Couple concerned over watershed ordinance after being denied event center permit

Concerns over Lake Maumelle Watershed Zoning Code

After getting married in their own backyard, Wesley and K.C. Snodgrass were inspired to create that same intimate experience for others.

The couple ended up purchasing 90 acres along Highway 113 near Wye Mountain. They went to work and remodeled a log cabin to help others celebrate their everlasting bond.

But it's when the two decided to build a larger building on the property that they found about the Lake Maumelle Watershed Zoning Code, which was enacted by Pulaski County in 2014. The code was put in place to help protect the drinking water.

That code meant that they would need a conditional use permit. So, the Snodgrass' got to work and went before the planning board for approval.

"In March, [the board] all approved it and then 30 days later in April, when we re-presented, they all declined it except for one lady," said K.C.

Neighbors were opposed to the project because they believed it would add unwanted traffic, noise, and light pollution to the area.

The couple said they modified everything to appease the neighbors, but in the end they feel their concerns had nothing to do with the watershed zoning code.

"We don't want to cut a tree down," K.C. said.

Other property owners in the area say they're all for adhering to the code, but only when it applies.

"When you infringe on our rights and it doesn't have anything to do with water quality, I think that's unjust," Jamie Fagan said.

Fagan, along with several other homeowners in the area, spent years fighting a successful battle to remove items from the ordinance that didn't pertain to the quality of the water. She and the Snodgrass' fear other property owners could be faced with similar issues in the future.

"This is our land, this is my children's land, my grandchildren's land," Fagan said. "I want them to be able to do with it what they want to do with it when I'm gone."

The Snodgrass' said they never would have bought the property if they knew about the watershed and "that people had control over our property."

The married couple recently retracted a lawsuit against the planning board regarding the constitutionality of the watershed zoning code.

In a statement, Pulaski County Planning and Development is in full support of the ordinance, saying it reflects years of vetting in numerous public hearing and expert scientific and legal assessments during the adoption process.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment