Tiny Homes were the biggest issue at the Fairfield Bay City Council meeting Monday night, culminating in the council passing an ordinance in support of Tiny Homes.

Tiny homes are a “small footprint” home, generally brought onsite intact and used to create quickly-built “pocket-neighborhood” communities. They can be multi-story, and the structure differs from mobile homes. Fairfield Bay has been working with a Tiny Homes organization toward placing a pocket neighborhood in the area.

An ordinance was presented to establish Tiny Homes standards, itself the result of Planning and Zoning commision work. The ordinance was a first step, Mayor Paul Wellenberger explained to the group, as once the ordinance has been voted in a public hearing is required. After the public hearing the final Zoning requirements would be drawn up, he said.

The homes, per the ordinance, would be between 170 and 1,100 square feet. The council had some confusion on this point, as there were homes in the community which already feel within this size range. This was not at issue, the council was told, as existing the ordinance did not apply to existing homes.

Councilman Robert Otis expressed concern that he had seen no drawing of the proposed development. Some confusion here as Otis was told it had been Email to him. As a result Otis abstained from voting on the ordinance, which otherwise passed. Passage allowed them to move to the next phase, the public hearing, Wellenberger said.

Tiny Homes are expected to be in place by Memorial Day, Wellenberger said.

In other council matters:

The Van Buren County Board of Realtors presented a $1,665 check to the city for the animal shelter. It had presented an equal amount of the county SYNP shelter, Board representative Robert Otis said.

Fairfield Bay Police recently issued arrest warrants after a series of burglaries ( related story in this issue) and is planning a bicycle safety program for May.

The Fire Department is planning a simulated fire drill at Mountain Ridge Timeshares March 27. The public is encouraged to attend in order to see how the various types of equipment the department uses is put into operation.

EMS reports its ambulance runs led to a “very calm February with only 46 calls.” Helicopter transports are up for the year, with 12 to date (six this past weekend after an accident) compared to two last year.

Fairfield Bay is now a Monarch City, after the monarch butterfly. This is the first city in Arkansas to achieve this.

The city continues to work with Aristotle to provide broadband service to the community.