibility would allow us to build a town center that would better meet the needs of the community.

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1104 amends the Maumelle Land Use Plan & Map for the property known as 1605 Club Manor Drive.
This deals with the property directly across from the old Sonic that is now a Dominoes.

City Attorney Thornton asked Director Grummer to discuss how the area had changed in recent years, and the new PCD would work better to help develop it.
He said that he had not heard any opposition to this change.

Member Norris talked about how the Council had previously rejected a towne home housing project for this same area. He was concerned that someone might try again.

Director Grummer discussed how if Ordinance 1103 were to fail, 1104 would likewise fail.

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1105 amends the Maumelle Zoning Code code for Planned Commercial District (PCD).

Mayor Norris said he feels the language currently discourages anyone who might want to develop high density housing in the area. He also said
that he was not opposed to adding extra language to reinforce this intent. Creating mixed-use is the intent. He agreed that a bunch of apartments would
not be in the City’s best interests.

City Attorney Thornton discussed the procedure of amendments to the maps and regulations, and how they have been given a Do Pass by the Planning Commission.
The Council cannot make changes, and any changes would need to be sent back to the Planning Commision. He felt this restricted the Council too much,
and will soon be introducing an Ordiance to give the Council more options. Director Grummer elaborated more on the language detailing this.

Both Director Grummer and Attorney Thornton felt these Ordinances will provide the Council with greater flexibility.

Member Mazzoni like the “intent of this” but is concerned about intent being lost because of manipulation of the written word,
and felt that the protections were only token measures.

Director Grummer countered that too much language can end up being restrictive.

Mayor Norris talked about the need “to get this right,” and how important it was to give the control to the Council. He felt the tools are there as
it is currently written, and it was up to the Council to decide how to use it. He considered that our current code is outdated and restrictive.

Member Mosley motioned for sending the ordinance back to Planning Commission to have extra safeguards added.

Member Mazzoni confirmed with Attorney Thornton that if the Ordinance was sent back then a decision would not be made until some time in March.
He was not certain if the Ordiance will then revert back to the first reading.

The motion to send the Ordinance back to the Planning Commission passed.

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1106 amends the City Code to include Cash Bonds posted and deposited with the City. There was no discussion.

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1107 amends the Home Business/Occupation Definition to allow an occasional refreshment stand operated by a minor,
aged 16 or younger, without requiring a business license. There was no discussion.

The Second Reading of Ordinance 1108 amends Annual Registration Fees for business registration and Solicitor Permit fees. There was no discussion.

A meeting of the Board of Signs Appeals, to deal with a requested variance on a sign application. This signage for a Residentail subdivision
development to be placed on the roundabout entrance. Director Grummer said the sign would be appropriate for the area, but was denied because
it exceeded the language in City code.

Member Williams asked about the lighting on the sign and size of the sign. These facts were not included in our packet, and a motion was made to
table the measure until that information was made available. The tabling motion passed and the board of sign appeals adjourned.

Two Planning Commission Appointments for recently vacated seats was applied for by John C. Jones and Alice Fulk.
Both applicants made presentations before the Council, and both were unanimously approved.

Outgoing Commissioner Fisher was acknowledged for his 20-plus years of service with a round of applause.

Resolution 2024-01 authorizes the Mayor to Execute A Settlement resolution regarding unpaid rent for Park on the River.

City Attorney Thornton explained the resolution. He has obtained revenue figures from Team Summit, He focused on the time when the property was
under contract, which was a simple calculation. The time period after the lease expired was more difficult because of language in the contract
which required an action by the City Council to continue.
He also took into consideration any Unlawful Enrichment, which can work both in favor
and against the City. He did not feel that he could charge for entire months when the property was only used for a handful of days. By calculating
the days of actual usage, coupled with the unpaid balance of the contract before it expired, and came up with a settlement total.

Miss Janet Watkins addressed the Council on this matter. She lives a quarter of a mile from Park on the River. After 35 years in the real estate business,
and “to my way of thinking” you should pay rent for every day it is in your possession, and urged the Council to vote No on the proposal. She felt that
Summit owes $68,000. “She owes this bill, she should pay it.”

Alan Bruce Wagner also addressed Park on the River. He had previously emailed his concerns. He advocates that neither party did what they needed to do,
and how access was granted for 28 months without being under contract, and responsibility for the bill needs to be paid. He advocated charging for
the access and revenues generated. “I don’t want to put someone over a barrel and rip them apart,” but wondered if Maumelle taxpayers are
“being ripped off” since a new lease had been generated with Summit, and felt that law then connected the liability for the time period bridged.
He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Public Works duering the City's recent issues with “Ice Terrors.”

Mayor Norris said that while he was the sponsor of the resolution, it was Attorney Thornton who dealt with all the details.

Attorney Thornton said he could find no example of laws that would compare with this situation. There is no formula in Arkansas Code to cover this situation.
He also can make no guarantees of what the City might collect if we chose litigation. So he worked on a compromise proposal.
The amount he suggested was “about” what he thought the City might win should it go into litigation.

Member Williams asked the attorney that if we did go month by month, because there was no contract would we have any legal standing. Thornton confirmed this,
based on the language in the contract and the City was not acting like the contract existed, so he felt it was best to pursue revenues generated for the
time period in question.

Member Mosley complimented Attorny Thornton for dealing with “a tough assignment” and looking at it from all sides. He felt his standpoint had been considered,
even if he leaned the other way. He felt the contract should be applied as if it were still in force, and declared that he would be a No vote.
The property was not being offered to anyone else during this time period. He felt that around $68,000 was owed to the City.
“We’re trying to do the right thing” and felt it had been argued out in a constructive manner. He also confirmed if Ms. Timmons had the
authority to enter into this agreement.

Member Holt asked about the contact that had been made with Ms. Timmons of Team Summit. Attorney Thornton said he had corresponded with Ms. Timmons
about the revenue figures. Member Holt asked if Ms. Timmons felt she had taken advantage of the oversight made by the City. He asked if she was taking
advantage of the situation. Attorney Thornton said he has not had that type of conversation with her. Member Holt said Ms. Timmons is a
“very shrewd business person,” and questioned how she had said nothing when the billings stopped.

The total proposed settlement is $31,000 and change, should it be accepted by both parties.

Member Mazzoni asked for clarification about how the problem would not have occurred had the City continued to do billing. Attorney Thornton taked about
the language that said the contract would not continue. Member Mazzoni felt “a lot of mistakes on both side” but did not feel we have legal footing to do anything else.

I discussed about how the waters were muddied with the pandemic, and how the unjust enrichment was a double-edged sword, where it was not fair for either
party to take advantage of the other. If there had been a contract, then I would have advocated collecting the full amount. But that is not the case here.
Should we take the matter to litigation, we would probably end up close to the number being proposed, but would also incur extra expenses and legal costs.
This is a matter of a compromise, where neither party is happy.

Mayor Norris talked about how the proposal is NOT a compromise, splitting the difference, but is the money legally owed to the City.

Member Holt asked if the contract had been extended. Attorney Thornton said it would have been a figure closer to $68,000 had the contract still been in effect.
Member Holt asked “what would a reasonable person do” in connection to Team Summit’s actions. Maumelle had been inept by not billing, but Team Summit had
continued to operate and prosper.

Attorney Thornton said that he did not feel that the time period of the lapsed contract as being worth $40,000. If a new contract had been proposed during
the height of the Covid Pandemic, there might not have been a contract made. Should the Council vote No, then he would need direction on how the Council
wanted to proceed. Civil litigation would take a couple of years, involve a lot of expenses, and the City could potentially get nothing.

Member Holt advocated that the City pursue civil litigation. Attorney Thornton replied that there was no contract under which he could pursue legal action.

Member Williams confirmed that this is not a compromise, but what the City felt it was lawfully entitled to. Attorney Thornton replied that it was
his best estimate of what the City was owed.

Member Shinn talked about reaching out to a utility company when he had not been billed. “Yes, the City was not doing their part” but he struggled with
Team Summit never bringing the lack of billing up.

The vote was 5 to 2 in favor. By tone of voice, myself and others were not happy about voting Yes, but felt it was in the best interest of the City
to resolve this matter this way.

The First Reading of Ordinance 1109 amends Section 2-64 concerning the order of business at Council meetings.

Member Mosley proposed this ordinance, and how items would be introduced with a handout right before a Council meeting. He proposed crucial documents
needed to be publicly shown prior to a meeting. Attorney Thornton had done some research, and felt that the City already had code to deal with this.

City Code 264 required materials to be submitted to the City Clerk in advance, and proposed adding a disclaimer that a motion could be made to table
such items until the next meeting.

Member Mazzoni discussed how new research might be allowed, or not. Attorney Thornton said it would be up to the Council to decide where or not to allow it,
or table it until the next meeting.

Mayor Norris called it a “good ordinance.”

The First Reading of Ordinance 1110 amends the Maumelle Code definition of “Family” for the purposes of zoning regulations. This removes outdated
language such as “retarded persons” and replaces it with “mental illness.”

The First Reading of Ordinance 1111 accepts Dedication of certain streets and drainage in the development known as Stone Canyon Addition.
Member Mosley expressed his support.

The First Reading of Ordinance 1112 amends Code to create an Audit Committee. Member Mosley proposed this ordinance, and said this is a result of
discussions with auditors about methods that would help the City catch up with our delinquent audits. It would be a committee of three people
with an accounting background.

City Attorney Thornton reminded everyone that the Council cannot delegate authority to a Committee. The committee can only offer advice to the Council.
They would have authority to meet, to request information and make recommendations to the City Council.

Member Gronwald asked where the number of three came from. She felt that representation of each Ward should be involved.
She wanted to know who would chose the members.

I asked if this would be a permanent committee, or only until our current delinquency is resolved.

Member Mosley said it would be a permanent committee.

Member Williams said administrative duties belong elsewhere, and not with a legislative body like the City Council.

Mayor Norris was concerned about the City Council appointing members with a focus about educational qualifications. He has questions about the
purpose of the committee and how they would perform their functions. Right now there is no closed door to asking auditors questions.

Member Mosley said he liked member Gronwald’s suggestion to include more members in the committee. He talked about the Council being above the Mayor,
and how we are responsible for the audits.

Member Williams expressed that she did not see a committee as being necessary. She felt this was our business, and we should make it our business.

Member Mosley considers Maumelle to be a “fairly sophisticated City for our size” and felt a committee would help.

Mayor Norris doubts what the impact of a report from the committee might be. He cautioned creating an overly busy committee that might actually end up
hindering more than it would help the accounting department.

Member Mosley talked about “staying in the loop” in case a problem were identified.

Mayor Norris said auditors are already going through the books and will notify the finance department about changes that they feel should be made.
He questioned where the committee would be involved in that process. What would they be reviewing? He also clarified that every year a new committee
would be selected.

Mayor Norris discussed about how Maumelle had closed for snow days based on rules established by the State.
Snow crews have sometimes spent days at Public Works while dealing with the recent snow event.

Maumelle was selected to be one of 7 Volunteer Cities in Arkansas. This is an award recognizing the activism of community volunteers.

Maumelle’s two rain gardens, that also service to help with drainage, were also recognized on a state level.

Member Shinn said he had received three complaints about in inability to use the tennis courts because someone is monopolizing the courts
for a commercial enterprise to teach tennis.

Member Morris talked about seeing his first Pickleball match, and how the players seemed to be having fun. He suggested that ARDOT (Arkansas Department
of Transportation) send a representative to the Council to discuss the proposed widening of Maumelle Boulevard, and the possibility of a new interstate entrance.

Mayor Norris said he would make the request.

City Attorney Thornton discussed the request by the MFOA, and said the Mayor had already asked him to draft a letter of support for the hydrant plans.

City Clerk Timmons clarified how declarations of income by all elected officials should be submitted to her before the end of the month.

January 2, 2024 Update

In tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council FINALLY had a full quorum, with all Council persons in attendance.
Unfortunately, Mayor Norris tested positive for Covid and had to miss the meeting.

While we were waiting for the meeting to start, I confirmed that last Thursday’s Public meeting about the property at Crystal Hill and
Maumelle Boulevard dealt with creating an exemption to put an Oil Change Center in that location. Eyes rolled when I was told about the proposal
for what is "a beautiful part of the City.""

A vote was taken at the start of the meeting to have Council person Williams preside in the Mayor’s place.

Member Shinn gave the Planning Commission report. Both matters are on tonight’s agenda.

Council Meeting Protocol being established at the start of every year was the first order of business.

Member Mosley discussed having all documents in the Council packet before every meeting and wanted to insert an item that declares that all
documents will be included in the council packet. He was concerned about memos being issued right before a meeting. City Attorney Thornton
advised that this change would require the passage of an Ordinance.

First Reading of Ordinance 1103 Amending City Code to Provide a New Land Use Category to include a category of special Use Commercial (SUC).

Director of Planning and Permits Scott Grummer discussed how this amendment would create a mixed use category.

Member Mosley asked if the matter could not be handled under the C2 category, and questioned the need. Director Grummer mentioned recent changes in C2,
and said a new zoning category would proved “more strength” to the planning and offer more flexibility in the developing areas. City Staff has
recommended the change. Member Mosley was worried that this might allow apartments to be built on commercial property. The mixed use intent
of the Zoning would only allow apartments to be built on the upper floors of a development that had Commercial development on the ground floor.
He also discussed how references in the Maumelle Forward plan to the “Maumelle Village” dealt with the business centers between north and south Odom.

Member Gardner asked Mr. Grummer to confirm that this rewrite would allow both flexibility and increased restrictions to avoid residential density.

Member Mosley talked about the land across from the old Sonic (now Dominoes) and how a developer wants to change their land use to this new category.
Mr. Grummer said that was a recommendation from the City Staff. Right now the land is listed as institutional, which is no longer appropriate.
Parcels around it have been changed, but not that particular piece of property.

First Reading of Ordinance 1104 Amending the Maumelle Land Use Plan and Map for the property known as 1605 Club Manor Drive.

Director Grummer addressed this change, which dealt with the property across from Dominoes that was discussed in connection with the previous Ordinance.

Member Mosley expressed his opposition to this change. He questioned if a hospital or clinic could be there, but was told no other kind of commercial
development could be done.

Member Gardner commented about how Baptist had previously owned that land, which is why it was zoned that way, and commented how he felt this would
be a good change.

Member Mosley commented about previous zoning change requests for towne houses that had been denied for that property.

First Reading of Ordinance 1105 Amending current code concerning Planned Commercial District (PCD).

Directory Grummer discussed how this was a modification to accomodate a mixed-use planned development. The previous language would have allowed certain
types of light industrial that would not be appropriate in the town center. It would have allowed small warehouses. Residential can only be
allowed with a mixed commerical development. The new language would promote more open space developments that encourage people to congregate. One of the
goals was to encourage cultural development within the City. Any residential use as part of a mixed use would require approval from the City Council,
allowing the Council to decide what would be consider appropriate for the area.

Member Mosley expressed criticism about any residential being allowed in a commeiical setting.
He felt homes in Maumelle should be limited to single housing because of previous problems in traffic congestion prior to the opening of the third entrance.

Member Gardner asked if any other Ordinance would need to be adjusted for these types of developments. Director Grummer commented about the flexibility
provided in a PCD (Planned Commerical Development). The goal is to create a walkable community. No other changes would be required to accomodate this.

Member Mazzoni stated how he was uncomfortable about residential, and suggested adding a percentage limitation. He made a motion to put in a percentage,
seconded by Member Mosley, to added such a limitation. Director Grummer asked if the motion could be tabled until the next meeting, to give him time to
evaluate the situation. Member Massoni withdrew his motion. Member Mosley expressed concerns about “percentages of what?” Square footage was the reply.
His concern was if someone else were doing Mr. Grummer’s job in the future who might have a different interpretation.

First Reading of Ordinance 1106 Amending City Code to add a new section regarding Cash Bonds posted and deposited with the City.
City Attorney Thornton explained recent difficulties in accepting a cash payment.

First Reading of Ordinance 1107 Amending Home Business/Occupation Definition to allow an occasional refreshment stand operated by a minor aged 16 or
younger without requiring a license.

This is my third attempt to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in young people by allowing them to operate “lemonaide stands” without requiring a license.
City Attorney Thornton suggested breaking this out from the update of the business license fees and handling this change as its own ordinance.

Member Gardner confirmed that when his boys turned 17 they would then have to buy a permit.

First Reading of Ordinance 1108 Amending Annual Business Registration Fees. This is a revision of the measure I introduced earlier in 2023 and includes
changes suggested by City Clerk Timmons. As discussed during the budget meetings, the City Council has a feduciaury responsibility to not only be
responsible in how we spend the City’s monies, but in how we collect for services provided by the City. In much the same way the the Park on the River
was overlooked, the business license fees have also been overlooked and neglected for some time. The last revision to the business license fee schedule
was over 20 years ago, and the fees charged for solicitor’s permits has not been adjusted in nearly 40 years. Before this proposal we had the cheapest
fees being charged in the State, and after the proposed increase we will STILL be the lowest in the state—they are that woefully out-of-date. The fees
being charged have not been enough to cover the cost of collecting those fees in recent years.

Member Mosley expressed pleasure that the home based business license remained the same.

City Clerk Timmons talked about how she had made low suggestions to keep the increases low.

Member Gardner said he was glad this was brought back up. He questioned allocating a percentage of the fees to police and fire.
He asked if I would consider dropping that.

Member Mosley agreed with Member Gardner.

Member Gronwald discussed her support and liked the plan to show how the monies would be dispersed.
She also epressed agreement in how solicitor fees need to be raised.

I explained how this was a transparency clause to show businesses how their fees are being spent. The General Budget is already allocated at 50% going to
police and fire, so this was an example of "six of one, or half-a-dozen of another."
I also mentioned that I’ve never had a single person express a desire to have more solicitors knocking on their door.

City Attorney Thornton announced that he had just received the requested information from Team Summit concerning the Park on the River,
and would have a recommendation on how next to proceed ready for the next meeting.

January 1, 2024 Update

The City of Maumelle, and the many assets we offer to businesses relocating here,
was the subject of a double-page feature in a 2020 issue of Business View Magazine.
It can be seen hanging in the hallway of City Hall, near the Blue Room

Maumelle City Council
2023 Notes:

Here is a link to all my notes pertaining to Maumelle's City Council during 2023.

Maumelle City Council 2022 notes.

Here is a link to all my notes pertaining to Maumelle's City Council during 2022.


Maumelle City Council 2021 Notes.

Here is a link to all my notes pertaining to Maumelle's City Council during 2021.

Maumelle 2021

Maumelle City Council 2020 Notes

Here is a link to all my notes pertaining to Maumelle's City Council during 2020.
Maumelle City Council 2020

2019 City Council Notes:

Here is a link to all my notes pertaining to Maumelle's City Council during 2019.
Maumelle 3rd Entrance under construction

Here is a link to my 2018 Campaign page.
Michael for Maumelle City Council

photo by Shannon Odom


proposed rezoning map


Click on the map below to find your voting ward:

Maumelle Ward 3 Map

The State of Arkansas has it's own long-range planning, called Long Range Intermodal Transportation Plan (LRITP), with a vision that reaches to 2040. You can access the public record of this plan on the following link:

Here is Maumelle's current long-range plan.
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