Jonesboro City Council hears second reading on downtown redevelopment, postpones sidewalk reading

Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:41 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro City Council met Tuesday night, with the big topic of discussion on making Downtown Jonesboro a more vibrant-mixed use neighborhood.

Darryl Smith spoke with the council Tuesday and laid out a timeline for the events leading up to Tuesday’s second reading.

The district includes a commercial mixed-use district, a core mixed-use district, an industrial mixed-use district, and a neighborhood transitional district.

Smith said Mayor Perrin invited representatives from Arkansas State University, St. Bernards, downtown developers, and residents to discuss revitalizing downtown Jonesboro back in March 2019.

The committee also started working with CWL in May to discuss concerns providing power to the district.

“We want this to be a walkable area. We want to expand it, we want expanded sidewalks, we want street lights, we want street furnishings, we want this to be an area where people come out onto the street, we want people to feel safe in these areas. And we want this to be a livable, liveable area,” Smith said.

“So not only are you going to come shop, you’re going to walk down to the restaurants, you’re going to walk home. You’re going to be able to live, work, and play in this entire area.”

Smith also showed the council redevelopment code, and how people can expand existing structures.

Lastly, Smith discussed the benefits of the redevelopment district, including using the opportunity to bring new families to downtown, build new homes, and increase the district’s tax revenue.

The city council also held the third reading regarding sidewalk ordinances in Jonesboro.

The council voted to postpone for 60 days, stating they wanted to look into the possibility of exacting an “in lieu of” fee to public transit or other connectivity options.

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