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Council Adopts Revised Vegetation Ordinance, Approves Zoning Changes

By Sue Curry Jones
On Tuesday Ava Aldermen gave approval to revising three zoning designations as requested by the planning and zoning commission. During the meeting, council also re-adopted the declaration policy conflict of interest statement, a standard formality.
In addition, council amended city rules and guidelines on residential vegetation, and mowing standards.
The rezoning of codes comprised two separate sites in the industrial park, the Ava Area Ambulance facility, and the land for the proposed jail complex which sits north of White River Valley Electric Coop. Both locations were changed from agriculture to general business (B-3). In other action, the property located at 1400 Jefferson Street, a business site designated as owned by Paul Wade and Elizabeth Wade, was rezoned from central business (B-2) to general business (B-3).
Revisions to two city ordinances were also proposed, but only one was voted on for approval. Council amended Ordinance 1021 which establishes property vegetation rules and guidelines for town residents. Changes addressed the definition of weeds, and mowing maintenance of lots, citing vegetation shall not exceed the following height limits: residential, 7 inches; commercial, 7 inches; industrial areas, 12 inches; unimproved land, 12 inches; and agriculture land (hay), 24 inches. The ordinance also revised the city’s process for enforcing standards.
Changes were also proposed for Ordinance 1022, a code that sets standards for the installation of telecommunication antenna towers and mounts. These revisions are to be reviewed and discussed at a later date.
During closed, council discussed a personnel issue, and a disciplinary action to follow. However, a 72-hour hold was implemented as time was needed to make contact and officially address the issue.
Mayor David Norman said a resident had recently requested information about the city’s solar panel policy and net metering rate. Administrative Director Peggy Porter advised that this process is regulated by Missouri State Statutes, and these regulations cover all areas, including residential homeowners and commercial businesses. Porter noted the rate of return, or credit amount a homeowner receives, is a small percentage which is credited to the customer’s bill. The payback is based upon per kilowatt usage, and the rate varies from month to month, depending on total usage.
Norman noted the airport project is finished, except for the striping. The asphalt pile, which is the ‘old’ runway, will be moved to the Pace Construction site in Willow Springs.
South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG) held a transportation meeting last week, and Norman said the City of Ava’s request for a traffic light at the intersection of Y Highway and south Highway 5 was at the top of the list. No dates or additional information was forthcoming.
Norman said the city continues to look for answers to solve a local resident’s basement water problem. At present, however, the source of the water has not been determined. Norman also noted the cell phone company is still interested in placing communications equipment on or near the ‘old’ water tower, and information is still being gathered.
The new playground equipment is ready for installation, Norman said. But, the city continues to wait for the vendor to schedule a set-up time.
Norman reported four vacant houses are slated for demolition, and the final paperwork is nearing completion. It was noted one owner expressed satisfaction with the arrangement, as his property which includes a home, is in total disrepair.
Councilmen present were Noel Dye, Stan Lovan, Burrely Loftin, and Keith Jones.
Meeting video may be viewed on the Douglas County Herald website.
The next business meeting for councilmen will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 5:00 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.

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