The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors heard from citizen Andy Berry during its open forum Tuesday evening.

The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors heard from citizen Andy Berry during its open forum Tuesday evening.
Berry presented his concerns to the board regarding a proposed ordinance to remove rooming and boarding houses from the city’s R-2 Zoning District.
During the June 6 Board of Directors meeting, Anita Wiley, building department supervisor, addressed the board about an ordinance concerning the use of a boarding house in the R-2 zone, specifically the 225 N. 13th street property.
Wiley explained that property owners from the area have expressed their concerns with preserving the integrity of their neighborhood.
In complying with this request, Wiley said the city would remove rooming and boarding houses from the R-2 permitted uses.
According to Wiley, the planning commission has studied the issue and agree with the property owners.
Berry, who owns property in the city and rent houses in the area in question, said there appears to be a definitional problem identifying the meaning of a family and a boarding house in the ordinance.
According to the City of Arkadelphia’ Code of Ordinances, family is defined as “one or more persons related by blood or marriage or adoption or a group of not to exceed five persons not all related by blood or marriage, occupying a boarding or lodging house, hotel, club, or a similar dwelling for group use.”
Berry asked Chaney how that definition would apply to the ordinance regarding the removal of rooming and boarding houses.
Based on his understanding, Chaney did not believe there was a problem.
“When I look at this, I’m wondering if a student renting out a house is going to be considered part of the boarding house with the definitions that are involved with this,” said Berry.
Berry asked the board for clarification and for directors to consider the language in the ordinance.
“R-2 is right by the university. These are homes that have been purchased for rental property,” Berry said.
According to Berry, the address specifically mentioned at the June 6 meeting is a one-bedroom home and not a boarding house.
Berry again asked for clarification on the meaning of a boarding house.
“The dangers we are looking at here is definitional issues being so broad that its going to keep somebody from renting houses and rental property out to students. Because you’re not necessarily family, according to the definition,” Berry said.
According to Ward 1 Director Taylor Chaney, the board was presented with a situation of someone renting out space for brief periods of time.
Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley described a boarding house as a place of lodging where meals are prepared to guests.
When asked why the ordinance was being applied to R-2 only, Brinkley stated it is because R-1 is already excluded and R-3 is a commercial area.
Berry reiterated that he was seeking clarification on the ordinance and its definitions.
“We need to make sure that there is not some technicality or somebody comes in and says we have a rent house over there, there is not a married couple in there, and if you don’t have a married couple in there we’re going to call this a boarding house,” said Berry.
“I think we should be careful wording something like that,” Berry added.
Berry believes the ordinance is aimed at one structure and one residence.
"It's scary whenever that happens," said Berry.
He also reiterated that the property mentioned is not a boarding house.
The ordinance is scheduled for its third and final reading at the board’s July 6 meeting.