Council puts brakes on small buildings

By Ken MilamStaff WriterThe Poteau City Council placed a moratorium on small business buildings Monday night, pending possible changes to zoning laws.Mayor Jeff Shockley said no specific businesses are being targeted and the move is meant to protect and maintain attractive business districts.The moratorium affects commercial buildings less than 20 feet wide.Shockley said the city Planning Commission will be asked to look at zoning requirements and decide if they should be amended."The residential code has a minimum square footage requirement, but there's none in the business code," he said.Most businesses are required to have water and sewer hookups and handicap-accessible restrooms, but some areas are exempt because of the nature of the business, he said."We don't want to wind up with little portable buildings all over town ... we want to make sure they're compatible with other business," Shockley said.In other action, the council:• Agreed to promote Curtis Bennett from part-time to full-time police dispatcher and Nathan Watson from part time to full time in the Street Department.• Approved the requisition of 450 million gallons of water from Poteau Valley Improvement Authority for fiscal 2013-14.• Approved Richard Peck as the city's representative to PVIA.