Request for cultural center draws denial

A request to establish a cultural center in a residence at 120 Talbot St. was unanimously denied in a Tuesday afternoon joint meeting of the Pine Bluff Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment in the civic center’s council chambers.

Cleon and Martha Flowers sought to operate the center in the home once owned and occupied by Martha Flowers’ parents. They proposed that the facility could continue as a residence while serving as a “community meeting space” and archiving center of historical documents related to local social organizations. The original request, which Martha Flowers attempted to amend but was told by the panel that she couldn’t, included a plan for 11 off-street parking spaces.

Four people spoke against the proposal. The panel followed a city staff recommendation in rejecting the notion.

In other decisions, the panel unanimously approved:

• A variance request to erect a brick sign closer to the property line than allowed by ordinance at 3201 W. Pullen St., which houses Covenant Recovery Inc.;

• A variance request for construction of a new Family Dollar Store at 417 University Drive, with the adjacent, existing store being demolished;

• A variance request to build a small storage addition five inches above flood zone status at the E-Z Mart store at 5600 S. Olive St.;

• Rezoning of approximately 17.6 acres at the southeast corner of Interstate 530 and Old Warren Road from R-1 residential to B-3 commercial;

• Construction of a new school building to replace Edgewood Elementary at 4199 W. 32nd Ave., use permitted on review within an R-1 residential zone;

• Rezoning a property site at the southeast corner of Sycamore and Pullen Streets from B-3 commercial to R-4 residential;

• Amend a use permitted on review to allow transitional housing and the treatment of military personnel through the Veterans Administration for substance abuse issues, while denying allowing of housing homeless persons or use as an emergency shelter as incompatible with the primary business of substance abuse counseling conducted by the Sobriety Living Center at 2001 W. Fifth Ave.;

• Establishment of Pine Grove Baptist Church at 6707 Sulphur Springs Road; and

• Rezoning roughly four-tenths of an acre at the southwest corner of West 42nd Avenue and Cherry Street from R-1 residential to B-1 commercial as off-street parking at an apartment complex.