Planning OKs sign variance for A Cup of Love Ministry

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Cup of Love Ministry will have more visibility in the near future.

On Tuesday, April 11, the Eureka Springs Planning and Board of Zoning Adjustment Commission approved a variance allowing the ministry to erect a sign on Highway 62. Chairwoman Melissa Greene explained that Chuck and Patti Jarrett, who run the ministry, were asking to place a 143-square-foot sign where the city code allows a sign up to 128 square feet.

Commissioner Woodrow Acord pointed out that the Jarretts were proposing to place the sign where another sign had been in the past, and city preservation officer Glenna Booth said the previous owner of the sign had received the same variance the Jarretts were asking for.

The commission voted, unanimously agreeing to the variance.

Also at the meeting, commissioner James Morris revved up a discussion about the city’s noise ordinance. Morris recalled a recent weekend where many motorcycles were in town, saying he received complaints from at least four people about it.

“Is there an enforcement? I thought we had a noise ordinance here,” Morris said. “This past weekend was really bad. They sat there … I’m talking 12 o’clock in the morning …revving their engines. It was terrible and it is terrible.”

Commissioner Susan Harman asked Morris if the people who complained called the police.

“It doesn’t do any good,” Morris said.

“Yes, it does,” Booth said. “Don’t blame them, because they were trying to enforce it.”

“I know they’re trying, but we have to do something about it,” Morris said.

Commissioner Tom Buford said he spoke with a police officer while having breakfast during that weekend, saying the police officer asked a local business to quiet down. The business turned off its music, Buford said, but the sound continued to exceed the decibels allowed by the noise ordinance.

“It was still above the limit …people going around the street, walking and talking,” Buford said. “In that case, they weren’t doing anything wrong. It’s just people in town driving down the street, walking and talking.”

He continued, “It’s a problem, but we’re a tourist town, you know. It’s a tourist town.”

Harman said she understands why people are upset about the sound.

“They still have to follow the process. If it’s loud, they can call the police,” Harman said. “If they call the police, they may not know what the end result was. They may not know somebody got a citation.”

Harman reiterated Buford’s point about the city being a draw for tourists.

“We can talk for 10 years about how it’s an issue, but we’re never going to change the way the rocks are,” Harman said. “We’re never going to change the fact that tourists are here.”

Morris disagreed and said one business owner told him they would no longer be open during a weekend when bikers are in town. Morris said that’s because retail shops lose money during weekends like Bikes, Blues and BBQ.

“I’m not against motorcycles. I’m a motorcycle person, but they do not go into shops,” Morris said. “They do the bars. They do the restaurants. They do hotels. I don’t mind them being here, but we don’t need the noise that goes along with it.”

Harman said she spoke with a business owner who had the best weekend of the year when the bikers were in town.

“There is business being brought to town, and it’s going to come from different groups,” Harman said. “The whole goal of this town is to survive on tourist business.”

The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at City Hall.

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  • I have to disagree with the idea that motorcycles groups do not go shopping in town. I was on the street and was impressed on how many were shopping and were laden with shopping bags. The fact is we are in a tourist town and the motorcycles group are a large portion of the people that frequent Eureka Springs. As for the very few that violate state laws the local police did a great job enforcing the law as they always do. I want to praise the Cat House LLC. for there ability to bring in a large group with only a couple of Facebook posts. I think the CAPC could learn a lot from them.

    -- Posted by scotty99 on Wed, Apr 19, 2017, at 12:52 PM
  • And another point that's been made before - bikers may come to town on their motorcycles in the summer and not do a lot of shopping. But many will come back in the late Fall and Winter in the SUVs and fill them with shopping bags. My wife and I did.

    -- Posted by Indian Andy on Sat, Apr 22, 2017, at 7:31 AM
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