The Paragould City Council has adopted an ordinance regulating the use of portable storage containers.

As enacted, the ordinance amends the Zoning Ordinance to permit placement of up to two such storage containers on a lot for up to 30 days before a no-fee permit from the City Inspector’s office is required.

Portable storage containers are not allowed on vacant lots unless there is a building permit for the lot. They are not allowed at all on lots zoned commercial without such a no-fee permit. Placement of such containers is not supposed to restrict sight distance near intersections, or block sidewalks.

In addition, such containers are not allowed to take up more than 10 percent of the area of the commercial lot on which they have been placed.

In cases where building permits are in force for the lot with the containers, the containers are to be removed when the building permit expires or within 30 days of issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

The adoption of the ordinance concludes two months of deliberation on the matter, which came about as the result of questions to the City Inspector’s office regarding the “pod”-type containers. At the time, the city had no means to regulate placement or use of the containers.

The council also rezoned a 1.73-acre tract of land in the 2800 block of Cozy Lane behind the Dollar Tree store on Highway 49 from Commercial C-3 to Residential R-2. The property, owned by Jason and Eva Camp, adjoins another 11.48 acres to the east, also owned by the Camps, that is also zoned R-2.

The council last week tabled a request from Bobby and Stacy Ryall to issue a building permit by resolution so the Ryalls can construct a commercial building at 201 S. Rockingchair Road to store carpet-cleaning equipment. Jean Goins, a resident on Maxwell Drive abutting the property in question had expressed concern that traffic for the building could adversely impact her own property due to a perceived need for vehicles to use Maxwell to turn around. Goins also complained that she had not been notified of the April 1 Planning and Zoning meeting during which the building permit was discussed. “I feel they are taking away my rights as a homeowner,” she said.

Ward 1 position 1 council member Mark Rowland noted that since the building permit request was not a rezoning request, there was no duty to notify owners of adjoining property. “I’m concerned for Mrs. Goins,” said Ward 4 position 2 council member Brad Baine. “Is there any way to give time to think about it?”

“Would it create a hardship to wait two more weeks to do this?” Rowland asked attorney Roger Colbert, representing the Ryalls at the meeting. “Probably not,” Colbert replied. “We still need survey work done.”

The council tabled the resolution until the April 26 meeting.

It also adopted resolutions to condemn properties at:

805 E. Lake St., owned by Leeman Formon

1201 E. Lake St., owned by Angela Scallion

419 North End Ave. owned by Maria Frias

As usual, the property owners have 30 days to demolish the structures on the condemned properties or otherwise abate the nuisance, absent which the city will do so, attaching liens to the properties to cover its cost of demolition. Through an interpreter, Frias told the council she had hoped to demolish the current structure in favor of new construction, but could not yet afford to do so. However, when advised the city would do it for her at the end of 30 days (and would then require lien satisfaction when she could manage it), Frias expressed satisfaction.

A tax lien ensures that the city of Paragould gets first claim over other creditors vying for the property with the lien. It also prevents a delinquent taxpayer from selling or refinancing the assets to which liens have been attached. To satisfy the lien, a delinquent taxpayer must pay what is owed, get the debt dismissed in bankruptcy court, or reach an offer in compromise with the city.

Along those same lines, the council adopted a resolution to attach a lien of $2,725 to cover the cost of cleanup of property at 700 E. Lake St., owned by Dawn Cox.

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