City Council recap: July 21, 2015

On the agenda

  • Rezoning 16 acres along Huntsville Road.
  • Allowing Raising Cane’s to add more neon lighting than is allowed in the outdoor lighting ordinance.
  • Rezoning 4 acres northeast of Cleveland Street and Razorback Road.
  • Exploring the purchase of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce building.
  • Paying for a shared use path on the Highway 112 bridge over I-49.

» Download the agenda (PDF)

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, 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, Martin Schoppmeyer, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: Justin Tennant


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

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

2. Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Funding (PDF): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $8,077.00 recognizing funding from the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force for the purchase of a new forensic computer system by the Police Department.
Pass 7-0

3. Federal and State Law Enforcement Revenue (PDF): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the total amount of $100,993.00 recognizing revenue associated with federal and state law enforcement forfeitures and proceeds from the sale of a used vehicle on
Pass 7-0

4. Justice Assistance and State Drug Crime Enforcement Grant (PDF): A resolution to authorize acceptance of the 2015-2016 Justice Assistance and State Drug Crime Enforcement Grant for federal and state funding in the amount of $242,610.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

5. Insituform Technologies, Inc. (PDF): A resolution to approve a contract extension with Insituform Technologies, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $330,000.00 for sewer rehabilitation using cured-in-place sanitary sewer linings.
Pass 7-0

6. Gallagher Benefits Services (PDF): A resolution to approve the annual renewal contract with Gallagher Benefits Services in the amount of $57,600.00 for the provision of city employee benefits broker services.
Pass 7-0

7. Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, Inc. General Improvement Fund Grant (PDF): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a general improvement fund grant through the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, Inc. in the amount of $50,000.00 for the purchase of soccer goals for the regional park, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

8. Garver, LLC Task Order No. 3 (PDF): A resolution to approve Task Order No. 3 with Garver, LLC in the amount of $23,500.00 for design, bidding and construction oversight services for the Airport Airfield Marking Rehabilitation Project, to accept a 90/10 grant from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics in the amount of $179,880.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

9. Bid No. 15-39 Goodwin & Goodwin, Inc. (PDF): A resolution to award Bid No. 15-39 and authorize a contract with Goodwin & Goodwin, Inc. in the amount of $755,654.50 for the construction of the Mission Boulevard and Old Wire Road intersection water and sewer improvements project, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $113,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

Unfinished 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.
Tabled 7-0 until Aug. 4*

Notes: Tabled at the request of the applicant.

Public Hearing

1. Bear State Bank/Garlan and Georgia Reading Trust Condemnation and Possession (PDF): A resolution to authorize the city attorney to seek condemnation and possession of certain lands owned by Bear State Bank, formerly known as First Federal Bank, or its assigns, and the Garlan and Georgia Reading Trust needed for the extension of Rupple Road from Persimmon Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
Pass 7-0

Notes: Chris Brown, city engineer, said unsuccessful negotiations with two property owners have led to a request for condemnation of land needed for the planned extension of Rupple Road between Wedington Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

2. East Mission Boulevard Municipal Multipurpose Property Owners’ Improvement District No. 34 (PDF): An ordinance to establish and lay off East Mission Boulevard Municipal Multipurpose Property Owners’ Improvement District No. 34 of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Tabled 7-0 indefinitely*

Notes: Tabled at the request of the applicant.

New Business

1. Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Payment (PDF): A resolution to approve a payment of $170,000.00 to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department for the additional cost of a shared use path on the Highway 112 bridge across Interstate 49.
Pass 7-0

2. VAC 15-5078 (East of 4148 W. MLK Jr. Blvd./Hollands Subdivision) (PDF): An ordinance to approve VAC 15-5078 submitted by city staff for property located east of 4148 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to vacate undeveloped street right-of-way.
Pass 7-0

3. VAC 15-5080 (Weir and Salem Roads/Holcomb Heights Subdivision) (PDF): An ordinance to approve VAC 15-5080 submitted by Riverwood Homes for property located at Weir & Salem roads to vacate Weir Road right-of-way and portions of existing utility easements within the Holcomb Heights subdivision.
Pass 7-0

4. Raising Cane’s Building Appeal (PDF): A resolution to grant the appeal of Ken’s Signs and to approve the requested variance for the length of neon lighting for Raising Cane’s building.
Fail 2-5

Notes: Raising Cane’s officials said the extra neon lighting was needed to preserve the company’s branding and maintain a uniform look for all its buildings.

Alderman Kinion said he can’t support the request because variances to the outdoor lighting ordinance could be a public safety risk, especially in an area that is already difficult to navigate.

Alderman La Tour said it isn’t likely that an extra 25 linear feet of neon light would be detectible from the road, thus he believes there is no safety risk in granting the variance in this case.

La Tour and Alderman Schoppmeyer were the only two council members to vote in favor of the resolution.

5. Arkansas Legacy LLC Appeal (PDF): An ordinance rezoning that property described in rezoning petition RZN 15-5066, for approximately 3.98 acres, located at 1338 and 1326 W. Cleveland Street from RMF-24, Residential Multi-family, 24 units per acre and RSF-4, Residential Single-family, 4 units per acre to DG, Downtown General subject to a bill of assurance.
Left on the first reading

Notes: City staff have never been in support of the rezoning, and have cited concerns that Downtown General is an “inappropriate designation” for the property.

The land is surrounded by a variety of land uses and zoning designations. To the east is a fraternity house zoned Residential Multi-family 24 units per acre; to the north and west are single-family homes zoned Residential Single-family 4 units per acre; and to the south is a University of Arkansas dormitory zoned Institutional.

Applicant Paul Jeske said Tuesday the plan is to develop the property to a density of about 13 units per acre, which they believe is an appropriate transition from the surrounding buildings to the neighborhood.

Staff have suggested alternative zoning districts for the proposed development, as well as a possible Planned Zoning District in order to create the clarity staff said is needed to ensure that an appropriate development plan could be defined and enforced. Instead, staff said, the request “attempts to modify a zoning designation that is just not appropriate for this property.”

The proposal was denied 9-0 by the Planning Commission in June.

Jeske on Tuesday provided a Bill of Assurance that restricts the property to only allow residential uses, and removes the potential for multi-family developments.

Still, staff said they cannot support the request.

Brian Teague, director of Community by Design who is representing Jeske, said staff’s recommended zoning districts aren’t financially viable for their project.

Teague said that during a previous meeting with Ken Eastin, the city’s urban forester, it was determined that the city’s tree preservation requirements would be difficult to achieve in a Planned Zoning District were used. Eastin said Tuesday there are several ways to mitigate the specific requirements, including planting new trees on the site, planting trees nearby, or by paying money into the city’s tree preservation escrow account.

Some neighbors who spoke Tuesday agreed with city staff and said allowing a Downtown General designation on the outer edge of campus would set a bad precedent for future developments. Others said the single entrance proposed for the project would cause traffic problems and become safety issues.

Alderman John La Tour asked what would happen to the property if the City Council denied the rezoning request. Teague said it’s likely that the property owners would be forced to sell the land if they’re unable to develop a project that makes financial sense. He said they’ve already been contacted by two student housing developers and a fraternity housing developer who are interested in purchasing the land. Jeremy Pate, the city’s development services director, reminded aldermen that any private entity who purchases the property would also have to rezone the property if they had plans for multi-family use on the land.

Jeske noted that the University of Arkansas could purchase the land like it did with a nearby property that was immediately converted into a university parking lot. As will all university-owed land, the city’s development requirements do not apply.

Some neighbors said they like the proposed project, but feel like it still needs to be tweaked a bit before they could support it.

Alderman Petty said he’s taking pause in his assessment of the issue.

“What we have here is a proposal that by all accounts…is reasonable,” said Petty. “The impasse that we’ve created for ourselves exists because our codes are inadequate.”

Petty said he knows the council will have to make a decision, but said he’s disappointed that the council will be “forced to make one bad decision or another bad decision.”

“I think this points to a deeper problem in our code that needs to be addressed,” said Petty.

Ultimately, the council agreed to leave the request on the first reading.

6. City Council’s Intention to Purchase the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Building (PDF): A resolution to express the City Council’s intention to investigate a possible purchase of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce building on Mountain Street.
Tabled 7-0

Notes: Alderwoman Adella Gray and Alderman Mark Kinion said they brought the issue forward because they felt the city should at least explore whether the city could use the building before allowing it to be purchased by a private entity, especially considering it’s sandwiched between City Hall and the city’s Development Services building.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan said his stance on whether the city needs new office space is the same as it was in 2011 when he recommended against purchasing the East Square Plaza building.

Don Marr, the mayor’s chief of staff, said there is no immediate need for added space for any of the city’s division offices. He said the Police Department has a longterm plan to add a larger station, but that building should be more centrally located with quick access to Interstate 49.

Alderman Kinion said he considers the building to be a possible investment for the future, not something that would satisfy any urgent need. He said the building could be used as a revenue generator until the city needs the space.

Alderman Petty said he’s not opposed to the city acting as a landlord of the property until it’s needed, but he added that there are several acres of city-owned property across the street that are currently being used as a parking lot, but that could be redeveloped to include both parking and city offices.

Alderwoman Marsh said she’d prefer to see the building become a shop or restaurant instead of taking a private building off the property tax roll.

Marsh said she’s not against the idea of exploring the issue further, but said it would take a lot to convince her to support the purchase of the building.

The group eventually decided to table the issue until the next meeting.


This meeting was adjourned at 8:21 p.m.