Land Use Planning Around Military Installations
Act 530 of 1995 and Act 540 of 2005 require cities with a population of 2,500 or more within which there lies, in whole or in part, an active-duty United States Air Force military installation to enact a city ordinance specifying that within five miles of the corporate limits future uses on property which might be hazardous to aircraft operation shall be restricted or prohibited. The ordinance must contain provisions which restrict or prohibit future uses within the five-mile area which:
• Release into the air any substance that would impair visibility or otherwise interfere with the operation of aircraft, i.e., steam, dust, or smoke;
• Produce light emissions, either direct or indirect, that are reflective and that would interfere with pilot vision;
• Produce electrical emissions that would interfere with aircraft communications systems or navigational equipment;
• Attract birds or waterfowl, including, but not limited to, the operation of sanitary landfills, maintenance of feeding stations, or the growing of certain vegetation;
• Provide for structures within 10 feet of aircraft approach, departure, or transitional surfaces; or
• Expose persons to noise greater than 65 decibels.
Act 540 stipulates that the ordinance shall restrict or prohibit future uses within the five-mile area which violate the height restriction criteria of Federal Aviation Regulation, part 77, subpart C. Furthermore, the ordinance must be consistent with recommendations or studies made by the United States Air Force entitled “Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Study, Volumes I, II, and III, dated April 2003.” Finally, the ordinance may not prohibit single-family residential use on tracts one acre or more in area, provided that future construction shall comply with Guidelines for the Sound Insulation of Residences Exposed to Aircraft Operations, Wyle Research Report WR 89-7.
Eminent Domain Restrictions
Act 418 of 2009 allows a municipal corporation to have the power of eminent domain for its electric transmission system and electric distribution system, outside of its corporate limits without annexation of such territory, regardless of whether the territory has been allocated to an electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation, pursuant to a certificate of convenience and necessity or other authority from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, as long as the electric transmission system or electric distribution system being constructed by the municipal corporation is only for the purpose of serving customers of the municipal corporation and not for the purpose of serving electric public utility customers or electric cooperative customers at retail inside the territory allocated to an electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation pursuant to a certificate of convenience and necessity or other authority from the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
Conservation Sales Tax
In November 1996, Arkansas voters passed a constitutional amendment, Amendment 75, which created a conservation sales tax. The law, which went into effect July 1, 1997, requires 1/8th of 1% of the state's general sales tax to be distributed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (45%), Arkansas State Parks (45%), Arkansas Heritage Commission (9%) and Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (1%) to identify, preserve and manage certain lands in the state.
Forest Legacy Program
The Arkansas Forestry Commission administers the state’s Forest Legacy Program. The program is intended to protect forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses through fee simple title or conservation easement purchases.
Natural Heritage Commission
The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) is charged with establishing and protecting a system of natural areas and working to conserve the state’s natural diversity. The ANHC seeks locations of exceptional importance to the state’s natural diversity that lack formal protection to add to the System of Natural Areas. Through strategic planning, ANHC acquires lands of conservation concern. The ANHC staff pursues negotiations for those that can be successfully managed. Partnerships, with state and federal agencies, private non-profit organizations, and private landowners, are utilized by the ANHC for conservation easements.
Uniform Conservation Easement Act
Arkansas Code §15-20-401 et seq. provides for the state’s Uniform Conservation Easement Act, which authorizes the creation of permanent easements on real property for conservation and historic preservation purposes.
Light Pollution/Dark Night Skies
Shielded Outdoor Lighting Act
The “Shielded Outdoor Lighting Act” (§ 8-14-101) was enacted in 2005 and provides for the regulation of outdoor lighting. It requires that no public funds shall be used to install an outdoor lighting fixture unless it is shielded. This law does not apply to acquisitions of: (1) Incandescent outdoor lighting fixtures of one hundred fifty watts (150W) or less or other light sources of seventy watts (70W) or less; (2) Outdoor lighting fixtures on advertisement signs on interstate or federal primary highways; (3) Outdoor lighting fixtures existing and legally installed before August 12, 2005; (4) Navigational lighting systems at airports or other lighting necessary for aircraft safety; and (5) Outdoor lighting fixtures that are necessary for worker safety at farms, ranches, dairies, or feedlots or industrial, mining, or oil and gas facilities. In addition, the law does not apply to: (1) A public school district; (2) A correctional facility; (3) A juvenile detention facility; (4) An adult detention facility; (5) A mental health facility; or (6) A state-supported institution of higher education. The provisions of this law do not apply within a town, city, or county of this state that by ordinance has adopted provisions restricting light pollution that are equal to or more stringent than the provisions of this law.
State Contact Information
Major General William D. Wofford, Adjutant General
Arkansas Military Department
Camp Joseph T. Robinson
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72199-9600
(501) 212-5009 fax
Legislative Process Regarding Military POCs
The legislative committees rarely deal with military base issues other than those that involve the Arkansas National Guard. The Office of the Adjutant General serves as the point of contact for the state Legislature on military issues.
Committees of Primary Jurisdiction/Legislative Contact
Senate Committee on Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs
Senator Bill Sample, Chair
2340 N. Hwy. 7
Hot Springs, 71909
Ms. Estella Smith, Committee Staff
House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs
Representative David Meeks, Chair
2625 Donaghey Ave,#108,
Conway, AR 72032
Ms. Varnaria Vickers-Smith, Committee Staff