A zoning change in regard to the property at 705 Leon Drive dominated discussion at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen held on Tuesday, April 13th. Also the date of May 11th, 2021 was set for five separate Public Hearings regarding the General Budget, Water and Sewer Revenues and Expenditures, Sewer Rates and the Louisiana Rural Water Association.
Additional actions taken was the termination of Michael Figueroa as a part time dispatcher to the Jonesboro Police Department and the hiring of Mathew Nash to the position. The council also agreed to override Mayor Leslie Thompson’s veto to hire Sketea Walker as a part time Deputy and give Patricia Cowans signature authority. Fire Chief Brandon Brown gave an update on Operation Clean-up regarding a list of roughly 40 abandoned houses and buildings that are scheduled to burned.
In regard to the request by James Bradford to have the property on 705 Leon Drive changed back from commercial to residential zoning, attorney Teresa Culpepper-Carroll addressed the council of Devin Flowers, Robbie Siadek, Pete Stringer, James Ginn and Nia Evans-Johnsonon Bradford’s behalf.
“After reviewing all public records requested prior to the meeting pertaining to 705 Leon Drive, I don’t see any proof that the action taken by the town to enter into a settlement and change the zoning back to commercial from the actions taken in 2016 has been properly changed,” said Carroll.
Attorney Carroll the asked the board members to rescind the action taken in 2019 that changed the property to commercial zoning and go back to the original residential zoning that took place in 2016 because the rezoning was not done properly in 2019. After a request by the council to the Jonesboro City Clerk to provide documentation to the 2016 actions was met with the inability to provide such documents, Councilman Robbie Siadek made a motion to rescind the action of changing the zoning of the property to commercial from residential.
Mayor Thompson then stated that the motion was out of order. When asked his opinion, City Attorney Douglas Stokes stated he requested the recommendation from the zoning board for the zoning change and one was not provided. Therefore in his opinion the change was not done properly which led Mayor Thompson to declare that this had now become a legal matter.
Saidek then reiterated the motion he had set forth to reverse back from commercial to residential zoning for 705 Leon Drive and to rescind all licenses and refund the people their money spent for licensing. Again Attorney Stoke was asked his opinio
“You are reversing the settlement the council entered into, so you are going to get sued again,” said Stokes.
The motion was then voted on with Johnson, Ginn, Stringer and Siadek voting yes and Flowers voting no resulting in 705 Leon Drive now being a residential property once again. For entire minutes of meeting click here: