Mayor Says Allegations Of Civil Rights Issue Is a Zoning Issue

Jun 25th, 2014 | By admin | Category: Top Story

BY LEE ‘CAT’ McLANE

Editor/Publisher

Bertram Dahl, high priest of the Seekers Temple and his members were present along with a room full of fellow Beebe citizens at Monday night’s city council meeting.

Mayor Mike Robertson addressed the crowd which not only filled the meeting room at city hall but also spilled over onto the front porch area and the hallway.

The Dahl’s had requested that their home, located at 608 Dewitt Henry Dr., be used as a residence, a store for Pagan products, and a church - Seekers Temple.

At the meeting Monday night, the mayor read a prepared statement which delineated the reason a conditional use permit or special use permit could not be granted for all three of those uses.  The mayor said that the residence located at 608 Dewitt Henry Dr. was in an R-2 zone which does not allow it to be used in the requested manner.

“Can the Dahl’s open a place of worship of choosing in the city?” stated Mayor Robertson. “Absolutely yes!  Can the Dahl’s open a business of choosing in the city?  Absolutely yes to both, if adhereing to Beebe Zoning Ordinance. Dahl’s dwelling?  Multiple use of residential dwelling, public place of worship and store is not permitted to any applicant. Stores of display not defined as home occupations are located in commercial zoned districts not residential zoned districts.”

The mayor continued explaining that multiple uses as intended by the Dahl’s has not been granted to any other applicant.

“There have been allegations this is a civil rights issue, this is no more than a zoning issue,” added Mayor Robertson.

The Dahl’s were offered  the opportunity to meet with the city attorney, Barrett Rogers, and the city code enforcement officer, Milton McCullar, at that point in the meeting to clarify the city zoning code and file the appropriate request for use of property and in the meantime the city would take the request under advisement and made a determination based upon city zoning code regulations.

Bertram Dahl agreed and left the room to meet with the city officials.