The Neighborhood has spoken: Council denies rezoning property on Stephens



The City Council denied the application of Karen Arthur to rezone her property at 241 Stephens Avenue from R-1 to R-1 Special Exemption to provide a part-time grooming service. When the ordinance was first introduced at a Nov. 14 meeting, it caused a lot of passionate debate among neighborhood residents, who were both for and against the rezoning.

Mayor Lee Posey and the council members each explained why they voted in favor of the denial. The bottom line was that the rezoning would allow a business to operate in a primarily residential area. The question the council asked was if they approve one business, how could they tell the next one no?

“If a similar situation arises and we allow one and deny another, then we could possibly have the decision forced on us and that could open the floodgates,” said Councilman Eddie Harrington. “This is something we have to take into consideration.”

Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow said she’d heard so many people say they don’t want a business in their neighborhood.

“I try and align my vote with what the people want,” she said.

While Councilman Dale Nielsen said he was impressed by Arthur’s business, he said the neighborhood had spoken. He estimated that he probably received more calls concerning the dog grooming business than he had over the approval of the brewery on Mill Street.

Councilman Don Mims said the Council’s vote impacts the whole City.

“If we pass this rezoning, then every neighborhood in the City is opened to home businesses,” he said. “People move to an area because they’re residential, family oriented areas.”

Other business included:

Presentation of Christmas Angels including Addison Boudreaux, Pre-K; Brinley Smith, K; Brinlee Berry, 1St; Sadie Summerlin, 2nd; Ella Jones, 3rd; Ainsley Armstrong, 4th; Abbie Rodriguez, 5th; Avery Summerlin, 6th; Anna Catherine Coleman, 7th; and Morgan Fatheree, 8th

Denial of rezoning of property at 460 Stephens Ave. from R-1 to R-1 Special Exception to operate an art gallery

Ordinance amending Chapter 13 of the City Code of Ordinances (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 to Quality Court Industries of Baton Rouge for $173,042

Ordinance approving the acquisition of 100 acres 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

Enter into a contract with Cunningham Agency, Inc. for the Airport Liability Insurance for the City

Execute Change Order No. 1 to the contract between the City and Sunstream, Inc., for Hancock and Watson Underground Electrical Service for an additional $11,655, bringing the total to $161,655

Execute a Certificate Of Substantial Completion to the contract between the City and Womack and Sons Construction Group, Inc., for the Rue Beauport Sewer Main Rehabilitation

Ordinances introduced at the meeting included:

Acquisition of 11.67 acres in sections 70 And 71, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, From Charles Patrick Johnson and Kim Kelly Townsend Johnson, for $87,500

Execution of an “Agreement to furnish Utility Consulting Services to the City” whereby the City will contract for utility consulting from James R. Whitten

Purchase of 0.35 Acres in section 74, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, from HKO Properties, LLC, et al, for $15,000

Award bid for the Hwy. 1 South and Hwy. 1 Bypass Substations Project to Dis-Tran Packaged Substations of Pineville for $362,005

Award bid for the Rue Beauport Riverfront Project to Pat Williams Construction of Leesville for $3.8 million

One thought on “The Neighborhood has spoken: Council denies rezoning property on Stephens

  1. It is hard for me to believe that you would deny Karen Arthur from keeping her Grooming Business when her “business” is actually on 3rd Street and not on Stephens. Now all of us that are clients of hers will have to go to Alexandria or Shreveport to have our babies groomed. She will probably move out of state now. It is a shame to lose a fantastic, talented groomer and to all that opposed her saying that she was a “great” neighbor, just don’t want her to have a business there. You got your wish. She will probably be grooming somewhere else. We will not be shopping Natchitoches for a groomer!! I am so disappointed with this decision and I am sure she is heartbroken. Also, there are all kinds of people all over this city are selling things from their homes. NOT FAIR!

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