Bella Vista City Council Passes Short-Term Rentals Ordinance

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BELLA VISTA — An ordinance amending the zoning chapter of the city’s ordinances code was one of two ordinances discussed at the Bella Vista City Council business session Nov. 14.

The meeting, held at the District Court building, also included discussion of an ordinance that will facilitate the purchase of salt and sand for the street department, as well as a resolution regarding access to the salt and sand storage facility and another dealing with the city’s 2022 budget.

The items will be placed on the agenda for the November ordinary session of the council. That meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday.

A third resolution, calling for a review and approval of new service fees for ambulance services provided by the Bella Vista Fire Department, is now being pushed back a month while more information is gathered. by Bella Vista Fire Chief Steve Sims.

The first ordinance, listed under unfinished business and scheduled for second reading in the next regular session, calls for amending the city code to define short-term rentals, to provide for the inclusion of short-term rental uses in the table of uses, to determine short-term rental use as of right or with a conditional license for use in particular areas, and for other purposes.

The ordinance will help determine in which area a short term rental can be located.

Mayor Peter Christie recently said the ordinance was “just a housekeeping item”. It was first introduced to council when council member Doug Fowler drafted his initial order regarding short-term rentals earlier this year.

“We had it there when he first brought it to the table,” Christie said. “The idea was that they would both sink at the same time, but then we hit all the bumps in the road, and we decided to go ahead with this one because we didn’t have anything. which deals with STRs in our table of uses.”

The first item discussed in the new cases was the order removing requirements for a formal tender and allowing the purchase of street salt and sand based on price and availability through informal quotations until December 31, 2023.

The order will make it easier for Streets Department Superintendent Mike Button to purchase salt and sand used by his department to cover city streets during ice and snow events.

The first resolution discussed Nov. 14 authorizes the Mayor and City Clerk to enter into a limited, terminable license agreement with the Bella Vista Village Homeowners Association for the purpose of providing additional access to the salt and sand facility of the street department on Glasgow Road.

The facility – located in the building that once housed the Bella Vista Fire Department’s No 3 Barracks at 201 Glasgow Road – can only be accessed from that road through part of the POA property.

The final resolution deals with a situation that must be discussed each year at this time and deals with adjustments that must be made to the budget for the year due to donations that may have been received by one of the city departments.

“Each year, the finance manager has to show a list of all the donations each department has received for various things,” Christie said. “For example, it’s like, ‘Here’s the opening balance, here’s the ending balance, and here’s what was spent in the middle.’ It doesn’t affect the budget at all, but by law we have to show it as an earmarked asset. It’s actually earmarked for a certain thing.”

He continued, “As you know, we have a reserve of 25% of unrestricted income. So that income – donations – is not included in the calculation of that 25% because it is earmarked for a specific purpose or to a specific service of a resident or someone else, such as the Walton Foundation trails.”

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