Tuesday To-Do: Help Protect Lake Maumelle!

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Arkansas Greenies, your action is needed. We are approaching the last opportunity to sway the most influential piece of Lake Maumelle legislation for years to come. Success depends almost exclusively on the voices of central Arkansans.

On Tuesday, April 28, 2009, the Pulaski County Quorum Court will decide on new regulations intended to protect Lake Maumelle during its regular monthly subcommittee meeting. Please show your support by attending the Quorum Court meeting at 6 p.m., at 201 S. Broadway, Suite 410, Little Rock, AR 72201.

A powerful interest group opposes our efforts to protect Lake Maumelle. There is only one thing more powerful than this special interest group – the voices of the citizens. Let us pack the house! Without your attendance at the Quorum Court meeting, special interest wins.

Facts:

  • Lake Maumelle is the primary drinking water source for 400,000 people in Central Arkansas and is considered pristine. The number one threat to its water quality is the switch from forestland to residential development.
  • Pulaski County Government has jurisdiction to regulate land development in the Lake Maumelle area.
  • The legislative branch of Pulaski County government is the Quorum Court, which is composed of elected representatives. Its elected office title is Justice of the Peace (JP). There are 15 JP districts in Pulaski County.
  • Tuesday April 28, 2009, the Quorum Court will decide on new regulations intended to protect Lake Maumelle during its regular monthly subcommittee meetings. This begins at 6 p.m., at 201 S. Broadway, Suite 410, Little Rock, AR 72201. Phone: (501) 340-8310
  • These new regulations are like a tripod with only two legs. They contain sound protection in some areas of concern but fail in one major area: leaving the lake open to unacceptable risk.

Benefits of this amendment to require minimum lot size of 5 acres:

  • Applies to new development only.
  • Drastically reduces the risk of degrading Lake Maumelle’s water quality.
  • Protects and enhances property values in the area. The lake is what makes development in the area attractive to begin with, so by protecting the lake, land values are also protected.
  • Brings the proposed subdivision rules and regulations closer in line with the Comprehensive Lake Maumelle Watershed Management Plan, which is based on years of data, scientific analysis, and stakeholder agreement. See http://www.carkw.com/watershed/documents/Lake_Maumelle_Watershed_Mgmt_Plan_May_07.pdf.
  • Conserves open space that protects the lake since the undisturbed land guards against run off.

Below are some incorrect arguments made by opponents to the amendment, followed by corrected responses:

  • It is unlawful. Response: According to the Arkansas Attorney General, opinion 2009-018, it is allowed under Arkansas State law.
  • This will result in lawsuits against Pulaski County. Response: Central Arkansas Water has contractually agreed to share responsibility in the event of such lawsuits in order to protect our source of drinking water.
  • There is no need to amend the proposed rules and regulations because they will protect the water quality as they are. Response: Water quality will not be adequately protected. A leading national water resource consultant said that the proposed rules and regulations “would expose Lake Maumelle to substantially higher risk than recommended by the [Comprehensive Lake Maumelle Watershed Management] Plan” and encouraged “the County to include the Plan provisions for conserving undisturbed open space and capping force line system design flows.”

FACT: The requirement of minimum lot size of 5 acres will assure conservation of undisturbed open space”.

For more information, visit www.ProtectArkansasWater.org or contact Kate Althoff at Kate.Althoff@gmail.com.

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2 responses to “Tuesday To-Do: Help Protect Lake Maumelle!

  1. I plan to go to this tonight. Anyone else going?

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