City Council meeting goes to the dogs


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

Resolutions included:

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

8 thoughts on “City Council meeting goes to the dogs

  1. There is adequate parking, for her customers and adds no extra traffic to the neighbor hood. I know because I use her services. For those who complain, have nothing else to do, not happy unless they have something to complain about. Just the Lady make a living for herself at least she not on welfare

  2. There is not any heavy traffic due to the Grooming Salon. Her parking is on 3rd Street in an area that is not on the street. So there is ADEQUATE PARKING. She only grooms 4 dogs a day – MAX. I have been using her and have NEVER met anyone picking up or bringing their dogs to her parlor. It is not ridiculous. She has adequate parking. She does not advertise. There are no signs. You cannot tell there is anything behind her house because of the privacy fence surrounding her back yard. She is the best groomer in Natchitoches. Her salon is neat and tidy.

  3. This is so rediculous. Why can’t the council do something about rental property restrictions? Any of you have renters living by you that have four or five college students living in one house where there are cars parked all over the street and yard. Just what does that do for property value. Not to mention hearing loud cars and trucks all hours of the night. That is what my elderly parents have to put up with. I’m sure they would prefer having a dog grooming business or art gallery next to them.

    • Where I live. There are City ordinances banning cars parker in the yards. Garages, carport and the streets are where the cars should be. Not looking like a bunch of trashy hillbillies. Take pride in your property. The landlords should be fined for allowing this to take place.

    • Rental property, houses in need of repair, and many different sizes of houses are what impacts values of homes on Stephens Avenue and Henry Avenue. If you have a small business in your home for example, alterations, monogramming, tax preparation, and dog grooming should have NO negative impact on a residential neighborhood. These are services provided privately in your home and are not obvious to the public.

  4. To even remotely consider any kind of business at 460 Stephens Ave. (corner of East 5th) is utterly ridiculous not only because of heavy traffic but the lack of adequate parking.

    • Susan T, the house is not on the corner of E.5th. She has parking for the few customers that use her service and her house and yard are kept immaculate as is her grooming salon. I wish people would get the facts straight before commenting and trying to keep somebody from grooming a few little dogs. Gosh!

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