Fayetteville City Council recap: May 2, 2023

(Flyer photo, File)

Action taken


  • A proposal to refurbish the basketball courts at Walker Park.
  • Purchasing vehicles for the Police Department’s school resource officer program.
  • Applying for a grant to help pay for two new school resource officers.
  • An ARPA subrecipient agreement with Apple Seeds, Inc.
  • Changes to the city’s code related to housing requirements.
  • Amending the city’s campground regulations.
  • Rezoning 5.14 acres south of Wedington Drive between 54th and Broyles avenues.


  • Appealing a previously approved development plan on the former 112 Drive In property.


  • Changes to the city’s parking regulations.

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

» Download the agenda

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, 2023 inside City Hall in Room 219. The meeting is also available on Zoom and is broadcast live on the city’s YouTube channel.

Roll call

Present: Sonia Harvey, D’Andre Jones, Sarah Moore, Mike Wiederkehr, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Scott Berna, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None
» View current attendance records

City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports And Discussion Items

1. 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. Recognize Hazmat Services Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $14,585.00 recognizing Hazmat Services revenue received from Washington County and increasing the related expense budget.
Pass 8-0

2. RFQ #23-01 Selection #1, McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc., Olsson, Inc. and GTS Inc (Details): A resolution to award RFQ #23-01 Selection #1 and authorize the purchase of on-call materials testing services from McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc., Olsson, Inc., and GTS, Inc. based on price and availability as needed through April 30, 2024.
Pass 8-0

3. RFQ #23-01 Selection #2, McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc., and Olsson Associates Inc. (Details): A resolution to award RFQ #23-01 Selection #2 and authorize the purchase of on-call surveying services from McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. and Olsson, Inc. as needed through April 30, 2024.
Pass 8-0

4. Sweetser Construction, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award Bid #23-16 and authorize a contract with Sweetser Construction, Inc. in the amount of $682,776.00 for construction of the Leverett Sidewalk Improvements Project, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $70,000.00.
Pass 8-0

5. ARDOT ROW Dedication (Details): A resolution to authorize the dedication of approximately 1,061 square feet of right-of-way to the Arkansas Department of Transportation for the Highway 16 project.
Pass 8-0

6. Stribling Equipment Inc (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a milling machine from Stribling Equipment, LLC in the amount of $809,302.38, plus any applicable taxes and freight charges, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

7. Trust for Public Land (Details): A resolution to authorize the acceptance of a non-matching grant from the Trust for Public Land in the amount of $23,600.00 to engage teens and seniors around summer programming and the design of Walker Park, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

8. Sr. Asst. City Attorney (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $111,499 to fund the Senior Assistant City Attorney position and licenses in the City Attorney’s Office for the rest of 2023, including needed new equipment, travel and training, publications, and dues.
Pass 8-0

9. Rife and Company Inc (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $46,000.00 recognizing federal-aid funding for appraisal services, and to approve a contract for appraisal services with Rife & Company, Inc.
Pass 8-0

10. Walter Woodward Water Damage Claim (Details): A resolution pursuant to §39.10(C)(4) of the Fayetteville City Code to authorize the Mayor to pay the total amount of $18,442.22 to Kerlin Land Co., LLC; Arkansas Outdoor Professionals, LLC; and Mr. Handyman of Bentonville, Rogers, and Springdale for a water damage claim arising at 185 North Hartman Avenue.
Pass 8-0

Unfinished Business

1. Walker Park basketball court refurbishing and giveaway (Details)

A resolution to approve a proposal by Walmart and AND1 to refurbish and paint the Walker Park basketball courts and host a back-to-school backpack and shoe giveaway, and to approve the recognition of Walmart and And1 for their significant contributions at the refurbished courts.
Pass 7-1

Footwear and apparel company AND1, which first became known for its video mixtapes of basketball games at urban courts in the early 1990s, has recently been investing in refurbishing public courts across the country as part of its “Paint the Park” initiative. The projects included community celebrations and have featured performances by athletes as well as giveaways and collaborations with local artists. This item would allow AND1 and Walmart to paint the courts at Walker Park and to host a back-to-school shoe and backpack giveaway at their cost, which is estimated at $200,000. An AND1 logo would be included on the courts, along with a Walmart logo.

This item was originally on the consent portion of the agenda, but Councilmember Sonia Harvey asked that it be placed onto the new business portion of the agenda so that an individual discussion could take place. She said she was hesitant about allowing commercialization in the parks.

Alison Jumper, the city’s director of parks, natural resources and cultural affairs, said the city does have a donor recognition policy to allow acknowledgment for businesses that contribute to parks infrastructure.

For example, Bryce Davis Park in west Fayetteville includes the 3-acre IAMS Dog Park named after a donation from the IAMS pet food brand.

» See our previous story here

April 17 Discussion:
Harvey said she’d like the Arts Council to discuss the proposal and make a recommendation before the council votes. She said she considers the mural to be an advertisement and she doesn’t like the idea of marketing in public parks. Moore agreed.

City Attorney said the resolution was written to allow the mayor the discretion to allow the corporate logos or not.

Mayor Jordan said with both IAMS Dog Park and the Rotary recognition at Kessler Mountain Regional Park, he’s inclined to support the resolution, especially because the proposed event will include backpacks and shoes for children.

Berna said the new mural will be a draw to the neighborhood and an asset to the community, and the businesses giving money for the project expect to have at least some recognition for their donation. By waiting, Berna said the council could be opening the door for AND1 to take the project elsewhere.

Bunch said regardless of the donor recognition, the project will benefit the community. For a lot of people, just the backpack and shoe giveaway alone will be a major benefit.

Wiederkehr said it’s a low-risk proposition considering the paint will likely only last a few years. He said the city will get a refurbished court in exchange for temporary logo inside of a mural. “We’re not naming the Walton Arts Center here,” said Wiederkehr.

The council voted 5-4 to table the resolution until May 2. Harvey, Jones, Moore, Turk and Jordan voted to table.

May 2 Discussion:
Alison Jumper, the city’s director of parks, natural resources and cultural affairs, presented some photos of other donor recognitions in city parks, including signs on baseball courts, the dog park, a playground, and all the city’s uniforms for kids’ sports. She said the refurbishments to the courts alone are estimated at about $20,000.

Ryan Kelly with Walmart said while the paint that would be used for the court mural might only last about three years, the other refurbishments could add another 10-15 years of life to the courts. Kelly said a local artist has already been contacted about the design for the mural, and that a local installation group would be hired to install the mural.

Bunch said after hearing more about the proposal, she’ll support the resolution.

Turk asked whether any language could be added to the contract to ensure that the city would be allowed to paint over the mural if necessary for any reason. City Attorney Kit Williams said that could be worked out once a contract is written.

Harvey asked whether AND1 would be interested in donating items without brand recognition. Kelly said the donations are not tied to AND1, but rather a project he’s personally invested in as part of the mural project.

During public comment, three people spoke in favor of the resolution, including Parks and Recreation Advisory Board chair Steve Sheely and Arts Council member Bob Stafford.

Sheely said in looking at previous projects, the AND1 logos typically accounted for less than one-half of a percent of the overall mural design. Stafford said this project is no different than allowing companies to display their branding at baseball games as recognition of their financial support to the city.

Harvey said she still thinks that brand recognition in a mural is an advertisement that the city should be careful with when considering whether to allow them in city parks. She said if the city wants to refurbish the courts, it can afford to do so without adding the mural.

Turk said she’ll support this resolution, mostly because the city’s policy doesn’t seem to specifically addresses this type of request. She asked that city staff consider drafting a policy that the council can look to in the future when these types of projects are proposed.

Berna said he understands Harvey’s hesitation, but he believes the mural will be a major draw for the park, especially for local youth, and that’s something the City Council should also consider.

Moore said she’s eager to see how the project plays out because while she does think it will be a positive thing for the park, she also understands where Harvey is coming from.

The council voted 7-1 to approve the resolution. Harvey voted against.

New Business

1. Subrecipient Agreement with Apple Seeds (Details)

A resolution to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign a subrecipient agreement with Apple Seeds, Inc. to provide funding for programs addressing childhood food insecurity utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funds in the amount of $71,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

This item was brought to the council by Councilmember Mike Wiederkehr. It would provide $71,000 of the city’s remaining ARPA funds to Apple Seeds, Inc. to assist with their efforts to address childhood food insecurity in the city.

Wiederkehr said he brought the proposal forward for three reasons: Because it was in the city staff’s top 10 list of recommended projects for ARPA funding; because the organization is working to address food insecurity in the community; and because the city has long supported Apple Seeds, especially considering allowing the organization to use land at Gulley Park.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.

2. 2023 COPS Hiring Program Matching Grant (Details)

A resolution approving an application for a 2023 COPS Hiring Program matching grant in the amount of $250,000.00 to fund two School Resource Officers for a period of four years, with the $496,100.00 matching requirement split proportionally between the City and Fayetteville Public Schools.
Pass 7-1

The City Council in August unanimously approved a measure that commits to adding two new school resource officers to the Police Department’s roster each year until every school has a full-time officer on duty.

In planning for the new officers, Police Chief Mike Reynolds said he’s identified a grant program that could help pay the salaries of two new officers beginning in the 2024 school year. If awarded, the grant would provide a maximum of $125,000 per officer for three years. However, for the fourth year, the grant would require the officers to be fully funded by the city. This proposal is to apply for those funds.

Reynolds said the estimated total cost for the two officers over four years is $746,100. By applying for the $250,000 grant, the local match would be reduced to $496,100, split proportionately between the city and the School District. The District’s four-year share is estimated to be $339,710, representing about 68% of the officers’ time spent at the schools. The city’s share would amount to $156,390, representing 32% of the officers’ time dedicated solely to the Police Department.

Like the previous item, this proposal was originally on the consent portion of the agenda, but Councilmember Sarah Moore pulled it from consent because she said she wants to give the public a chance to weigh in.

The council moved this item from No. 3 to No. 2 on the agenda in an effort to potentially consolidate public comment.

Police Chief Mike Reynolds said the council’s unanimous decision last August when it voted on an intent to add two new officers each year is helpful in planning for the future, especially when it comes to seeking out grants to help pay officer salaries.

Moore said she wanted to make sure the public was aware of the situation, which is why she asked that the items be pulled from consent. Moore said she’s a mother who sends her children to school and wants to make sure they’re safe, but as a policymaker, she also wants to look at all potential answers to a public health crisis and make sure the focus isn’t strictly relying on having police officers inside schools.

Jones said while he acknowledges the controversial nature of the subject of SROs, Fayetteville’s police department stands apart from certain cities where officers frequently face criticism for their conduct.

Reynolds agreed, and said Fayetteville’s officers are also trained to run toward gunfire in an effort to limit the damages from an active shooter. He said they proved that in their reaction to the gunman who killed former officer Stephen Carr in 2019. He said he knows having police officers in schools is no guarantee that a shooting won’t occur, but he said he’s certain his officers would be able to save lives if they were on duty during a shooting.

Berna said he’s surprised there is a debate tonight. He said the council voted in August to add SROs and he’s disappointed that the decision is now being questioned. He said he’s long supported the city’s SRO program and he’ll continue to do so.

“If I’m wrong on SROs, I can lay my head on a pillow at night knowing I did right by our community’s children,” said Berna. “If the people in opposition of SROs are wrong, the consequences could be catastrophic.”

Bunch said in looking at the evolution of both the Police Department and the School District, particularly in their recent additions of social workers, it’s clear that SROs aren’t the only focus when it comes to addressing safety. She said the comments she’s received from constituents are in overwhelming support of adding more SROs to schools. She said most people have been thoughtful in their comments and have acknowledged that there is a broader issue that needs to be addressed regarding gun violence, but nearly everyone has said they believe it’s important to have a police presence in schools.

The council voted to limit discussion from 5 minutes to 3 minutes in an effort to accommodate more public comment.

During public comment, 19 people spoke in favor of the resolution, including students, parents, PTO presidents, staff and board members from Fayetteville Public Schools, as well as the district’s superintendent, John L. Colbert.

One person seemed to be speaking against the proposal, but it was unclear.

Mayor Jordan said he wants local parents and the school board members to know that his job is to keep kids safe and that’s what he intends to work toward. He said he has supported SROs in the past and he will continue to do so in the future.

“We want you to feel comfortable and to feel that your children are being taken care of,” said Jordan. “We are going to put an officer in every school.”

The council voted 7-1 to approve the resolution. Moore voted against.

3. Superior Chevrolet (Details)

A resolution to approve the purchase of nine Chevrolet Tahoes from Superior Chevrolet in the total amount of $621,000.00 for use by School Resource Officers, to authorize a cost share agreement with Fayetteville Public Schools, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

Since 2008, the Superior Auto Group has loaned the Police Department vehicles for its school resource officer program at no cost to the city. The program started with two officers and two vehicles, and has since grown to seven officers and six vehicles.

Police Chief Mike Reynolds said the department has only been responsible for covering the operations and maintenance costs of the vehicles, resulting in a savings of about $750,000.

Reynolds said a recent change in leadership at the dealership has led to a termination of the partnership, and that the six loaned vehicles were returned. Reynolds is requesting funding for nine new vehicles for the program, which was recently approved by the City Council to grow by two officers per year until each public school has one officer on duty.

The proposed cost for purchasing, marking, and equipping the nine vehicles amounts to $567,720, with anticipated ongoing expenses for the motor pool and replacements totaling $53,280. The request for funding was unanimously approved by the Equipment Committee before being presented to the City Council.

This item was originally on the consent portion of the agenda, but Councilmember Sarah Moore pulled it from consent because she said she wants to give the public a chance to weigh in.

Moore said she was on the Equipment Committee and voted to approve this resolution. She said she intends to support it, but she wanted to make sure the public had a chance to weigh in which is why she pulled it from consent.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.

4. Amend §72 Parking Regulations (Details)

An ordinance to amend Chapter 72 Parking Regulations of the Fayetteville City Code to authorize the Mayor to establish and administer rules regulating parking fees in established parking zones, and to make technical revisions.
Left on the first reading

The City Council currently determines parking rates and rules, but they can only be changed through a formal process. City staff said the administration wants to be more flexible in managing parking to make it easier for people to find parking spaces downtown, and that they have analyzed the parking situation and found opportunities to improve availability and enhance the experience for visitors.

Staff are recommending giving more decision-making power to the mayor – specifically to allow the mayor to establish where parking fees are required, set the fees and permits, and determine the days and times when payment is needed. Under this proposal, the mayor would also have the authority to suspend parking rules during city holidays.

Additionally, the mayor would be able to adjust the parking rates within established parking districts, subject to certain limitations. The Parking Division would assess parking usage before any rate adjustment and provide annual reports to the council. The adjustments would be based on achieving an ideal utilization rate between 75%-85% of parking spaces. The hourly rate increases would not exceed $2 per hour per adjustment period, and any changes to rates or hours would be communicated through signage for two weeks before enforcement.

Staff said the overall goal is to have a more flexible and data-driven approach to parking management, allowing for adjustments based on demand and usage patterns in downtown areas.

Kelly Rich with the Downtown Fayetteville Coalition spoke in favor of the proposal.

Turk said she wants to hold the item to give herself and others more time to consider the changes. Bunch agreed.

The council left the ordinance on the first reading. The discussion will continue on May 16.

5. Amend §151, 161, 166 Definitions, Zoning Regulations, Urban Design (Details)

An ordinance to amend Chapter 151 Definitions, Chapter 161 Zoning Regulations, and Chapter 166 Urban Design Standards of the Unified Development Code to provide consistent and clear language for two, three, four, and multi-family dwellings.
Pass 8-0

City staff and the Planning Commission are recommending changes to the Unified Development Code related to housing requirements. Staff said the proposed amendments aim to improve the clarity and consistency of the code.

According to a staff memo, the focus of the changes is on addressing the concept of “Missing Middle Housing,” which refers to housing types that are between single-family homes and large apartment buildings. These include three- and four-family dwellings and small to medium multi-family dwellings. These housing types are currently not allowed in areas zoned exclusively for single-family housing, which makes up a significant portion of the city.

The proposed amendments would clarify the definitions of multi-family, three-family, and four-family dwellings, and ensure consistent language and terms throughout the UDC. Additionally, the amendments would clean up the code by addressing overlapping definitions and making text edits for consistency and clarity.

The changes would not alter any existing policies or zoning entitlements. Overall, staff said the goal is to create more housing options that fill the gap between single-family homes and large apartment buildings, contributing to the city’s housing diversity and affordability goals.

There was no public comment.

The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted unanimously to approve it.

6. Amend §151.01 and 163.12 Definitions (Details)

An ordinance to amend §151.01 Definitions and enact §163.12 Campgrounds of the Fayetteville Unified Development Code to establish regulations for campgrounds as a conditional use in the City of Fayetteville.
Pass 7-1

This item came up after a resident was allowing unhoused people to camp on his property in a residential neighborhood in south Fayetteville. The Ordinance Review Committee discussed the issue and recommended some changes to city code that includes a definition of camping and that would give the Planning Commission some policy to use when considering whether to grant a conditional use permit for camping in the city.

After the committee made their recommendations, feedback was received from the city attorney and the parks & recreation director. They suggested that an amendment to the definition of a campground might be necessary.

Currently, the definition of a campground includes public land, which means that camping activities on public land would be subject to the same regulations as camping on private land. City Attorney Kit Williams, however, said it is not appropriate for the city to regulate camping activities on state or federal lands. Furthermore, Williams said there is a section within the Parks and Recreation regulations that allows for limited camping within parks under certain exceptions authorized by the Parks and Recreation Director.

Williams said the City Council has a few options to consider in their discussions on the amendments:

  1. Remove the term “public” from the definition of a campground, so it would only apply to private property used for camping purposes. This change would eliminate the requirement for a conditional use permit for camping on any public land. Since the city cannot regulate state or federal property, this change would not affect those lands. The City Council or the Mayor would be able to establish separate regulations for camping on City property, aligning with the existing regulations for limited camping in § 97.068.
  2. Change the term “public” to “City” in the definition, so it would apply to both private and City property used for camping purposes. The City Council could then require campgrounds on City property to obtain a conditional use permit. This change could also be extended to include county or school district property, leaving only state and federal land exempt. It is also suggested to exempt the existing camping regulations in § 97.068.

Turk moved to amend the ordinance to change the term “public” to “city” as recommended by the city attorney.

Moore said since there is a housing crisis which has led to unhoused people camping outdoors, the city should consider more allowances for those instances instead of just requiring property owners to apply for a camping permit that might not be approved.

During public comment, seven people spoke in favor of the proposal and four people spoke against. Those who were against said the ordinance does nothing to address unhoused people. Those in favor said something needs to be in place to help protect residents against situations like what has recently taken place in the south Fayetteville neighborhood where people have been camping. Neighbors of the property owner said it’s an unclean and unhealthy situation and they sometimes don’t feel safe around some of the the people who are camping in their neighborhood.

Jones said the ordinance might not be a perfect remedy that solves every problem, but something needs to be done to address unhealthy and unsafe camping conditions. He said the ordinance allows for a conditional use permit if a property owner is able to keep their proposed campground safe and healthy.

Berna said the council shouldn’t look at this decision from a perspective that aims to address homelessness. He said the ordinance simply proposes to create a conditional use permit policy that allows the Planning Commission to approve a campsite as long as it conforms to some regulations and does not adversely affect the neighbors – just like the rules that allow short-term rental businesses in residential neighborhoods.

Bunch said it’s a reasonable proposal that she will support.

Turk said there might need to be some tweaks to the ordinance, but she thinks it needs to be passed tonight to provide some immediate relief. Harvey agreed.

The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading and voted 7-1 to approve it. Moore voted against.

7. Appeal: LSD-2022-0041: Large Scale Development (N. Hwy 112/112 Aronson, 209) (Details)

A resolution to grant the appeal of Council Member Sarah Bunch and deny a variance to subsection (U) of §168.10, Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction, associated with Large Scale Development LSD-2022-041 for the Aronson on North Highway 112 in Ward 2.
Fail 5-2

The Planning Commission in March approved a large-scale development for The Aronson, a 19.5-acre mixed-use project that will include an Alamo Drafthouse cinema and outdoor drive-in theater, along with a mix of commercial and residential units on the former 112 Drive In property.

During the approval, a variance was also granted to increase the base flood elevation approximately 1.56 inches at a point just upstream of where Clabber Creek crosses under Highway 112. Staff said the applicant provided a flood study which helped determine the proposed increase would not subject any nearby structures to additional flooding. However, a portion of an existing parking area within the neighboring Fayetteville Autopark is subject to flooding during larger storm events, and based on the proposed increase of 1.5 inches and using GIS topography, it was determined that the floodplain could extend 8-10 feet further into the Fayetteville Autopark’s existing parking area and increase in depth an additional 1.56 inches according to the applicant’s study.

It was noted during the meeting that the state is currently planning improvements to Hwy 112 which would increase the capacity of the culverts under the highway, and according to the applicant’s engineer, the improvements would return the floodplain elevations so that they would be at or below the conditions found today.

City staff said they were unable to make a recommendation on the request largely in part due to the uncertainty of the timing of the state’s planned improvements and the impact to the adjacent property owner until these improvements are completed.

The owner of Fayetteville Auto Park is requesting the approval be appealed by the council because it’s possible their property would be negatively impacted until the state’s improvements are completed.

The applicant seeking the appeal said they are working on their own study to determine whether there is a flooding risk for their property.

Bunch said in all fairness, the council should probably have the new study that’s being conducted in hand before they’re asked to make a decision that could stop the approved development, especially considering that the Planning Commission has already approved the variance using a previous study. She suggested that if the council denies the appeal and a future study presents new relevant information, then the council could take action at that time.

A representative of the developer said they should not be held to some new standard set by a third party that decides they want to conduct a study about their development after the project has already been approved.

Chris Brown, the city’s director of public work, said if the new study reveals an error that was made with the original study, it might be appropriate to hold the developer responsible for addressing that issue, but a slight variance in findings between studies is not uncommon, and wouldn’t necessarily be considered an error.

Bunch said she’ll have a hard time supporting the appeal after hearing more about the situation.

The council voted 5-2 to deny the appeal. Harvey and Turk voted for the appeal. Wiederkehr was absent for the vote.

8. RZN-2023-0008: Rezoning (W. of W. Geyser St/Henderson, 437) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in Rezoning Petition RZN-2023-008 located west of West Geyser Street in Ward 4, comprising approximately 5.14 acres, from R-A (Residential Agricultural) to RI-12 (Residential Intermediate, 12 units per acre) and R-A (Residential Agricultural).
Pass 6-1

The property is south of Wedington Drive between 54th and Broyles avenues. The surrounding area is mostly zoned R-A except for adjacent developments to the east and west which are occupied by two-family dwellings.

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


Turk said it’s too far west for her to feel comfortable rezoning it for more density.

Bunch said she understands Turk’s concerns, but said with a housing shortage, approving this rezoning is one possible way to help address that problem. She said she’ll support it. Hertzberg agreed.

The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 6-1 to approve it. Turk voted against. Wiederkehr was absent.

Meeting duration

This meeting lasted 6 hours and 44 minutes, and was adjourned at 12:14 a.m.