Gentry panel OKs RV parks ordinance

GENTRY -- The city council in Gentry, at its regular meeting held Sept. 13, heard updates on city projects, adopted an ordinance allowing and regulating campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks within the city and rezoned two properties.

Passed on three readings with a single vote was an ordinance that establishes rules and regulations for temporary campgrounds and RV sites within the city. The ordinance does not permit permanent residence in the parks or campgrounds, with the exception of the park manager.

The ordinance specifies the zones in which an RV park or campground may be located -- A-1, R-4, C-1, C-2, I or SP where the principal characteristic or activity of the location is agricultural or open space, commercial use, industrial use, or manufactured home placement.

The park size is a minimum of two acres, with a minimum lot frontage of 100 feet. The campsite density is limited to 30 units per acre.

Rules also require a buffer along any property lines in which residential use is in place or on land zoned for residential use.

The ordinance takes effect 30 days from the date of its passage.

After much discussion and some concerns expressed by local residents, the council approved a rezoning request for approximately 10 acres of

property owned by the heirs of Marie Switzer in the Hornbeck Heights addition to Gentry (east of Robin Road and south of E. Main Street) from R-2 (medium density residential) to R-N (Residential Neighborhood).

The rezone will allow a developer to build approximately 42 single-family homes on lots narrower than allowed in R-1 Residential zones (50-feet-width lots rather than 70-feet-width lots).

Several residents of the area said the development doesn't fit with the more common 1-acre lots in the area, however, with the land already zoned R-2, a developer could under current zoning build 35 duplexes on the same property or about 39 single-family homes.

Since the RN zoning limits the property's use to single-family homes and only a few more than R-1 zoning would allow, the council approved the ordinance on three readings with a single vote.

Another rezoning request, this one from Clay and Valerie Stewart, changes the zoning of a portion of their property (used as a residence) along Allen Ave. from C-2 (General Commercial) to R-2 (Medium Density Residential). The council approved the rezoning request since the current zoning makes part of the Stewart property commercial and part residential.

A resolution was passed by the council authorizing the purchase of a public works truck which was slated for purchase next year because of the lengthy delay in receiving ordered vehicles and because of the availability of a truck with the needed specifications from a dealer in Harrison, Mo. The purchase results in no additional expenditure but only moving the expenditure from the 2022 budget into the 2021 budget, according to Mayor Kevin Johnston.

Johnston said this truck would replace a 1996 truck, which the city intends to repair and keep in the rotation. He said the new truck could also be able to be used as a city snowplow.

The council also approved on three readings the final plat of Phase 3 of the Pioneer Woods Subdivision.

Mayor Johnston announced there would be a citywide fall cleanup on Oct. 23-24, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. He said household hazardous waste would be accepted from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday only. He also said 200 trees would be given away, as a result of a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

He said a limb and leaf pickup would be scheduled in late November after the leaves have fallen.

He said the city is looking at obtaining American Rescue Plan Act funds to proceed with the city's wastewater master plan.

Johnston also reported that the streets committee had met to discuss speed limits within the city and is looking at speed limits in other cities and categorizing streets according to their usage in the city street system. He said the committee would be meeting again to continue its work. He did report that the city ordered a couple of radar signs which could be moved around the city to show people the speed limit at the sign's location and their current speeds.

Johnston reported rules being posted at the new city splash pad, and updates were given on the progress of construction projects at the new sports complex and at the water storage facility. He updated the council on demolition projects at two condemned properties -- 119 N. Nelson and 117 N. Smith.

Janie Parks, executive director of the Gentry Chamber of Commerce, reported on the success of the glow ride on the previous Saturday and reminded the council of Pickin' Time on 59 this weekend; Cruise Night on Saturday; Trick or Treat on Main Street at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30; the Christmas Parade on Dec. 11; and a visit from Congressman Womack's staff in the Chamber office from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 4.