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Jonesboro relaxes restrictions on towing company

Cypress trees not required

— Members of the Jonesboro City Council have had a slight change of heart about the zoning restrictions they placed on a towing company which was recently annexed into the city.

As part of its annexation last month, Tara Wrecker was required to have a 150-foot buffer between cars on its property and nearby neighborhoods and Leyland cypress trees were to be planted along the property line. The restrictions were put into place to placate residents who had complained about noise from the area.

However, those restrictions also prompted Tara Wrecker manager Rhonda Lane to appear before the City Council to ask for looser restrictions Monday. She argued the limits put on the towing company were excessive and inconvenient.

“Right now, it’s just not feasible to do this,” she said, in reference to the trees.

Lane won a partial victory with the council, which voted 4-2 to remove the Leyland cypress trees requirement, but they left the 150-foot buffer area in place.

The issue of Tara Wrecker’s annexation proved to be as controversial after it happened as it was beforehand. Council members spent about 30 minutes arguing over the matter. The debate came to focus mainly on whether the Leyland cypress trees were needed. The property already has thick brush which acts as a natural barrier between the cars and the nearby homes.

“I think the natural barrier is better,” Mayor Joy Day said.

However, council member Bobby Wiggins, who opposed loosening the restrictions, said his colleagues should not discount the trees.

“Leyland cypresses grow pretty tall and soak up a lot of light,” Wiggins said.