Controversial Rezoning Considered in Southern Jonesboro

JANUARY 5, 2004 -- Posted at 11:30pm

JONESBORO, AR -- Jonesboro City Council members are considering a rezoning request that property owners say could have a negative impact on the value of their land.

The 11.15 acres of property off of the 4100 block of Stadium Boulevard; south of Highway 63 between Fox Meadow Lane and Planters Drive. The land is currently zoned for commercial use, but Ronald Jefford wants it rezoned to multi-family residential. He wants to build an apartment complex similar to the one at 3719 Stadium Boulevard.

Terry Bare is the engineer who did site planning for the project. He told city council members, "It's contiguous to R-3 property. They own an apartment complex to the north. It's R-3 to the west. It's 1,000 feet off the public roadway. It's best use is residential Property."

City Planner Glenn Batten said, "MAPC (Metropolitan Area Planning Commission) voted to recommend to city council the property be rezoned as requested. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the recommendation."

A 60 foot long private drive going from Stadium Boulevard to the development and next to the north part of Clifford Toney's land has been proposed.

"Residential property adjacent to my property is going to have a destructive impact on my property value," explained Toney.

Toney moved to the property years ago for his own benefit and also because of his dog breeding business. Former neighbors on Matthews Avenue used to complain about his dogs barking.

Toney pointed out, "I'm here now. I'm here before they are. My dog kennels are there. Nobody should have any right what so ever to sue me or take any action against me; the city or private citizen neither."

Toney isn't against the development. He just wants to be treated in a way he sees as fair.

"I do not want to be adversarial," added Toney. "I don't want a fight. What I want is something that works. I offered to sell my property. I priced it what I felt was market value. They turned me down."

The third reading of the rezoning ordinance is scheduled for January 19th. Clifford Toney and his attorney will prepare another presentation in hopes they'll get a chance to explain their side again.