Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed (CPMW) is a local grass roots organization focused on protecting the water quality of Lake Maumelle, the primary drinking water source for Central Arkansas.
December 16, 2011
CITIZENS PROTECTING MAUMELLE WATERSHED
STATEMENT OF POSITION ON LAKE MAUMELLE LAND USE PLAN & LAKE MAUMELLE WATERSHED ZONING CODE
Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed (CPMW) supports a Lake Maumelle Land Use Plan and an amended Lake Maumelle Watershed Zoning Code.
The Zoning Code is a complex document that has been substantively amended a number of times, resulting in a document that over time has become much less protective of Lake Maumelle and our future drinking water quality. Everyone agrees this extraordinary resource that serves as the primary drinking water supply for 400,000 central Arkansans must be adequately protected as a public drinking water supply for many decades into the future.
CPMW believes the Zoning Code can be made into a good starting point in our long-term protection of Lake Maumelle if changes are made. These changes are as follows:
1) Roll back the overly ambitious density levels (e.g., lots as small as 1/2-acre or 'city-sized' lots) in the Low Impact District. Test the various protective mechanisms in the Site Evaluation Tool, Stormwater Management and Drainage Manual, Erosion and Sediment Control Field Guide, Land Use Plan, and Zoning Code, and determine whether they are causing unacceptable degradation of our drinking water. Begin with 3-acre minimum lot sizes in the Low Impact District until such time as the above controls have been thoroughly tested and proven to work beyond a doubt. The 3-acre minimum lot sizes would allow ~7,000 new houses in the Low Impact District at build out if this turns out to be the maximum density that is sufficiently protective of water quality.
2) Increase the minimum undisturbed open space requirement from 25% to 30% to be required of all new development.
3) Ensure the definition of the term undisturbed open space/undisturbed area in Chapter 8 of the Subdivision Regulations ("Undisturbed Area"), the Land Use Plan ("Undisturbed Open Space"), and the Zoning Code ("Undisturbed Open Space") are completely consistent and actually mean what they say. Currently, "undisturbed open space" can be land that has just been clear cut, had a revegetation plan filed, and can immediately qualify as undisturbed open space, when that flies in the face of everyone's understanding of that term. More importantly, true undisturbed open space and the preservation of established forest is a critical element to good water quality.
4) Increase stream buffers to 75-feet on both sides of all streams.
5) Change the name of the "Village District" to the "Little Italy District".
We also urge adoption of a Land Use Plan that will demonstrate Pulaski County's seriousness in protecting Lake Maumelle water quality to the best of its abilities, and with continuous support from Central Arkansas Water.
We understand there are differences between the Land Use Plan and the Zoning Code that will have to be reconciled. We ask that those reconciliations be
weighted in favor of greater protections for our drinking water reservoir.
CPMW also endorses the concepts of the amendment to the Zoning Code proposed by the Coalition of Greater Little Rock Neighborhoods that was approved by the Quorum Court Administration Committee on Tuesday December 13 for consideration by the full Quorum Court.
We have begun a process that will last as long as Lake Maumelle continues to serve as a high quality public drinking water supply. That may well be 100 years or longer. As a community, we simply must get this right. We will not get a second chance.
December 4, 2011
Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed (CPMW) is currently considering the latest draft Lake Maumelle Watershed Zoning Code. CPMW has not taken a position either in support of or in opposition to the draft Zoning Code at this time, despite an anonymous e-mail we have seen that falsely purports to represent our position.
CPMW will announce its position either in support of or in opposition to the draft Zoning Code at the appropriate time.
The current draft version of the Lake Maumelle Watershed Zoning Code was made public at the November 22 Pulaski County Planning Board meeting.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION
November 14, 2011
Protect the future of your drinking water!
We enjoy one of the cleanest drinking water reservoirs in the southeastern U.S. because of the existing forest and open space. That will change soon.
Pulaski County is in the process of adopting a new law with labels and terms that appear to protect the water quality of Lake Maumelle and yet the current draft actually falls far short of what can be done and needs to be done.
The proposed Lake Maumelle Watershed Zoning Code allows too many houses, too many people, too little open space, and too much commercial development leading to too much pollution.
If enacted, potentially 35,000 houses with approximately 85,000 people (the size of the entire city of Fayetteville) could be located in the lake basin in Pulaski County alone by final build out. It is not just the number of houses. Equally alarming is the destruction of existing forest and open space.
In the current draft of the zoning code a developer can clear cut, denude, strip the land and then label it “undisturbed open space.” We are not kidding or exaggerating. This is just one example of many misleading terms of the current draft of the zoning code which serves the interest of Deltic Corporation earning the nickname the Deltic Plan.
It is only in zoning laws that densities of development can be regulated thus we want Pulaski County to enact a zoning law but not the Deltic Plan.
Pulaski County Planning Board can bring the proposed zoning code back into balance, reducing the risk to water quality by making our recommended changes.
It call comes down to a lack of political will. Pulaski County needs to hear from you the citizens
Contact the Pulaski County Planning Board and ask them to change the proposed zoning code before it is made into law.