Leader Blues

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

TOP STORY >>Council brings in acreage to city

Leader staff writer

Sherwood is officially 1,951 acres larger than it was as the city council approved annexing four tracts of undeveloped land north and west of the city.

Interim Mayor Bill Harmon said the area annexed is large enough to eventually be its own ward, meaning two more aldermen will be added to the city council.

“Of course right now it’s unpopulated, but it won’t be long before it’s full of new residents,” he said.

He said the next step would be for the city to pass a flight-safety zone ordinance for the area, which will control the density of development as some of the land is in the runway path of Little Rock Air Force Base. “We’ll pass the exact same ordinance that Jacksonville has for that area,” he said. City Engineer Michael Clayton said a public hearing concerning the flight-safety zone requirements would be part of the planning commission’s next meeting at 7 p.m. July 10 at city hall.

The four owners of the acreage — Greg Heslep, Byron McKimmey, Metropolitan Realty and Lilac LLC — asked last year that their land be a part of Sherwood, but Jacksonville objected.

The issue went before Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines who ruled in favor of Sherwood in August 2006. Jacksonville appealed and the case went before Circuit Court Judge Collins Kilgore. In late May, Kilgore also ruled in favor of Sherwood.

In circuit court, the land-owners testified that they felt Sherwood was the better deal for them and that their land would be more valuable as part of Sherwood as opposed to being part of Jacksonville.

Villines said in his 2006 order that the only reason Sherwood could refuse the annexation was if it were “unable to provide services to the annexed area.”

“Don’t worry,” Harmon said, “we’ll provide service.”

Harmon recently said Sherwood has about $2 million saved up to help provide water and other utilities to the area.
“The developers wanted to be in our city and we wanted them to be in the city and now they will,” said Harmon.