LIVE UPDATES: Fayetteville City Council recap: Oct. 2, 2018

File photo

On the agenda…

  • Rezoning 119 acres on Markham Hill.
  • Approval of a C-PZD at Pratt Place Inn on Markham Hill.
  • Rezoning 0.39 acres on North Gregg Avenue.
  • Rezoning 13.26 acres at 1101 S. Beechwood Ave.
  • Abolishing the City Board of Health.
  • Re-allocating the parking fund revenue that goes to the WAC.

» Download the full agenda

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 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, Sarah Bunch, John La Tour, Kyle Smith
Absent: None

» View current attendance records

City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Monthly Financial Report – Paul Becker, Finance Director

Notes: Becker said things look good – building permits up, street fund flat, parking fees down slightly but expected to rise, HMR up, water and sewer collections up, recycling and trash collection is flat, airport fuel sales up.

2. Ozark Regional Transit Periodic Report

Notes: Overall, ridership is down a bit from last year, but is up in Fayetteville.


Consent items are approved in a single, all-inclusive vote unless an item is pulled by a council member at the beginning of the meeting.

1. Open Avenues, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a lease agreement of a portion of the airport with Open Avenues, Inc.
Pass 8-0

2. Upchurch Electrical Supply Company (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a variable frequency drive from Upchurch Electrical Supply Company, a division of Mayer Electric Supply Company, Inc. in the amount of $18,468.51 plus applicable taxes for use at the Hamestring Lift Station.
Pass 8-0

3. Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve Supplemental Agreement No. 2 with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $35,000.00 for additional electrical engineering services associated with electrical work at the Noland Water Resource Recovery Facility.
Pass 8-0

4. Windstar Investments, LLC (Details): A resolution to approve an agreement with Windstar Investments, LLC d/b/a Roll Off Dumpsters for the hauling of solid waste and recyclable material in the City of Fayetteville.
Pass 8-0

5. Marck Recycling and Waste Services of NW Arkansas, LLC (Details): A resolution to approve an agreement with Marck Recycling and Waste Services of NW Arkansas, LLC for the hauling of solid waste and recyclable material in the City of Fayetteville.
Pass 8-0

6. Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas (Details): A resolution to approve a services agreement with the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas acting for and on behalf of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Psychiatric Research Institute, Arkansas Employee Assistance Program for employee assistance program services for police, fire, and community resources employees in the amount of $26.00 per covered employee.
Pass 8-0

7. RFQ 18-09 IMS Infrastructure Management Services, LLC (Details): A resolution to award RFQ 18-09 and authorize a contract with IMS Infrastructure Management Services, LLC for pavement analysis and inventory services in the amount of $206,159.00, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $15,000.00.
Pass 8-0

8. Gametime c/o Cunningham Recreation (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of bleacher covers from Gametime c/o Cunningham Recreation for the Kessler Mountain Regional Park Baseball Complex in the amount of $123,690.20, including the cost of installation, pursuant to a U.S. Communities National Cooperative Purchasing Program contract.
Pass 8-0

9. Hark at the Center for Collaborative Care (Details): A resolution to approve an agreement with Hark at the Center for Collaborative Care for the establishment and management of the help a neighbor fund, and to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $5,000.00 to pay for the staff time utilized for the establishment and management of the fund.
Pass 8-0

10. Axon Enterprises, Inc. (Details): A resolution to accept and agree to a quote from Axon Enterprises, Inc. for the purchase of body worn cameras and software pursuant to a National IPA contract in the amount of $6,787.84 for 2018-2019 and $2,910.36 annually for the following four years for a total of $18,429.28 and to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign this quote.
Pass 8-0

Unfinished Business

1. RZN 18-6317 (West of Markham Road/Markham Hill) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 18-6317 for approximately 119.43 acres located west of Markham Road from RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre and C-PZD, Commercial Planned Zoning District to rezone approximately 75.42 acres to RI-U, Residential Intermediate-Urban and approximately 44.01 acres to R-A, Residential Agricultural, subject to a bill of assurance.
Pass 8-0

Background: The changes would allow Specialized Real Estate Group to expand Pratt Place Inn and build a multi-phase, conservation-based neighborhood over the next 10 to 20 years. The plan would permanently preserve 44 acres of natural land.

The request includes a bill of assurance which promises that despite the change from RSF-4, the overall density for the rezoned property will remain at a maximum of four units per acre. It also commits Specialized to keep at least 50 percent of the total RI-U and RA acreage as passive and active open space. That includes the preserved 44-acre conservation area, but also adds landscaping, gardens, pocket parks, meadows, watersheds, outdoor plazas and existing or new walking or multi-use trails throughout the neighborhood.

For more information about the proposal, see our story from July.

Both the Planning Commission and city staff are in favor of the request.

Location: Here’s a map…

Sept. 18 Discussion: Seth Mims, president of Specialized Real Estate Group, gave a brief presentation about the project. The council agreed to also hear about the next item on the agenda – since they’re both a part of the same project – so that the upcoming discussion can include comments about the entire project.

Mims said the original bill of assurance was recently revised to clarify that the conservation area would be preserved either through a conservation easement or a gift to a land trust or municipality.

The first resident to speak was against the rezoning and called the project “a fantasy” and said the original C-PZD was a promise to the neighbors that should be honored today by not being changed.

Several residents who spoke against the plan said development would destroy the natural habitat of the hill.

Council member Marsh said she wanted to remind the audience that the current zoning already allows the property owner to develop the non-C-PZD land in a typical 4-units-per-ace fashion by right. This new zoning, she said, would keep the same density that’s currently allowed while preserving more natural habitat than could be fit into a typical RSF-4 neighborhood.

Others who spoke against the project mentioned access and traffic concerns as reasons why the rezoning should be denied.

City documents show at least 21 emails sent to the City Clerk’s office in support of the project, with only eight against. Those opposed, however, were in the majority at tonight’s meeting, with 17 speaking against and only two in favor.

There was no council discussion on Sept. 18, and the item was left on the first reading.

Oct. 2 Discussion:
Seth Mims, president of Specialized Real Estate Group, said his company’s plan follows the city’s goals of prioritizing appropriate infill by utilizing form-based zoning districts. He said the neighborhood proposal is compact, using denser housing, meaningful open spaces and preserves, and small blocks. He said it’s complete, in that it uses varied housing and mixed-use buildings in the neighborhood. He also said it will be connected by way of street-oriented buildings and interconnected streets. All of this, he said, is the opposite of sprawl.

He said his company held several neighborhood meetings to gather input from residents. For example, he said placing extremely oversized lots to the east of Pratt Place along Markham Road was a direct response from the wishes of neighbors who said they didn’t want to see small homes on small lots along Markham. He said the lots north of Markham are 100 yards deep, and the lots on the south side are 50 yards deep.

He said he wanted to remind the council that currently by right, a developer could build 257 homes just on the west side of the mountain and across the area where his company plans to conserve 44 acres of natural land. By approving his plan, he said the city could permanently preserve a large area of land that otherwise could be built upon.

Mims also said he’s committed to giving the city enough right-of-way to build a public trail through the property.

The first resident to speak said he believes in infill, but he thinks the traffic would be too high on Markham Road if the hill is developed as proposed.

Many residents who spoke against the project also cited potential traffic concerns as a reason why the rezoning should be rejected. Others said a development on the hill could bring unwanted noise or stormwater runoff.

One woman said she’s collected over 2,700 signatures from people who are against the proposal, and another person said he didn’t think the Markham family would want a neighborhood built on the hill.

Several people who spoke said they were either in favor of the rezoning, or they hadn’t yet come to a definitive decision.

One man said the proposed neighborhood is exactly the kind of place he’d like to live in Fayetteville. Another said the plan isn’t perfect, but it has some positives. A few people said they’re sad to see development on the hill, but added that this might be the best proposal the city will ever see for the land.

Sarah Lewis, a former Ward 4 City Council member, suggested tabling the issue to consider a possible master plan for Markham Hill. She said the decision of what will become of Markham Hill is too big to leave up to just one rezoning request.

Steve Clark, president of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has no opposition to the rezoning. He said change is inevitable, and the council must manage that change to the best of their ability by taking the advice of planning experts and the city’s Development Services division, who are in favor of the request. He said the city should embrace the proposed rezoning and the plan for development.

In all, about 20 people spoke against the proposal and 11 spoke in favor or weren’t definitively opposed.

After public comment, council member Gray moved to send the item to the third and final reading. La Tour seconded. That motion passed with only Smith voting against.

Council member Petty said he’s in favor of the request. He said he thinks some of the traffic concerns and neighborhood predictions about expected traffic counts are overblown. He said this proposal reminds him of Mount Sequoyah, which includes a five-story hotel-style unit, cottages, and preserved forest land on the back side. He said Mount Sequoyah wasn’t ruined when the hill was developed, and is still considered to be one of the city’s most attractive and desired places to be.

“I don’t think it will be bad,” said Petty of Specialized’s plan. “I think it will be quite good.”

However, Petty said regardless of whether the neighborhood project or expanded Pratt Place is a success, he is in support of the proposal because of Specialized’s offer to permanently preserve the 44 acres on the west side.

Council member Marsh said what is currently possible with the current zoning district is “far worse” for the environment than what is being proposed with this project. She said the city should take this opportunity to increase density in the middle of town while also preserving a large swath of land.

“I’m looking forward to a beautiful development,” said Marsh.

Council member Smith said this is one of the hardest decisions to come up since he joined the council last year. He said he would like Markham Hill to stay undeveloped, but said growth is a challenge and he’s unsure where the balance is between preservation and managing a growing population. He said thinking about what could be developed on the west side of the mountain under the current zoning turns his stomach sour.

Council member Gray said it is a hard decision because change is painful, but the city is lucky to have a developer who has not taken any shortcuts with their plan, and who wants to create something special. She said she’s excited about Fayetteville having a possible new model for neighborhood planning, and said she’ll be proud to vote in support.

Council member Bunch said as someone who grew up in Fayetteville, she has fond memories of Markham Hill. She said she’d love to see things stay the way she remembers them, but she knows that’s not possible. She said her sentimental hesitations are outweighed by what she thinks is possible with this proposal. She said the only guaranteed way to preserve any part of the hill is to take this offer and ensure that housing remains on the top of the hill and not the side leading down to the west.

Council member La Tour said he’s conflicted because he would like to support his Ward 4 constituents who are opposed to this plan, but he doesn’t agree with the neighbors who say the proposed rezoning isn’t compatible with the surrounding area. He said the word is out that Fayetteville is a great place to live, and people are moving here at a high rate. He said the city needs to prepare for growth and this proposal would satisfy the need for more homes while also preserving trees and natural areas that make the city so attractive.

“I realize this is a political issue that is going to cost me some votes (in November), but I have to do what I think is best for this city,” said La Tour.

The vote:
During the vote, the proposal was approved 8-0.

2. C-PZD 18-6318 (2231 W. Markham Road/Pratt Place Inn & Barn) (Details)

An ordinance to approve a Commercial Planned Zoning District entitled C-PZD 18-6318 for property located at 2231 W. Markham Road reducing the existing 68.99-acre Commercial Planned Zoning District to 24.06 acres while retaining the existing uses, and adding up to 5,000 square feet of event space, 12,000 square feet of restaurant or commercial space, 80 hotel rooms, and 43 dwelling units.
Pass 8-0

Background: This request is tied to the rezoning item above. Both the Planning Commission and city staff are in favor of the request with the following conditions of approval:

  1. Approval of this PZD does not imply compliance with city development or fire codes, grant approval of any development variance, or guarantee that it is feasible to develop to the maximum intensity and density of the proposed C-PZD and comply with all codes. Review for compliance with all applicable development codes will be required at each stage of development.
  2. A new street connection will be required to accommodate the volumes of traffic associated with this development, as depicted on Plat 2b. Construction of the street shall be determined at the time of development.
  3. A traffic study will be required with the first phase of development to fully evaluate on- and off-site traffic impacts and public improvements necessary to mitigate impacts to a less than significant level. This will include a full evaluation of improvements to the surrounding street network affected by project traffic including streets such as Markham Road, Cross Avenue, Halsell Road and Sang Avenue.

Location: Here’s a map of the C-PZD request area…

And here’s the C-PZD conceptual plan (click the image to enlarge) …

Sept. 18 Discussion:
This item was discussed in unison with the item above on Sept. 18.

Oct. 2 Discussion:
During public comment, three people spoke against the C-PZD request.

There was no council comment, but Mayor Jordan said when he was a Ward 4 council member, he personally asked for a conservation easement but was rejected. He also said it was made clear at the time that a future council could change the C-PZD, and that appears to be what is happening tonight since he’s no longer a council member and no other members are still serving to this day.

The Vote:
During the vote, the proposal was approved 8-0.

New Business

1. Walton Arts Center Current Payment for Services (Details)

A resolution to express the intention of the City Council to divide the current payment for services to the Walton Arts Center into three equal payments to the Walton Arts Center, TheatreSquared, Inc. and to the city for infrastructure improvements in the Entertainment District parking district.
Tabled Indefinitely 8-0

Background: This would express the council’s intent to re-allocate the $250,000 that goes to the WAC from excess parking funds to be split between the WAC, TheatreSquared and the city beginning in 2019. Council member Matthew Petty said it would give the city some money to help implement parking improvements and would give T2 some funds needed to provide free community programming similar to what the WAC provides in exchange for its money. Petty said there could be an impact to the services the city receives from the WAC, but added that the city would gain some services from T2 and that it could ultimately be evened out. The WAC contract runs through the end of the year.

Petty said the intent here is to give city staff some flexibility with the money. He said he’s not set on the amounts being split evenly.

City Attorney Kit Williams said if the intent is to just be flexible, then the resolution should be amended to say so, instead of being specific about three equal payments.

Council member Tennant asked why this item was needed when the council could just make changes to this payment at the next budget session. Petty said he was told by the administration that it might be wise to make the council’s intent known now instead of bringing it up later in the middle of a budget discussion.

Chamber president Steve Clark said this proposal would be cannibalizing the city’s funding to the arts. He said if the city believes in the arts, it should fund the arts and not take money back to use for parking infrastructure. He urged the council not to approve the resolution.

TheatreSquared officials said they’re excited about the idea of receiving funds to help with community programming (Petty said last week that he was recently approached by T2 about a possible contract similar to that of the WAC’s).

T2 executive director Martin Miller spoke Tuesday night, as did WAC president Peter Lane. Both leaders spoke highly of each organization.

Lane said the WAC has a good relationship with T2, but said his funding shouldn’t be cut to provide money for other programs.

“Taking from Peter to pay Martin is not a good idea,” joked Lane. “There has to be a better way.”

Petty said Clark’s claims aren’t even-handed. He said the city has a long track record of supporting both T2 and the WAC, along with recent decisions to fund public art, build an expanded library and support the creation of a cultural arts district.

“I think anybody who looks at Fayetteville concludes that Fayetteville loves and supports the arts,” said Petty.

Council member Gray said she can’t support the resolution. She said she loves T2 and the WAC, and also the city’s vision for new infrastructure in the entertainment district. However, she said the council needs to find other ways to support all three without cutting funding for the WAC.

Marsh said she supports the WAC, but it’s an organization that’s had time to become more self-sustaining through the years. She said it might be time for the city to invest in other things like T2 and new infrastructure.

Tennant said this proposal is not the way to get more funding for parking infrastructure. Kinion agreed.

Smith said he likes the discussion about finding ways to support T2 and more infrastructure, but he’s not ready to support the resolution. He said it’s great to have a growing arts district, but the WAC isn’t getting any smaller just because T2 is expanding.

La Tour said it might be time to start weening the Walton Arts Center off, so he’s in favor of the resolution.

City Attorney Kit Williams said as someone who’s worked for the city through many efforts to support the WAC and its continued operation and expansion in Fayetteville, he’s concerned about removing any of their funding. It’s a small amount of money, he said, but the perception of cutting WAC funds could send a conflicting message.

Petty said after listening to the council, he’d rather table the proposal indefinitely than call for a vote that he knows won’t pass.

2. MCCi, LLC (Details)

An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and authorize the purchase of additional Laserfiche user licenses and modules, annual software maintenance, and future software and service needs through the end of 2022 from MCCi, LLC in an amount not to exceed $90,000.00 plus applicable taxes.
Pass 8-0

Background: The city currently owns 90 Laserfiche full client licenses, 80 Laserfiche Forms licenses, and 90 Laserfiche Connector licenses. The quote provides annual software maintenance for existing Laserfiche licenses and holds future software maintenance increases to a maximum increase of 2 percent per year through fiscal year 2022. In addition, staff is requesting approval to purchase additional software, associated software maintenance, and services from MCCi through fiscal year 2022.

Discussion: There was no discussion. The ordinance passed unanimously.

3. JCI Industries, Inc. (Details)

An ordinance to waive competitive bidding and accept a repair quote of $14,570.00 plus applicable taxes from JCI Industries, Inc. to repair a wastewater pump used at the Gregg Street Sewer Lift Station.
Pass 8-0

Background: City staff said the pump was found to be in need of a routine rebuild including some minor machine work, as expected for a 10-year-old pump. Because it was necessary to have the repair facility disassemble and inspect the unit to determine the extent of hidden and unknown damage to equipment already purchased, a bid waiver and/or formal sealed bidding is not necessary according to Arkansas Procurement Law.

Discussion: There was no discussion. The ordinance passed unanimously.

4. RZN 18-6308 (1400 & 1424 N. Gregg Ave./Birgin) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 18-6308 for approximately 0.39 acres located at 1400 and 1424 N. Gregg Ave. from RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre to RI-12, Residential Intermediate, 12 units per acre.
Left on the first reading

Background: The subject property is located on the northeast corner of Lawson Street and Gregg Avenue. The property totals approximately 0.39 acres, is zoned RSF-4, and is currently developed with two single-family homes. The request is to rezone the parcel to RI-12, Residential Intermediate, 12 Units per Acre. The applicant stated the rezoning will help to renovate and redevelop the property. Both the Planning Commission and staff recommend approval.

Location: Here’s a map of the rezoning request area…

Five residents, one who is the president of a nearby neighborhood association, spoke against the rezoning. They said the infrastructure can’t handle new housing, that traffic would be negatively impacted, and that a non-neighborhood resident shouldn’t be allowed to rezone their property when the neighbors are against the idea.

One woman said she doesn’t want “more trashy rentals” in her neighborhood.

Council member Marsh said over 60 percent of households in Fayetteville are renters. She said the city needs more rental units, not less. As a major arterial roadway, she said Gregg Avenue is a good location for apartments.

Tennant said he would like to leave the item on the first reading to allow him some more time to look into the request.

Kinion said he’s considering siding with the neighbors because Lawson is a precarious street. He said he would also like more time to look into the request.

The council agreed, and the discussion will continue on Oct. 16.

5. RZN 18-6330 (1101 S. Beechwood Ave./Aspen Heights Partners) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 18-6330 for approximately 13.26 acres located at 1101 S. Beechwood Ave. from I-1, Heavy Commercial & Light Industrial to CS, Community Services.
Pass 8-0

Background: The subject property is located approximately 1,500 feet south of Martin Luther King Boulevard on the west side of Beechwood Avenue. The property is zoned I-1, Heavy Commercial and Light Industrial, and is currently developed with one large industrial building. The request is to rezone the parcel to CS, Community Services. The applicant has said they wish to develop the property in a manner similar in nature to similar properties to the north and northeast for multi-family housing. Both the Planning Commission and staff recommend approval.

Location: Here’s a map of the rezoning request area…

Discussion: There was no discussion. The ordinance passed unanimously.

6. Repeal Article XXIX City board of Health (Details)

An ordinance to repeal Article XXIX City Board of Health in Chapter 33 Departments, Boards, Commissions and Authorities of the Fayetteville City Code.
Left on the first reading

Background: There is currently a Washington County Health Unit and a County Health Officer with similar duties and responsibilities as the City Board of Health and City Health Officer. Staff said this is a duplication of effort and could possibly lead to conflicting consequences in the event of an epidemic outbreak. The county department has full-time staff who monitor and act on public health issues, and because of this, the city’s board of health has not had a single agenda item for over a year. The state general assembly has made municipal boards of health optional instead of mandatory, so the city is looking to abolish its board.

Discussion: Council member Kinion said he’s heard from a resident who might bring an agenda item to the next meeting on Oct. 10. Smith said it might be a good idea to take this proposal up with the board at the next meeting, if it occurs. The council left the item on the first reading.


This meeting was adjourned at 11:17 p.m.