The City Council began on a high note Monday night, Nov. 14, with the introduction of Miss Merry Christmas and the Belles and a special recognition of the NCHS Agronomy Team. However, it soon got worse as residents in the Stephens Avenue neighborhood battled it out over dogs. To be specific, the debate arose over the rezoning of 241 Stephens Ave. from R-1 to R-1 Special Exception for Karen Arthur to run a part-time dog grooming business.
While there were some neighbors who came to support Arthur, it seemed the majority were in opposition. The problem most neighbors had wasn’t the parking situation or any kind of disturbance, but the simple fact that no one wants to allow a business within a quiet residential neighborhood.
Mayor Lee Posey admitted that Arthur has groomed dogs for him over the years at multiple locations, but that there are planning and zoning laws in place for a reason.
“Some people believe that a business is a business and if you let one person do it, then where does it stop,” he said.
A neighbor in the area, Sydney Evans, said he feels Arthur’s dog grooming services would benefit the community and be the perfect case for a special exception.
However, others neighbors want to keep the area purely residential, stating that if one business comes in others will follow.
Case in point, John G. Donlon came before the council to appeal the Planning and Zoning Commission’s unanimous decision to deny his request to rezone his property at 460 Stephens Ave. from R-1 to R-2 Special Exception to operate a fine arts gallery.
Donlon said that calling it an art gallery may be overstating it. He plans to open it on an appointment only basis. He is appealing for a variance for his particular circumstances.
Other agenda items included:
Proclamation declaring Nov. 26, 2016 as Small Business Saturday in the City
Ordinance amending Chapter 13 Of The Code Of Ordinances Of The City Of Natchitoches by
Amending sections 13-16, 13-16.1, 13-43, 13-44, and 13-45, providing for a uniform Fire
Code and a Fire Prevention Bureau
Award bid for the Natchitoches Tennis Complex Expansion Project to Quality Court Industries LLC in Baton Rouge for $173,042. USTA helped with a grant, which will get Natchitoches on its circuit for tournaments, which require a minimum of six courts. Work should begin in January or February 2017.
Ordinance approving the acquisition of a 100 acre tract of ground located in Section 83, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, from Evans Family LLC, Sidney B. Evans Jr. and Sibley Lake Realty Corporation for $1 million and acceptance of a donation for the remaining market value of $500,000
Cooperative Endeavor Agreement With NSU for an Intern Program for students in the Industrial Engineering Technology Program for volunteer work in the Utility Department to earn work experience
Execute a grant agreement with the Rapides Foundation for the 2016 Healthy Behaviors Program Grant Award
Lease Purchase Agreement to Procure a “Fire Apparatus And Equipment”
Change the scope of work for the LCDBG FY 2016, Sewer Improvements.
Advertise for bids for the Water Distribution System Improvements, Cane River Crossing at Pine Street Bridge
Execute Change Order No. 2 to the contract between the City and Womack and Sons Construction Group, Inc. for the Rue Beauport Sewer Main Rehabilitation