Panel denies request second time


The Pine Bluff Planning Commission on Tuesday denied for a second time the request of Willie Slack to establish a transitional living facility for addicted persons at 500 W. Eighth Ave.

Slack had a similar request denied a year ago. His most recent proposal contained some modifications, but commissioners noted that the location’s close proximity to a daycare facility and public school — factors in the earlier denial — are unchanged.

The panel unanimously rejected the latest request, saying that it needed to see evidence that the facility could sufficiently operate and noting the continuing problem of its location.

The commission unanimously recommended city council approval of two other use permitted on review requests that cleared the way for establishment of:

• A Greater Fellowship Ministries pre-kindergarten and after-school program at its 2401 S. Main St. campus. The property consumes 6.9 acres and contains 200 parking spaces. The main building has six classrooms, a kitchen and dining area and a multipurpose room. The program would have three employees.

• A Cuddles and Hugs 24-hour children’s care facility inside a residence at 1802 W. 31st Ave. The facility would have three employees and serve up to 10 children at a time. Approval was conditional on applicant Joann Hunter’s state licensing and demonstration of compliance with zoning stipulations.

Commissioners also unanimously approved a do-pass recommendation a proposed ordinance calling for creating an exception to current law on permitting additional buildings to be used as event centers during the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s annual homecoming week.

As zoning adjustment board members, the panel unanimously approved a variance request to eliminate a two-foot-above-base-flood-elevation requirement in order to erect a new restroom facility in Regional Park.