LIVE UPDATES: City Council recap: June 2, 2015

On the agenda

  • Rezoning 642 acres in west Fayetteville at the Rupple Road Extension.
  • Rezoning 17 acres just south of Pumpkin Ridge Road.
  • Rezoning 16 acres along Huntsville Road.
  • Changes to the city’s rules on naming park facilities and donor recognition signs.

» Download the agenda (PDF)

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, 2015 inside room 219 of the City Administration Building, located at 113 W. Mountain Street in Fayetteville.

Listed below are the items up for approval and links to downloadable PDFs for more information on each item of business.

Roll Call

Present: Adella Gray, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Justin Tennant, Martin Schoppmeyer, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: None

* Alderman Tennant arrived at 5:36 p.m. shortly after the Consent items were approved.


Consent items are typically approved in a single, all-inclusive vote.

1. Approval of the May 19, 2015 City Council meeting minutes.
Pass 7-0

2. Bid #15-25 Evans Enterprises, Inc. (PDF): A resolution to award Bid #15-25 and authorize the purchase of two (2) pumps and motors for the Airport north lift station from Evans Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of $42,010.00 plus applicable sales taxes.
Pass 7-0

3. 2015 Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program Matching Grant (PDF): A resolution to approve a multi-jurisdictional application by the City of Fayetteville, the City of Springdale and Washington County for a 2015 Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program matching grant in the amount of $133,000.00, with the matching portion paid by the City of Fayetteville in the amount of $51,000.00, the City of Springdale in the amount of $51,000.00 and Washington County in the amount of $31,000.00.
Pass 7-0

4. Progressive Trail Design, LLC (PDF): A resolution to authorize a professional design services agreement with Progressive Trail Design, LLC for the preparation of the Kessler Mountain Trails Master Plan in an amount not to exceed $26,320.00, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $2,632.00.
Pass 7-0

Unfinished Business

1. RZN 15-4965 (South End of Rupple Rd./Rupple Road Extension Corridor) (PDF): An ordinance rezoning that property described in rezoning petition RZN 15-4965, for approximately 642 acres, located at the southern end of Rupple Road from R-A, Residential-Agriculture; RSF-1, Residential Single Family one unit per acre; RSF-4, Residential Single Family four units per acre; and RSF-8, Residential Single Family eight units per acre to NC, Neighborhood Conservation; CS, Community Services; UT, Urban Thoroughfare; and R-A, Residential Agricultural.
Pass 7-0

Notes: Alderman Kinion said he had reservations, but agreed to support the rezonings. He said he wanted it on record that there is still the ability to re-evaluate and rezone portions of the property as development begins.

2. RZN 15-5004 (South End of Pumpkin Ridge Dr./Falling Waters) Appeal (PDF): An ordinance rezoning that property described in rezoning petition RZN 15-5004, for approximately 17.37 acres, located south of Pumpkin Ridge Road from R-A, Residential-Agriculture to RSF-2, Residential Single Family, 2 units per acre.
Fail 2-6

Notes: Alderwoman Gray and Alderman La Tour voted to approve the rezoning. The remainder of the council voted against.

Both the Planning Commission and city planning staff have recommended denial of the proposed rezoning on the grounds that it is not consistent with land use planning objectives, policies, or plans. The area is surrounded by large agricultural and forested properties. The property owner was approved to proceed with a similar development 10 years ago, but the project was never started. The plan eventually expired and the city rezoned the property to R-A, Residential-Agricultural.

Nineteen residents spoke against the rezoning Tuesday, citing fears that the envisioned development would cause traffic problems, destroy the natural scenery, and increase flooding issues that are already a problem for the existing neighborhood.

Alderman La Tour said his stance is simple – he wants to protect private property rights. “I don’t want to tell property owners what they can and can’t do with their land,” said La Tour. He said if the neighbors want to preserve the natural landscape in the area, they should buy the land themselves and leave it undeveloped.

Alderwoman Marsh said the envisioned development isn’t consistent with the goals of the city’s longterm master plan. She also said while Fayetteville does need more housing, a wooded hillside on the edge of town is not an appropriate location. “There is really no way I can support the rezoning of this land,” said Marsh. “I see no compelling reason to go against the judgement of our city planners.”

Alderman Kinion said that the city’s master plan shows that the area is compatible with development, just not the type that is envisioned here. “We’re not trying to prevent development, we’re trying to encourage the right type of development,” said Kinion. He said concerns like stormwater runoff and the possible effects the development could have on the local watershed led to his decision to vote against the rezoning. “In the future we don’t want the citizens of our community to be placed in a position where they’re going to have to clean up a mess that could’ve been prevented,” said Kinion.

Alderman Tennant said there are reasons to approve the rezoning, but not enough to overturn the Planning Commission and city staff, who have both recommended denial of the petition. Tennant said traffic will be a major problem in this area without a direct connection to Dead Horse Mountain Road, which the developers said isn’t economically feasible at this time. “There are four and half reasons to vote for this, but there are five and a half reasons to vote against it,” said Tennant.

Alderwoman Gray said the developers were given the green light for a similar development 10 years ago and despite the fact that the city’s master plans have been updated, it’s not fair to change the rules now. She said Fayetteville already has a reputation for being difficult on developers. “Making a decision to not let these developers develop this land is not going to help that reputation,” said Gray.

Alderman Petty said the decision to approve a similar rezoning 10 years ago has expired and is no longer relevant. “I don’t’ think it’s our job to bail out developers,” said Petty. He said developers know there are risks when purchasing land with the intent of future development. “Sometimes it doesn’t pay out,” he said.

Public Hearing

1. Jerome Lopez & Elizabeth Young and the Randall J. Wright Trust condemnation and possession (PDF): A resolution to authorize the city attorney to seek condemnation and possession of certain lands owned by Jerome Lopez & Elizabeth Young and the Randall J. Wright Trust needed for the Highway 45 and Old Wire Road intersection improvement project.

New Business

1. RZN 15-5044 (4065 E. Huntsville Rd./The Plaza) (PDF): An ordinance rezoning that property described in rezoning petition RZN 15-5044, for approximately 16.02 acres, located at 4065 E. Huntsville Road from R-PZD 08-3071, Residential Planned Zoning District Bridgedale Plaza to RSF-7, Residential Single-Family, 7 units per acre, NS, Neighborhood Services, and CS, Community Services.
Left on the first reading

2. VAC 15-5037 (Harbor Isle & Zion Rd./Woodbury s/d) (PDF): An ordinance to approve VAC 15-5037 submitted by Blew & Associates for property located at Harbor Isle and Zion Road to vacate portions of existing utility easements.
Pass 8-0

3. Donor Recognition Signs / Naming Park Facilities (PDF): An ordinance to amend Exhibit A, Donor Recognition Signs, and Exhibit B, Naming Park Facilities which are attached and a part of § 97.088 (B)(2)(b) and § 97.088 (D) of the Fayetteville Code.
Left on the first reading

Notes: Alderwoman Marsh said she’d like to see a sunset clause on naming rights of facilities – possibly 25 years – to ensure a donor isn’t given absolute naming rights in perpetuity. She said she’d like the city to have the option to rename the facility if it one day needs a major renovation and another donor is willing to pay for the associated costs.

Alderman La Tour agreed and said there are several reasons why the city might want to remove a donor’s name from a facility in the future, particularly if a donor’s actions are an embarrassment to the city.

4. Placing Signs on Public and Private Property (PDF): An ordinance to amend §174.07 Placing Signs on Public and Private Property by clarifying the placement of directional and wayfinding signs on public property and enacting a new subsection (F) Trail/Trailhead Wayfinding Signs and Recognition Markers.
Pass 8-0

Notes: Amended to remove some language referring to “Downtown Master Plan.”


– City staff want to welcome visitors to the area for the annual Walmart Shareholder’s Meeting.
– The University of Arkansas will host a Super Regional baseball event this weekend at Baum Stadium.


This meeting was adjourned at 8:53 p.m.