LIVE UPDATES: Fayetteville City Council recap: Oct. 17, 2017

File photo

On the agenda

  • An appeal of a denied development proposal by the Fayetteville Housing Authority.
  • Approval of the five-year Capital Improvements Plan.
  • Rezoning 1.73 acres on South Government Avenue.
  • An appeal of a denied rezoning request on Meadowlands Drive.

» Download the full agenda

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 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, Lioneld Jordan, Justin Tennant, Sarah Bunch, Alan Long
Absent: John La Tour

Notes: Bunch arrived after the first vote (Arkansas Department of Aeronautics).

» View current attendance records

Agenda Additions

1. Arkansas Department of Aeronautics (Details): A resolution to authorize the application for an 80/20 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics in the amount of $148,720.00 for rehabilitation of the terminal parking lot at Drake Field.
Pass 6-0

Notes: This item was tabled indefinitely at the Oct. 3, 2017 meeting. The applicant requested that the item be removed from the table and the resolution amended to a new amount of $135,900. The item was amended 6-0.


Consent items are approved in a single, all-inclusive vote unless pulled by a council member.

1. Approval of the Oct. 3, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 7-0

2. State of Arkansas Cooperative Procurement Computer Software Purchase (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of software on an as-needed basis from various vendors pursuant to a National Association of State Procurement Officials Valuepoint Cooperative Purchasing Agreement through April 7, 2018, and any future renewal periods.
Pass 7-0

3. State Procurement Officials Valuepoint Cooperative Purchasing Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of computers on an as-needed basis from various vendors pursuant to a National Association of State Procurement Officials Valuepoint Cooperative Purchasing Agreement through March 31, 2020, and any future renewal periods.
Pass 7-0

4. NEOGOV, Inc. Amendment (Details): A resolution to approve an amendment to the 2010 and 2013 service agreements with NEOGOV, Inc. in the amount of $23,530.50 for the renewal of applicant tracking and performance evaluation software licenses through December 15, 2018.
Pass 7-0

5. 2017-2018 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Grant (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a 2017-2018 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Grant in the amount of $122,600.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

6. Fayetteville Police Department Donations (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the total amount of $17,300.00 representing donations received by the Fayetteville Police Department and a contribution from the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney to the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force for support of rural officer expenses.
Pass 7-0

7. Xybix Systems, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of dispatch furniture for the Central Dispatch Center from Xybix Systems, Inc. in the amount of $133,889.24 pursuant to a Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Contract.
Pass 7-0

8. Fire Department Training Grounds Budget Adjustment (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $92,454.00 to allow for the completion of restroom facilities, storage space and an open classroom space at the Fire Department Training Grounds.
Pass 7-0

9. Energy Assessment Task Order No. 8 (Details): A resolution to approve Task Order No. 8 with Garver, LLC in the amount of $27,600.00 to complete an energy assessment for the terminal building, terminal parking lot, and airfield electrical vault at Drake Field, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

10. Water & Sewer Outbuildings (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $5,968.00 to allow for construction materials testing and special inspections for the Water & Sewer Outbuildings construction.
Pass 7-0

11. Ozarks Electric Utility Easement (Details): A resolution to approve the conveyance of an electrical distribution line easement to Ozarks Electric Cooperative Corporation across a portion of Bryce Davis Park to supply electricity for lights at Iams Dog Park.
Pass 7-0

Unfinished Business

1. Appeal of LSD 17-5775 (324 E. 12th Place/Morgan Manor Apts. Addition) (Details): A resolution to grant the appeal of City Council member Sarah Marsh and to deny the Fayetteville Housing Authority’s application for a large-scale development.
Fail 2-5

Notes: This item was tabled on both Sept. 19 and Oct. 3 after a lengthy discussion. See the discussion notes here for some context.

Just like on Oct. 3, Mayor Jordan and City Attorney Kit Williams began by reminding the Council members and audience that their discussion cannot be about the applicant or whether the development is a good idea, but may only be about whether the development is in compliance with the city’s Unified Development Code.

Marsh tonight restated her comments from Sept. 19 and Oct. 3 about her belief that the new development could lead to the creation or compounding of a dangerous traffic situation in the area.

Three Willow Heights residents who are set to be moved to Morgan Manor spoke in favor of the development, one who said she doesn’t own a vehicle, and another who said she was actually speaking on behalf of her daughter.

At the request of Marsh, local resident and developer Zara Niederman gave a presentation that was originally set to come during the discussion of the Five-year Capital Improvements Plan. His presentation showed that the Walker Park Neighborhood Plan called for mid-term goals including significant improvements to sidewalk infrastructure, but most of the specific projects outlined in the plan have not yet been completed.

Resident Melissa Terry said after a door-to-door survey of Willow Heights residents, only about half own vehicles. Because of that, she said the expanded Morgan Manor area will see increased pedestrian usage.

Mike Emery, chair of the Fayetteville Housing Authority, reiterated that city staff have determined that traffic in the area would only be improved by the expansion of Morgan Manor. He said according to police records, the neighborhood on average hasn’t seen a higher number of accidents than in other parts of town.

Some residents said the traffic and sidewalks near Morgan Manor are difficult to navigate, while others said the area is just fine. Another said the development would require the addition of sidewalks and other infrastructure that could improve traffic and walkability.

City Planning Director Andrew Garner said traffic would actually be improved if the development comes to fruition. He said city staff have anticipated expansion at Morgan Manor since the Walker Park Neighborhood Plan was adopted in 2008, and repeated staff’s belief that the proposed project does meet all the requirements of the city’s Unified Development Code.

Council member Mark Kinion said while he respects the city planning staff’s opinion about vehicular traffic, he’s concerned about the safety of pedestrians.

City Attorney Kit Williams reminded Kinion that police records indicate the neighborhood on average has seen a very common number of vehicle accidents compared to other parts of town, and that no pedestrians have been involved in any accidents in the area in the past 22 months. Williams cautioned the council about taking subjective concerns into consideration when actual objective information is available.

Council member Matthew Petty said when taking into account only the considerations surrounding the compliance of the proposed development, it’s clear the project meets the minimum standards. He said safety concerns are always legitimate, but in this case, he believes they’re being used to simply try and stop the development. He said while opponents of the project won’t be happy with his opinion, they may take some comfort knowing that some of the outside criticism that the Housing Authority board has seen may be alleviated by the recent addition of Melissa Terry – one of the board’s most vocal critics – as a new board member.

Mayor Jordan said he’s “not particularly crazy” about the proposal, but it has gone through the planning staff and Planning Commission, both of which recommended approval of the project. When looking at the facts, Jordan said he must support the development.

During the final vote, only Marsh and Kinion voted in favor of the appeal. The development and expansion of Morgan Manor will go on as planned.

2. Small Cell Communications Facilities (Details): An ordinance to enact § 110.03 Small Cell Facilities and Networks into Chapter 110: Telecommunication Franchise, Billposting, and Small Cell Facilities and Networks.
Left on the second reading

Communications Director Susan Norton requested the item be left on the second reading to give city staff more time to fine-tune the proposal.

3. 2018-2022 Five-year Capital Improvements Plan (Details): A resolution to adopt the 2018-2022 Five-year Capital Improvements Plan.
Pass 7-0

Notes: This item was left on the first reading on Oct. 3. See the discussion notes here for some context.

Members of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board have asked the council to consider approving a $200,000 project to update the city’s Parks Master Plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2002. At tonight’s meeting, City Finance Director Paul Becker recommended adding that project to the budget by delaying two other projects: a $50,000 forestry plan that was set to be funded in 2018, and a $150,000 plan to build campgrounds at Lake Sequoyah.

Council members have said with a new bond issue looming, it would be wise to have an updated parks master plan when specifying where that bond money should go.

The plan was amended 6-0 to include the Parks Master Plan.

New Business

1. RZN 17-5925 (820 S. Government Ave./Barnes) (Details): An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 17-5925 for approximately 1.73 acres located at 820 S. Government Ave. from RMF-24, Residential Multi Family, 24 units per acre, MSC, Main Street Center, and I-1, Heavy Commercial & Light Industrial to I-1, Heavy Commercial & Light Industrial.

Notes: Council member Petty said while the current proposed use is fine, he thinks the rezoning would be a mistake. He said it removes the ability to build residential by right, which longterm planning documents call for in this area. He said he wishes there was another mechanism to allow a longtime landowner to expand use on their property without a rezoning.

Council member Sarah Marsh suggested holding the item on the second reading (it was moved from the first reading before Petty’s comments) to allow some time to explore options for the applicant.

2. 2017 Standard Specifications for Design and Construction of Water Lines and Sewer Lines (Details): An ordinance to enact § 173.12 Specifications for Water and Sewer Lines in Chapter 173 Building Regulations of the Unified Development Code.
Pass 7-0

3. Inveritas Research & Consulting, LLC (Details): An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and approve a contract with Inveritas Research & Consulting, LLC in the amount of $3,500.00 to conduct a workshop for the City Management Team to develop an implementation plan based on the Inveritas Strategic Planning final report submitted to the City Council after their spring workshop.
Pass 7-0

4. Appeal RZN 17-5901 (1100 N. Meadowlands/Khajehnajafi) (Details): An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 17-5901 for approximately 1.20 acres located at 1100 N. Meadowlands Drive from R-O, Residential Office to CS, Community Services.
Pass 7-0

Notes: The original request, which was denied by the Planning Commission, was to rezone the property from R-O, Residential Office to C2, Thoroughfare Commercial. The appeal includes a change to the original request which is to rezone the property from R-O, Residential Office to CS, Community Services. City planning staff are in favor of the new request.


– Free trees and shrubs will be available for Fayetteville residents on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the 19th annual Celebration of Trees event on the downtown square.
– The final fall bulky waste collection event is also scheduled for Oct. 28. See details here.
– The Greedy Goats of NWA are at Wilson Park this week to help clear invasive species from the area.


This meeting was adjourned at 9:01 p.m.