LIVE UPDATES: Fayetteville City Council recap: April 20, 2021

From our Tweet: Here’s another look inside the council chambers tonight. Three council members are here (Jones, Scroggin, Hertzberg). The other five joined via Zoom. Space is limited, but there is room downstairs to queue up if anyone from the public wants to speak in person.

File photo

On the agenda…

  • A memorial statue for Officer Stephen Carr.
  • Adopting short-term rental regulations.
  • Rezoning 1 acre on Cherry Lane.
  • An R-PZD on Dead Horse Mountain Road.
  • Amending the Master Street Plan.

» Download the full agenda

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, 2021. It is lived streamed on the city’s YouTube channel, and held virtually on the Zoom app due to social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Roll Call

Present: Sonia Gutierrez, D’Andre Jones, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sloan Scroggin, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None

» View current attendance records

City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Presentation of the Mayor’s Environmental Stewardship Award to selected award recipients

Notes: The Environmental Action Committee received nine applications, and the following nominees were selected as this year’s winners:

Patty Erwin – Individual/Educator
Pack Rat Outdoor Center – Business
Arkansas Myriad – Industry/Manufacturing

2. Monthly Financial Report


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. Approval of the April 6 City Council Meeting minutes
Pass 8-0

2. Officer Stephen Carr Memorial (Details): A resolution to approve a sculpture commission agreement with Brodin Studios, Inc. in the amount of $51,483.55 for the Officer Stephen Carr memorial bronze statue, to approve a cost share agreement with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #10 with an amount not to exceed $35,000.00 to be paid by the City of Fayetteville toward the cost of the sculpture, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $5,000.00.
Pass 8-0

Pulled From Consent

1. Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) (Details)

A resolution to approve a memorandum of agreement with Washington County regarding funding from the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in the amount of $66,108.00 for the Police Department.
Pass 8-0

Council Member Gutierrez said she pulled this from the Consent Agenda on behalf of a constituent named Sarah Moore.

Moore said she wants to continue the conversation about exploring ways the city can evaluate whether drug program money it receives is working, and whether those funds can be used for community education programs.

Gutierrez said she’s happy to follow up with Police Chief Mike Reynolds to continue the discussion.

Reynolds agreed, and said education and prevention is the key to solving drug issues. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we cannot arrest our way out of this problem,” said Reynolds.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.

Unfinished Business

1. Short-term Rental Regulations (Details)

An ordinance to amend §118.01 Applicability of Chapter 118 Business Registry and Licenses, Chapter 151 Definitions, Chapter 161 Zoning Regulations, § 162.01 Establishment/Listing of Chapter 162 Use Units, and Chapter 163 Use Conditions of the Unified Development Code to classify the types of short-term rentals and create regulations to permit and inspect the rentals.
Pass 8-0

This item was tabled at the Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 16, March 16 and April 6 meetings.

A short-term rental is the leasing out of a furnished residential dwelling on a short-term basis, generally less than a month. It is estimated that there are approximately 500-600 STR units in Fayetteville. However, Fayetteville’s codes do not have specific rules for STRs and they are classified as hotels/motels in the zoning code. This prevents them from legally operating in a single-family district and there are numerous STRs currently in violation. In July of 2019 the council adopted a resolution directing staff to study and develop an ordinance for STRs for their consideration.

This proposal has support from city staff and the Planning Commission.

Here are the overview slides presented tonight:

Dec. 1 Discussion:

Several people spoke during public comment, some who were in favor and others who were against. Some of those against said the rules were too overbearing and would make it difficult for people to operate short-term rentals. Others said they’d like to see the proposal be changed in some places, particularly the limit of eight people per residence.

A few council members also said they’d like to see some fine-tuning. Staff agreed, and said they would work more on the proposed language.

Turk and Scroggin suggested tabling the issue until the first meeting in January. The council agreed, and voted 7-0 to table until Jan. 5. Petty’s vote wasn’t audible.

Jan. 5 Discussion:
During the vote to move the second reading, Gutierrez and Kinion voted against. All other members voted in favor.

Staff asked to forward the ordinance to the council’s Ordinance Review Committee. Several members said they like that idea. The council voted 8-0 to table the ordinance until Feb. 16 to give the committee time to meet and discuss the proposal.

Feb. 16 Discussion:
City Attorney Kit Williams said the Ordinance Review Committee approved some changes but noted that there are still some complicated things to consider about this proposal, but they sent it back to the council so the public could continue to weigh in. It might need to go back to the committee before a final decision is made.

Here are the proposed changes:

Staff quickly read over some other proposed changes, but the slides weren’t loading. The proposed changes, however, are highlighted in yellow in the latest staff report (click here to read that report).

Council members said they’d like to table the item and send it back to the committee to further fine tune it.

During public comment, Sue Madison said she’d like to see the committee consider parking issues around short-term rentals and events that are held at short-term rentals that might need health department approval.

Others who spoke said they don’t understand the need for these regulations, they think the city should wait a while before enacting new rules, they’re concerned about the Conditional Use Permit process taking too long, or they think there are too many rules proposed.

The council vote 7-0 to table the item for a month and refer it to the Ordinance Review Committee (Jones’ vote wasn’t audible).

March 16 Discussion:
Staff recommended this item be tabled to allow the Ordinance Review Committee time to review some possible amendments. The discussion will continue on April 6.

April 6 Discussion:
City Attorney Kit Williams said he has an amendment to include a 20-month sunset clause, as recommended by the Ordinance Review Committee. The sunset clause would allow the ordinance to be reviewed and safely changed in the future if problems arise.

Turk said she’d prefer a 12-month sunset clause. She moved to make that change, but there was no second.

The 20-month sunset amendment passed 8-0.

The council voted 5-3 to table the item for two weeks to allow the council more time to consider the ordinance, and to direct staff to bring forward an amendment regarding occupancy limits. The discussion will continue on April 20. Turk, Kinion and Jones voted against because they wanted to direct staff to explore several more regulation changes which would require the item to be tabled for four weeks.

April 20 Discussion:
Turk said she’s found a lot of inconsistencies and other concerns in the proposal. She said she knows this proposal has been on the table for a long time, but she doesn’t want to rush it. She said she’d like to propose several changes or even send the item back to the Ordinance Review Committee for further adjustments.

Scroggin moved to initiate an immediate vote. Hertzberg seconded. The motion failed 4-4 with Turk, Gutierrez, Jones and Kinion voting against (an immediate vote requires six affirmative votes).

Turk said she would go through each of her concerns tonight.

Turk moved to amend the language to prevent minors from subletting rentals as short-term rentals. The motion passed.

Turk moved to change the language to specifically define a bedroom. Staff said the city typically defers to definitions set by the state in these instances. In this case, the state uses International Building Code language. Turk said she just wants to change the word “room” to “bedroom.” The motion passed.

Turk moved to remove a requirement that states platforms like Airbnb must advertise whether a rental is legally licensed since that would be difficult to enforce and the platforms have said they don’t have the ability to add that info only for Fayetteville rentals. Petty said he doesn’t believe the platforms can’t provide that info, so he won’t support the motion. He said he thinks they’re just trying to avoid doing the work. The motion passed.

Turk moved to clarify the type of insurance the city requires for a short-term rental. Staff said houses each have separate requirements depending on their size. The motion failed.

Turk suggested that the short-term rental license holder be included in the city’s landlord registry. City Attorney Kit Williams said that change should be made to the landlord registry ordinance.

Turk moved to require Type 1 rental owners to be present during all rentals. Bunch said that is an unreasonable requirement. The motion failed.

Turk moved to require a new license be obtained within 30 days after a change in ownership occurs. The previous language didn’t include a specific date. Staff said it was omitted because current code regarding business licenses already covers that with a 60-day requirement, but it could be added to the city’s website. The motion failed.

Turk moved to require criminal activity be reported within 12 hours. The previous language stated it should be reported in a timely manner. The motion passed.

Turk moved to require a Type 1 rental owner or lessee to live in the home for at least nine months out of a year. The motion passed.

City Attorney Kit Williams said while the ordinance has been improved, he cannot recommend it be passed yet. He said he still has concerns about some inconsistencies in the language, which he described in his latest memos (see the end of this document).

Scroggin said he’d like to pass the ordinance tonight and tighten things up later when problems arise.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the ordinance.

2. RZN-2021-033 (797 S. Cherry Ln./A&B Enterprises, Inc.) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 21-033 located at 797 W. Cherry Lane for approximately 1.02 acres from RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre to RI-U, Residential Intermediate-Urban.
Pass 6-1

This item was left on the first reading at the April 6 meeting.

The property contains one single-family dwelling. No development plans have been submitted by the applicant.

Both city staff and the Planning Commission recommend approval of the request. Staff has received public comment on the item both in support of the request and in opposition.


April 6 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Turk said the street is narrow, and she thinks the council should tour the area to see for themselves.

The council agreed to leave the item on the first reading. The discussion will continue on April 20.

April 20 Discussion:
During public comment, two people said these are the types of projects that can help provide affordable housing in Fayetteville. Another person said the area has drainage issues and this project might make those problems worse.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the ordinance. Gutierrez voted against. Kinion was absent for the vote.

3. VAC-2021-015 (215 S. Vale Ave./Rock Creek Holdings) (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 21-015 for property located at 2015 S. Vale Ave. to vacate a portion of public right-of-way between South Razorback Road and South Vale Avenue, as well as a portion of a 10-foot wide alley right-of-way.
Fail 3-4

This item was left on the first reading at the April 6 meeting.

The property includes 0.49 acres of unbuilt right-of-way. City staff said there is no indication that it was ever improved or utilized by the public.

City staff does not support the request because it would negate the established lot and block pattern in the neighborhood with the historic platting of the Meadow Vale Subdivision. Staff said the request would also be in conflict with the stated goals of City Plan 2040.

The Planning Commission, however, recommends approval with the following conditions:

  1. Any damage or relocation of existing facilities will be at the applicant’s expense, or at the expense of the property owner or developer.
  2. 20-foot wide dedication of public right-of-way connecting S. Razorback Road and S. Vale Avenue as a multi-use trail along the south border of the property.
  3. Any constructed buildings must comply with dedicated public right-of-way for any relevant design standards, in such that the right-of-way is treated as frontage.


April 6 Discussion:
The applicant shared this image of their plan.

There was no public comment.

The council left the item on the first reading.

The ordinance failed 3-4 with Turk, Gutierrez, Petty and Scroggin voting against. Kinion was absent during the vote.

New Business

1. R-PZD-2021-003 (2390 S. Dead Horse Mtn. Rd./Meadows at Stonebridge sd) (Details)

An ordinance to approve a residential planned zoning district entitled R-PZD 21-003 for approximately 51.33 acres located at 2390 S. Dead Horse Mountain Road to allow the development of 168 residential lots and 1 mixed-use lot.
Left on the first reading

The property was previously part of the Villas at Stonebridge Planned Zoning District, which expired in 2015. The property was eventually rezoned to RSF-4, with a Bill of Assurance limiting the density to 2.5 units per acre. In February 2018, a preliminary plat for Meadows at Stonebridge Subdivision was approved on the property, but was never built. The property is currently rural and undeveloped in nature, and encompasses 51.33 acres.

The applicant requests to rezone the property to a Residential Planned Zoning District with 4 planning areas, described as follows:

Planning Area 1 (5.3 acres) – This area is residential in nature, with allowable uses including single-family dwellings and accessory dwelling units, and a proposed density of 3.77 units per acre. There is no lot width minimum, allowing for tandem lots in areas near Dead Horse Mountain Road where the property’s shape restricts a standard lot-and-block pattern; for lots without street frontage, there is a minimum 15-foot setback from all sides, mirroring the City’s tandem lot ordinance. For all other lots, the applicant has included a build-to-zone rather than a front setback, 5-foot side setbacks, and a 15- foot rear setback.

Planning Area 2 (14.93 acres) – Alley, rear-loaded single-family dwellings make up the primary usage of this planning area, and the applicant proposes lot widths and setbacks similar to the City’s NC, Neighborhood Conservation zoning district. The applicant proposes a density of 3.48 units per acre.

Planning Area 3 (25.06 acres) This area is also characterized by single-family dwellings and accessory dwelling units, with very similar parameters to the City’s RSF-4, Residential Single-Family, 4 Units per Acre zoning district, though also proposes a build- to-zone rather than a front setback. The proposed density for this Planning Area is 3.03 units per acre.

Planning Area 4 (5.05 acres) – This area is designed to allow a wider variety of uses beyond single-family residential, including 2-, 3- and 4-family dwellings, and limited non- residential uses, including sidewalk cafes, small-scale establishments, and home occupations. This Planning Area also allows for zero lot line side setbacks, and also includes a build-to-zone in the front of each lot. The proposed density for this Planning Area is 5.94 units per acre.

Both city staff and the Planning Commission recommend approval of the request.


The council received a letter written on behalf of neighbors who are opposed to the request. The letter includes a request that the item be held on the first reading. Scroggin said he would also like to hold it tonight.

The discussion will continue on May 4.

2. ADM-2021-028 (3275 N. Oakland Zion Rd./Piepenbrok) (Details)

A resolution to amend the Master Street Plan by removing a section of a planned neighborhood link connection along North Oakland Zion Road and upgrading a section of East Bridgewater Lane from a Residential Link Street to a Neighborhood Link Street.
Pass 7-0

The 4.8-acre property is east of the city limits, but within the Fayetteville Planning Area. It includes one single-family home. The owner plans to subdivide the property to sell the rear portion of the lot. A lot split was previously approved in 2019 on this property, but was never recorded, according to city staff. Plats are typically required to indicate future Master Street Plan connections, though right-of-way dedication to meet those planned connections is not always required depending on the rough proportionality of the proposal. In this recent resubmission, staff asked the applicant to show the planned connection, but no right-of- way dedication is required in association with the proposal. The applicant requests to have the proposed 2040 Master Street Plan Neighborhood Link Street that bisects 3275 N. Oakland Zion Road in a north/south direction, approximately 430 linear feet, removed from the subject property.

The Transportation Committee, Planning Commission, and city staff recommend approval. Staff further recommends to remove the entire connection, approximately 1500 linear feet of proposed roadway.


Other than the applicant, there was no public comment.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the resolution. Kinion was absent during the vote.


The meeting was adjourned at 10 p.m.