Stick to the plan

On Monday, March 9, in a narrow 5-4 vote the Fayetteville Planning Commission, on recommendation of the city’s own planning staff, ignored the sentiments of hundreds of citizens involved with the Walker Park Neighborhood planning charettes of 2008 by re-zoning the corner of South and College from Neighborhood Conservation to Downtown General.

Residents of the Walker Park Neighborhood, as well as the City Council, previously agreed this intersection should be zoned Neighborhood Conservation and that South Street would be the boundary line between the Downtown General and Neighborhood Conservation zones.

Now it appears that the city’s own planning staff and a majority of their commissioners once again support the Downtown General zone, which would allow a 3 story 12 unit apartment complex or a myriad of other things, just a block south of one of Fayetteville’s most dangerous intersection (College, Rock & Archibald Yell). Allowing this will reverse the decade-long effort of residents to revitalize this part of south Fayetteville into the less dense, peaceful, pedestrian-bicycle friendly tree lined neighborhood it was designed to be. Almost more disturbing than this is the city’s own planning staff ignoring the sentiments of the majority of the residents that actually live in and know the complexities of the neighborhood.

If you participated in the Walker Park Neighborhood planning charettes and believe this area should remain free of apartments, please contact Mayor Jordan and your aldermen as soon as possible and let them know how you feel. Hundreds of residents participated in the charette planning process in 2008 and to overturn their vision when the Walker Park Neighborhood Master Plan is not even a year old is simply unacceptable. Please tell your aldermen to stick to the plan and give it a chance to work.

Tony Wappel