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The Bella Vista City Council approved the creation of a tree advisory board and indefinitely tabled an amendment to city code to permit playground equipment in front yards during its seven-minute regular meeting Monday, June 25.

The proposed amendment was intended to permit playground equipment in front yards when there is nowhere else to place it, though it has been a highly debated topic at previous meetings. Monday was to be the ordinance's third and final reading.

While the ordinance was amended previously to limit the size of permitted equipment, council member Linda Lloyd motioned to table the ordinance indefinitely to make time for the council to come up with better verbiage to more clearly communicate the intent of the proposed rules.

"I think that we need to really come up with some better language," she said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of tabling the ordinance.

Next up, the council voted in favor of creating a tree advisory board, though council member Jim Wozniak voted against it. Mayor Peter Christie elected to cast the fourth necessary vote.

Christie has previously stated that this tree advisory board is a necessary step for Bella Vista to be recognized under the Tree City USA program, a program put in place by the Arbor Day Foundation that provides support to tree-friendly communities.

While Bella Vista does have several trees, officials have stated that this program helps to support education about the trees in the area.

Wozniak said he does not believe the Bella Vista needs this recognition because it is already very rich in trees.

"Look across the street," he said, gesturing toward a thick tree line across from the court facility.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution to accept former council member Brian Bahr's resignation and another to appoint council member John Flynn to Bahr's seat on the city's advertising and promotion commission, Discover Bella Vista.

In addition to accepting the resignation, the resolution declares a vacancy in Ward 3, position 2, which city staff attorney Jason Kelley said must be filled by law.

Candidates are required to be at least 18 years old, a legal U.S. citizen and an Arkansas resident living within the ward. They must be registered to vote and must have never been convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or any other infamous crime.

The city has requested that applicants send a letter of interest and a resume to Mayor Peter Christie at pchristie@bellavistaar.gov, or mail or hand deliver the documents to City Hall, 101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista AR 72714.

The deadline for applications is July 5.

Christie previously stated it's worth noting that whoever is selected may also run for the council seat in this year's election.

General News on 06/27/2018

Print Headline: City council approves tree board, tables playground equipment

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