An ordinance that would eliminate the use of metal as an approved material within residential districts passed its second reading Tuesday by the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors, but not before a lengthy discussion by members of the board.

An ordinance that would eliminate the use of metal as an approved material within residential districts passed its second reading Tuesday by the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors, but not before a lengthy discussion by members of the board.
The ordinance came before directors for its first reading during the July 17 meeting.
According to Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley, the request to eliminate the future use of metal as building sidings in the residential districts comes on heels of a public hearing on the ordinance.
“Staff was working on a drainage concern when we noticed that some homes being built were using metal as the siding material for the siding of two homes being built in the area,” said Brinkley.
According to Brinkley, while the city’s codes do not exclude the use of this material, concerns have surfaced regarding how the use of material will impact property values within the city.
It was recommended during the July 17 meeting to approve the ordinance and the associated emergency clause to stop any future use of metal siding as covering in residential districts.
Brinkley said it would not impact commercial use, but residential use only.
While he does not like the buildings on a personal note, Director-at-Large Roland Gosey said he believes it is important for the board to be open and fair.
“I think we need to be willing to give people who are willing to invest in our community the opportunity to do so,” said Gosey.
Gosey said he is unclear on how it should be restricted or if it should be restricted.
“From my position, I feel like everybody should have an opportunity to be a part of the American Dream. I think we need to be careful how we regulate that,” Gosey said.
Brinkley said the intention of city staff is to report back a proposal for proper guidelines for metal siding in residential districts to the city board for approval.
Ward 5 Director Jason Jones concurred with Gosey’s comments.
“I think it is an improvement for the areas where these were built. My concern is, if a similar or identical house like those was built in a different area. It does become my concern because then, it is affecting other people’s property values. Yes, you are building it, but that house, does then potentially affect me and my property value or my friend across town and his property value,” Jones said.
Ward 4 Director Joann Nelson said it is important to allow people to improve according to what they see as an improvement.
“You may not want to live there. That is your choice, but you have some people who don’t mind living there. We have to understand it is not always about us, but it is about the people. It may be the best they have,” said Nelson.
Nelson said she has a problem telling people what they cannot build.
Arkadelphia Assistant Mayor Scott Byrd said he understood the intent of the ordinance was to halt the building of similar structures until more details regarding appropriate building materials could be ironed out.
Byrd then asked about the possibility of hosting a forum to address the issue. Brinkley said the city attorney advised against a forum and recommended proceeding with a new ordinance.
“Everybody doesn’t own a brick house and a lot of people won’t be able to own a brick home. There are some people who are trying to make it. I don’t have a problem with it,” said Ward 2 Director Delton Simpson.
Brinkley reiterated the discussion was not pertaining to not using metal siding on a house, but how to use it in a residential neighborhood.
Byrd said the intent of city staff is not to totally ban metal siding. However, in order to get to where the city is trying to get to, a decision was made to ban it because a forum was not being held on the advise of the city attorney.
“In order to accomplish where we want to get to, we placed the ban on the metal siding. Then once that is done, then come back and redefine exactly how we wanted to accomplish the use of metal siding,” Byrd explained.
Byrd believes that what is acceptable in one neighborhood, should be acceptable in all neighborhoods.
“I would like for all of us to be playing by the same rules,” said Byrd. “It is only fair.”
Brinkley hopes to be able to offer an alternative to the board for consideration soon.
Other items addressed:
• Directors approved a bid from C. Cougill Roofing Company in the amount of $29,420 for roof repairs at the Train Depot.
• The board approved an ordinance to rezone property at 1029 North 10th Street and 1021 Highway 67 North from R-2 Multi-Family Residential Use District to C-2 Highway Commercial District.
• Directors approved the acceptance of $4,500 for the conveyance of property at 1306 Clay Street from the city of Arkadelphia to Anthony Roberts.