- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - A Jonesboro alderman says too many matters go through the City Council without sufficient reviews by the panel or the public.

Chris Moore told the Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/1AI2bqC ) he was frustrated at how the council last month rezoned 25 acres in northern Jonesboro to accommodate a housing project for the elderly and disabled.

Moore said opponents didn’t have enough opportunities to protest before the Feb. 19 vote, when the panel approved the project after suspending its rules.

The project site is along a narrow two-lane road with no sidewalks. Some residents say the site isn’t suitable for government-subsized housing.

“It was read once and held with the understanding that it would be read at three separate meetings due to the opposition,” Moore said. “I feel the citizens were short-changed and denied due process to oppose the rezoning.”

Developer Steve Perry of KWL Properties in Bastrop, Louisiana, said the matter couldn’t have waited because he faced a deadline for tax incentives. He said he had to have proper zoning for the project before applying through the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.

One opponent, Julia Lansford, said she had been told the matter wouldn’t be rushed.

Moore said the public has missed other opportunities to comment on issues. He said 28 percent of the items on council agendas were last-minute add-ons.

“I do not have time to study the item and make an informed decision,” Moore said.

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Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, http://www.jonesborosun.com

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