The North Little Rock City Council has issued a six-month moratorium on hillside cuts and has formed a committee to evaluate hillside cut regulations.
The council unanimously approved the halt Monday night, and the moratorium follows a long-standing debate between a church along Interstate 40 and the Park Hill neighborhood.
Alderman Debi Ross sponsored the ordinance halting cuts and will lead the committee.
"For some time I have been looking at current policy concerning hillside cuts and saw the need for more defined policy with penalties in the event they are not adhered to," Ross said.
The debate emerged after First Pentecostal Church at 1401 Calvary Road wanted to make a cut into the hillside below a neighborhood to expand a parking lot. The planning commission approved the request from the church to make the cut into the hill in 2010, pending city council approval. Park Hill residents met the proposal with strong opposition, and the council ruled that it would not approve the cut at a meeting March 26.
Park Hill residents proposed the halt, Ross said.
"Should a full geo-tech study be required before approval of a hill cut?" Ross said. "What penalties should be levied in the event regulations are not followed? Should there be separate regulations when residential or business structures are in close proximity of a hill cut?"
Ross said the committee will consider the aforementioned questions along with other issues during its review.
The council granted an apartment complex a cut Monday night with a 6-2 vote before approving the halt on cuts. Ross voted against the measure.
"Currently there are no hillside cut requests in North Little Rock," Ross said. "Hopefully the council will be completed with the review and any necessary changes made before another request is received."