Ordinance May Need Quick Fix

City attorney to recommend amending nuisance statute

By Richard Davis
TFW Staff Writer

The Fayetteville City Council confab this afternoon will be more than just the usual agenda session with aldermen possibly taking quick action to amend an ordinance.

The ordinance in question deals with the city’s ability to regulate and even shut down businesses deemed to be causing a nuisance — specifically dirt mining and rock quarry operations. Kit Williams, the city attorney, is recommending alderman remove the portion that deals with such activity in a one mile buffer zone beyond the city limits.

Williams said some state court rulings and a state attorney general’s opinion have bolstered the idea that Arkansas cities can extend their reach beyond their boundaries, but federal courts have not been convinced because such a case has never gone before the big dogs — the Arkansas Supreme Court. The feds have also suggested a court would have to declare a business a nuisance before any regulation could take effect.

Williams said the Rogers Group, which owns the Big Red Dirt Farm just outside of Fayetteville, is trying to have the whole ordinance enjoined — a kryptonite to the nullifying powers of ordinance both inside and out of the city limits. He said the recommendation to pull the statute’s grasp back inside the city should save on future litigation costs and keep the entire ordinance from being jeopardized.

The council will meet at 4:30 p.m. today (March 22, 2011) in the City Administration Building Room 219, 113 W. Mountain Street, in — duh — Fayetteville.

Categories: In The News
Tags: featured