Council: no to rezoning 50 acres for multifamily use

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro City Council said no to rezoning a nearly 50 acre plot of land for multi-family use. Residents in the area are relieved to have the answer they say they've been praying for.

It's been a seven month long battle for residents who live off of Lexee and Keely Drive in Jonesboro.

"We have fought this so hard and we've had people out with petitions y'know, trying to keep this thing from happening," Angie Weston told Region 8 News. She and her husband live off of Keely Drive and have been to many of the Jonesboro City Council meetings to show their opposition to the rezoning request. However, they aren't the only ones.

Over that seven month period, 289 people living in the area petitioned Unico Bank's request to rezone that land into a multi-family residential area.

During that time span, the Jonesboro City Council heard remarks from both sides.

"Every rezoning request that comes before the council seems to be met with significant opposition...and this is no different," Don Parker with Unico Bank said.

Tuesday night, Unico Bank argued that neither traffic nor crime would increase in the area and that homes would keep their value.

"There is absolutely no evidence that multifamily development decreases property values," Parker said.

While area residents argued that this would negatively affect their 'backyard.'

However, with an 8 to 4 vote against the rezoning, the prayers of nearly 300 Jonesboro residents were answered.

"I just thank them very much for listening to the little guys and understanding out point of view and just...praise God for answering prayers," Weston said.

Though Unico Bank declined to speak on camera, they told Region 8 News that the council's vote was disappointing and they will simply go back to the drawing board from here.

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