Residents of the area spoke against the ordinance, saying that although the applicant was just asking for an annexation right now, inevitably the developer will bring a rezoning before the council for a more dense usage.
When this annexation went before the Planning Commission, the applicant also submitted a rezoning for the property, but that item was withdrawn before the meeting, said Jeremy Pate, development services director for Fayetteville.
Ward 3 Alderman Robert Rhoads said generally, he was in favor of most annexations, because “eventually it would be the city’s responsibility to take of those areas anyway.”
“I’d rather do it on the front end than on the back end,” Rhoads said.
Brenda Thiel said she was in support of the annexation because bringing the property into the city would mean any development would have to meet city code standards.
“I don’t like to see development where septic systems are used,” Thiel said. “That’s really problematic.”
Alderman Sarah Lewis of Ward 4 countered Thiel’s comments, saying that those concerns were not the right reasons to annex the property.
“It doesn’t seem like the city should sprawl in order to protect our water resources,” Lewis said. “If that’s what we’re thinking about, then that’s not the right tool to address that problem.”
Both the Planning Commission and planning staff denied this request, based on concerns for the rural nature of the land and the lack of urban services. By voting yes, the council was granting an appeal. Lewis and Ward 1 Alderman Kyle Cook were the dissenting votes.
Mary Robbins is a guest contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She 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.