In a vote 4-3, aldermen rejected the proposed rezoning for the sale barn property.
Council members Shirley Lucas, Sarah Lewis, Brenda Theil and Kyle Cook opposed the ordinance that would have designated the sale barn property as Downtown General instead of its current I-1 (Heavy Commercial/Light Industrial) zoning.
Alderman Robert Rhoads was at the meeting, but at the time of the vote, he was not present. After the ordinance failed, Rhoads said that he would have been in favor of the rezoning.
If you follow the news around Fayetteville, it’s likely you already know the details of the issue. After years of operating the Washington County Sale and Livestock Barn, the owner wants to sell the property. He found a buyer in Campus Crest LLC, a company that wanted to build student housing on the land. But, the deal was contingent on rezoning the property to Downtown General, which would allow for residential uses.
Traffic caused by the new density of the area would ultimately funnel traffic into the surrounding neighborhood, Alderman Lucas said.
“The 2025 plan did not mean to destroy established neighborhoods,” she said. “I’m a supporter of modest neighborhoods.”
Alderman Cook said he had gone back and forth on the issue.
“While I’m very supportive of the [Downtown General] zone, I don’t think it’s the right zoning for this one piece of land,” said Cook, an alderman for Ward 2.
The proposed rezoning was met with harsh criticism, both from neighbors in the area and from veterans, who opposed the project based on its proximity to the National Cemetery.
Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Ferrell, who voted in favor of the zoning, said that despite public comments suggesting the sale barn property be used for the National Cemetery, the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation was not pursuing that land for expansion.
“There are men and women buried in that National Cemetery that I think would stand up in their grave because they gave their last full measure to protect our rights to own property, to buy property, to sell, to convey and to bequeath property,” Ferrell said.
This issue has been looming over the city council all summer. The first reading of the ordinance was on June 16. It was taken through three separate readings and was tabled twice.
Click below for a brief audio report by Mary Robbins:[audio:http://fayettevilleflyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/salebarnvote_citycouncil.mp3]
Mary Robbins is a guest contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. Mary declared Fayetteville as her hometown upon moving here for college. She is a Journalism graduate who enjoys live music, the outdoors and attending city council meetings. For more of Mary’s contributions, visit her author page.
Disclosure: The owner of the sale barn property, Billy Joe Bartholomew, is our own Dustin Bartholomew’s grandfather. Read our full disclosure policy here.