LIVE UPDATES: City Council Recap: May 17, 2016

On the agenda

  • Calling a special millage election for the Fayetteville Public Library.
  • Changes to the way some festivals are approved.
  • Adopting an economic development strategic plan.
  • Changing the definition of “solicitor” in the city’s door-to-door solicitation law.
  • Rezoning 35 acres on Dead Horse Mountain Road.
  • Updates to the city’s Dangerous Animals laws.

» Download the agenda

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2016 inside room 219 of City Hall, located at 113 W. Mountain St. in Fayetteville.

Listed below are the items up for approval and links to PDF documents with detailed information on each item of business.

Roll Call

Present: Adella Gray, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Justin Tennant, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: Martin Schoppmeyer

» View current attendance records


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

1. Approval of the May 3, 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 7-0

2. Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Agreement Renewal (Details): A resolution to authorize a three-year renewal of the enterprise agreement with Microsoft Corporation, through its authorized reseller SHI International Corporation, for software products in the amount of $137,200.00 per year plus applicable taxes, and to approve a contingency in the amount of $13,700.00 per year for additional software licenses as needed.
Pass 7-0

3. Animal Services Donation Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $81,602.00 representing donation revenue to Animal Services for the first quarter of 2016.
Pass 7-0

4. Alliance Pump & Mechanical, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a change order to the contract with Alliance Pump & Mechanical, Inc. in the amount of $43,521.00 plus applicable taxes for additional repair services required to rebuild seven (7) gearboxes at the Noland Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Pass 7-0

5. Bid #16-30 Central Laundry Equipment, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award Bid #16-30 and authorize the purchase of four commercial washer extractors and five drying units from Central Laundry Equipment, Inc. of Ward, Arkansas in the amount of $65,130.00 plus applicable taxes for use by the Fire Department.
Pass 7-0

6. Braden Neighborhood Park (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $3,723.00 recognizing parkland dedication fees from the northeast quadrant to be used for a portion of improvements to and expansion of the playground at Braden Neighborhood Park.
Pass 7-0

7. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism’s Outdoor Recreation Grant (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a 50/50 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism’s Outdoor Recreation Grant Program in the amount of $150,000.00 for the construction of playground and parking improvements at Wilson Park, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

8. Parks and Recreation Department Donation Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $29,387.00 representing donation revenue to the Parks and Recreation Department.
Pass 7-0

9. Recreational Trails Grant Application – Trail Replacement (Details): A resolution to express the willingness of the City of Fayetteville to utilize federal-aid recreational trails funds and authorize application for a 20% local match grant through the Arkansas Recreational Trails Program in an amount up to $56,000.00 for the replacement of a section of the Razorback Regional Greenway from Maple Street to Frisco Avenue.
Pass 7-0

10. Transportation Alternatives Program – Mud Creek Trail Lighting (Details): A resolution to express the willingness of the City of Fayetteville to utilize federal-aid transportation alternatives program funds and authorize application for a 20% local match grant through the Arkansas Transportation Alternatives Program in an amount up to $500,000.00 for the installation of trail lighting along the Razorback Regional Greenway and the Mud Creek Trail from the Fulbright Expressway to Old Missouri Road.
Pass 7-0

11. Levi Storage Center, LLC Purchase For Cato Springs Trail (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of 1.5 acres of property for construction of the Cato Springs Trail from Levi Storage Center, LLC in the amount of $31,296.00, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $3,129.60.
Pass 7-0

12. Home Team, LLC (Details): A resolution to accept the donation of 1.5 acres of property from Home Team, LLC with the restriction that no development shall occur on the property for at least fifty (50) years.
Pass 7-0

13. Fayetteville Active Transportation Plan Map Amendments (Details): A resolution to approve amendments to the Fayetteville Active Transportation Plan Map to add a connector trail between the Hamestring Creek Trail and the Shiloh Trail, to remove a paved trail from the Kessler Mountain ridge, and to add a loop trail around the Regional Park.
Pass 7-0

Unfinished Business

1. Amend § 72.58 Off-street Parking Facilities; Rules and Rates (Details): An ordinance to amend § 72.58 Off-street Parking Facilities; Rules and Rates (m) to limit the mayor’s authority to assign any city-owned paid parking lots or on-street paid parking spaces within the Entertainment District or the closure of city streets for the use of a permitted special event to not more than two (2) days per year without express approval of the City Council.
Tabled 7-0

Notes: The Ordinance Review Committee has requested more time to continue fine-tuning some amendments to the proposal. The discussion will continue at the second meeting in June.

2. VAC 16-5354 (1137 W. MLK Jr. Blvd./Arena Village) (Details): An ordinance to approve VAC 16-5354 submitted by Steve Fowler for property located at 1137 W. Martin Luther King Blvd. to vacate portions of a utility easement.
Pass 7-0

3. Amend Chapter 116: Door to Door Solicitation (Details): An ordinance to amend Chapter 116: Door To Door Solicitation of the Fayetteville Code by repealing § 116.01, enacting a replacement § 116.01 and by amending the definition of Solicitor in § 116.02 (A) (4).
Pass 7-0

New Business

1. Falling Waters Appeal (Details): An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 16-5385 for approximately 35.31 acres on Dead Horse Mountain Road from R-A, Residential Agriculture to RSF-2, Residential Single Family, 2 units per acre subject to a Bill of Assurance limiting development to 51 homes.
Left on the first reading

Notes: Robert Rhoads, an attorney representing the applicant (Buffington Homes), said the Bill of Assurance also includes a promise that all construction traffic will utilize Dead Horse Mountain Road, and not the streets of the adjacent subdivision.

City Attorney Kit Williams said the collapse of the real estate market 10 years ago caused this project to stall, which reverted the land to its original agricultural zoning, a district that isn’t likely to be developable by the property owners. He said the city has since changed the way it approves a temporary PZD, but at the time this land was originally purchased and then approved for development, the new zoning included a time limit that has now expired. He told aldermen they should consider the fact that the property owners should be allowed to develop their land in some reasonable way and cautioned that it is possible the city could be found liable for some losses incurred by the applicant if the proposal is denied.

The applicants first tried to continue development of their property last year by requesting the land be rezoned to RSF-4, Residential Single-Family, 4 units per acre. That request was denied by the Planning Commission and the City Council. Some aldermen and many neighbors said the project was too massive for the area and would cause flooding and traffic issues.

Clay Carlton, co-owner of Buffington Homes, said he and his partners have spent about $7 million purchasing and attempting to develop this land over the past 10 years. Carlton said at this point, it isn’t likely that his company will ever turn a profit on their investment. He said this new request is the result of listening to neighbors’ concerns last year and trying to find a compromise that will allow his company to continue its now 10-year-old plan in some way.

Alderwoman Adella Gray said she hopes the other council members will keep Carlton’s comments about cost in mind when considering approving the rezoning request. She said the rules have been changed in the middle of the game and that it’s not fair to deny the new request.

“I hope we’ll think really, really hard before not allowing this land to be developed,” said Gray. “We cannot ask these people who have already invested in their land to just let it sit there so the neighbors can enjoy it.”

Some neighbors who spoke said any new development would only compound the flooding issues the area already has and said the request should be denied.

Casey Weathers, a neighbor whose property is closest to the proposed new development, said he was against the project when it was first proposed last year as RSF-4. He said now that the project size has been reduced and includes potential for a second entrance, he is in favor of the new rezoning. He said he now believes with proper development techniques, there is an opportunity to have the original flooding issues corrected.

Alderwoman Sarah Marsh said the council should follow the recommendations of the Planning Commission and deny the request. She said approval would set a dangerous precedent for the area that could lead to further development up the hill, a move she said could compound flooding and traffic issues even further.

Alderman Petty said he might be inclined to vote in favor of the request if the applicant promised to utilize low-impact development techniques that address water quality and potential runoff.

The ordinance was left on the first reading after a motion to go to the second reading failed 5-2 (six votes are needed to suspend the rules, Petty and Kinion voted against, and Mayor Jordan declined to cast a vote).

2. U.S. Geological Survey Joint Funding Agreement (Details): An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and authorize a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for stream gauge operation and maintenance and water quality sampling and monitoring at various locations in the City of Fayetteville for 2016 with the amount paid by the city not to exceed $61,721.00.
Pass 7-0

3. Amend § 92.31 Dangerous Animals and Enact § 92.07 Inhumane Traps Prohibited (Details): An ordinance to amend § 92.31 Dangerous Animals to provide the Animal Services Division with additional options to declare an animal dangerous and allow the rehoming of a dangerous animal with the approval of the Animal Services superintendent, and to enact a new § 92.07 Inhumane Traps Prohibited.
Pass 7-0

4. Aug. 9 Special Election for Fayetteville Public Library (Details): An ordinance calling and setting a date for a special election on the questions of (1) the raising by one and one-half (1.5) mills the current one (1.0) mill city tax on real and personal property supporting the maintenance and operation of Fayetteville Public Library, and (2) the imposition of a one and two-tenths (1.2) mill city tax on real and personal property to be pledged to an issue or issues of bonds not to exceed $26,500,000 in principal amount to finance capital improvements to Fayetteville Public Library; prescribing other matters pertaining thereto; and declaring an emergency.
Pass 6-1

Notes: Alderman John La Tour asked why the election couldn’t be held during the November general election. He said he’d prefer to move the election to that date to save money and ensure a larger turnout of voters.

David Johnson, director of the library, said in order to get the money collected and available for the 2017 budgeting year, state law requires that the election must be held before November. Johnson said donors have already committed to fully paying for the special election and that it won’t cost the city any money.

City Attorney Kit Williams said the Aug. 9 election was chosen by residents who signed petitions requesting that specific date. Williams said it is the council’s legal duty to approve the request by calling the election on the chosen date, and not to suggest another option.

Alderman La Tour asked why the issue was even up for discussion if it is the council’s legal duty to approve the requested date. Williams said a council meeting to call an election is required by state law and it’s a part of the special election process that cannot be skipped.

Alderwoman Marsh said she was happy to call the special election.

“We absolutely have to support our library,” Marsh said. “It is an impressive facility that consistently ranks amongst the top libraries in the nation, which is an honor that we should hold onto for many reasons, including economic development.”

The ordinance passed 6-1 with La Tour voting against.

Alderman Long asked to table for two weeks the second part of the ordinance, which is the emergency clause that would put the ordinance into effect immediately. Long said he wasn’t prepared to vote on that portion of the ordinance tonight.

Williams said an emergency clause requires six affirmative votes, and that the mayor cannot cast the sixth vote needed to pass it. He said if the emergency clause isn’t approved by mid-June, the election likely couldn’t be held on the requested date. He said even if the council approves it at the next meeting on June 7, there might not be enough time for the City Clerk’s office to prepare the item for the county election commission. He said it would be “playing with fire” if the council didn’t pass the clause tonight.

Long apologized for putting the council in an uncomfortable position, but said he’s received several questions from constituents asking why the item has to be enacted immediately and that he simply wasn’t prepared to answer that question yet.

Alderman Petty appealed to Long and said there are several council members who won’t be in attendance at the June 7 meeting, which means it cannot pass that night either.

Long asked for clarification from Williams about whether state law requires the council to pass both the ordinance and the emergency clause, as requested by the petitioners.

Williams said in his opinion, yes, the council must honor the wishes of the petitioners on all accounts, including the emergency clause. State law, he said, does not give the council the right to go above the citizens and deny their requested date, which, in this case, requires an emergency clause be enacted.

Long said he was satisfied with the answer and agreed to vote.

The emergency clause passed 6-1 with La Tour voting against.

5. Economic Development Strategic Plan (Details): A resolution to approve and adopt the Fayetteville First Economic Development Strategic Plan.
Pass 7-0


– One lane of North Garland Avenue will be closed in each direction for street work from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the next eight days.
– There will not be a Ward 4 meeting this month because of the holiday.


This meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.