Mayor breaks tie in favor of new parking rules, Oakbrooke approved

The Fayetteville City Council moved forward with additional regulations for parking at single-family homes.

Aldermen Kyle Cook, Matthew Petty, Robert Rhoads and Bobby Ferrell voted against the measure, so with the 4-4 vote from council members, Mayor Lioneld Jordan weighed in with a yes vote.

The ordinance allows up to four cars to be parked at single-family homes, not including garages or carports.

An ordinance was already on the books to limit four vehicles in the front yard area. The new rule sets the four-car limit to include the entire property.

On-street parking is not counted toward the four-car total, according to the ordinance, and a number of exceptions are outlined. For instance, 12 hours before and after University events, such as football games, are exempt.

When presenting the ordinance, Jeremy Pate, development services director, pointed out that this ordinance was not directed at the college students. Last year the city received 91 complaints about parking and fifty-percent of those were outside of the university district, Pate said.

Prior to voting, Alderman Kyle Cook said he recognized the problem even in his own neighborhood, but said legislating it with the ordinance was not the right way to go about it.

In other business, the Oakbrooke rezoning was approved in a 7-1 vote.

“Even through all this, we’re very excited about Oakbrooke, because Oakbrooke is a step toward the city plan for 2025,” said Jim Ramsey, the architect for the project.

The ordinance has 37 conditions of approval attached to it, including one added at the meeting which requires property owners to evaluate the appropriate use of rain gardens to improve water quality.

After Alderman Shirley Lucas expressed concerns about density and traffic, she offered an amendment that would remove a portion of the project from rezoning consideration, so that area, which was near the edge of the development, would retain the zoning of existing land across the street.

After the amendment was announced, Alderman Bobby Ferrell asked the developer what the change would mean for the project.

“If this amendment passes, we will no longer be developing Oakbrooke,” Ramsey said. “It’s to that serious level.”

The amendment failed, and by the final tally, Lucas was the only council member to vote against the rezoning.

Mary Robbins is a 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.