Jonesboro City Council discusses biking trails, rezoning request

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It was a busy agenda Tuesday night as the Jonesboro City Council discussed its master street plan, while a committee dealt with a rezoning proposal.

The council discussed the street plan, which could include biking and pedestrian trails in Jonesboro. Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler said city officials are working with an engineering firm to complete the plan.

Officials want to connect the downtown area to the rest of Jonesboro from five different areas, with the plan expected to cost $137,000. Huffstetler said there is still a lot of work to be done.

"We'll have documents showing where the trails will go. It will show what easements and right of ways we will have to purchase we have this stuff to be able to strip funds. It costs a lot of money to be able to build a trail," Huffstetler said.

Once done, the proposal will be presented to the city council.

The council also voted to deny a request to rezone an area of Wood Street for commercial use.

In May of this year, the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission voted to deny the request. The First Baptist Church had appealed the decision on the property, which is now zoned for residential use.

An opponent, Sherrell Rogers, said the proposal would increase traffic as well as lower property value in the area.

"We have no animosity toward First Baptist Church, but we did not believe that was the best thing for this property," Rogers said.

The Jonesboro Public Works Committee also approved an agreement with the Arkansas Department of Transportation and BNSF railway to build an overpass on Watt Street, near where the proposed Highway 18 overpass will be built.

Officials said the Watt Street overpass must be built before traffic can be diverted while the Highway 18 overpass is being built.

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