The Pulaski County community of Little Italy on Wednesday lost its appeal of a lower-court judge's dismissal of a case in which area residents sought the creation of an incorporated town.
The community of about 350 people, near Roland, has sought for years to become incorporated. In early 2016, County Judge Barry Hyde rejected the residents' petition to incorporate.
In October 2017, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza dismissed the residents' appeal, citing procedural errors.
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Appeals Court sided with the county and Central Arkansas Water in rejecting the appeal of Piazza's decision by the town's residents.
"There was more argument on the issues, but the points have been made well enough," wrote appellate Judge Brandon Harrison in an opinion Wednesday. "The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss because Little Italy had failed to file a complaint; and it failed to name all the necessary adverse parties."
Central Arkansas Water, not originally listed as a defendant in Little Italy's appeal, moved to intervene in circuit court, arguing that it was an interested party because the utility owns land in the proposed town.
Court of Appeals Judges Raymond Abramson and Waymond Brown joined in the opinion.
Chad Pekron, an attorney for Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull, representing the Little Italy incorporators, said Wednesday he would review the opinion and decide upon further action.
Little Italy was settled by Italian immigrant families from Chicago and northern Michigan in 1915, according to the community's website.
Originally called "Alta Villa," the community became known for wine production around the time of Prohibition, though the website says that today, growing grapes in the community is "mostly for hobby and enjoyment."
Metro on 11/29/2018