LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- There are two arguments being waged over the Lake Maumelle Watershed Plan, a plan that's been in the works for years and still facing controversy.
A number of proposed regulations aim to keep the lake water clean and safe. And while property owners want that, they say it's infringing on their land rights.
David Page, a resident, says "We too are for clean water, but these regulations that they are wanting to impose is just far reaching. It's a lot more about control of land and land rights for private property owners and we just want them to understand, we're for clean water but were not for giving up property rights."
An estimated 200 residents gathered at the Winfield United Methodist Church on Cantrell Road to voice their concerns over these proposed property regulations.
Pulaski County says it's an effort to ensure nothing will affect the watershed, an area which flows into Lake Maumelle, and home to a number of private landowners.
Lorie White is another resident who lives along the Lake Maumelle Watershed, the area where runoff flows directly into the lake.
"They already have regulations in place that cover the actual water quality issues: the subdivision ordinance Section A. The rest of the stuff that is in the zoning draft, basically takes our rights as property owners," White said.
She was also the first to ask her questions and speak to the Pulaski County Planning and Development Board.
"There is a big difference between 300 feet and a quarter-mile. They have plenty of land surrounding Lake Maumelle. They don't need any more," White said.
Van McClendon, the Pulaski County Planning and Development Director, stated the proposed regulations may not be necessary today, but in the long term will be.
"Most average, rank and file, everyday guys living out there on property will be able to go ahead and do what they've always done. There may be some minor changes and modifications but in the scheme of things, they'll just go on and live their life like they have been," McClendon said.
"This doesn't have to do with water quality. This is strictly the taking of our property rights," White added.
The Planning Board is scheduled to review the proposal, along with residents' feedback, at their October meeting. One more public hearing will take place sometime before the board makes a recommendation.
The goal is to have a final determination by the Quorum Court by the end of the year.
To learn more about the Lake Maumelle watershed controversy, KTHV interviewed parties on both sides of the issue on August 26th.