Fayetteville City Council recap: June 6, 2023

(Flyer photo, File)

Action taken

Approved

  • Funding the development of an arts and culture master plan.
  • An ordinance to require cross access between properties, instead of merely encouraging it.
  • Changes to the city’s false alarm regulations.
  • A Planned Zoning District southeast of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rupple Road.

Denied

  • An appeal of an approved short-term rental permit on Oliver Avenue.

Held

  • Authorizing the mayor to purchase real estate for the NWA Black Heritage Association.

» Download the agenda (PDF)

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 inside City Hall in Room 219. The meeting is also available on Zoom and is broadcast live on the city’s YouTube channel.

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


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 (Bunch arrived after the Consent Agenda)

» View current attendance records


Consent

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 May 16, 2023 City Council meeting minutes.
Pass 7-0

2. E-Scooter Program Revenue – Budget Adjustment (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $15,000.00 to allow revenue from the E-Scooter program to be used for the city’s trails and mobility program.
Pass 7-0

3. Milestone Construction Company, LLC – Construction Contract (Details): A resolution to award Bid #23-24 and authorize a contract with Milestone Construction Company, LLC in the amount of $488,300.29 for the Happy Hollow Sidewalk Improvements Project, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $50,000.00.
Pass 7-0

4. Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. – Hwy 112 – Service Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment No. 1 to the Professional Engineering Services Agreement with Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $98,610.00 for additional services during the final design phases of the utility relocations along Highway 112.
Pass 7-0

5. Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. – I-49 & MLK – Service Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment No. 1 to the Professional Engineering Services Agreement with Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $276,110.00 for additional design services for utility relocations associated with the I-49/Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard interchange project.
Pass 7-0

6. KLM Engineering, Inc. – Service Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a professional engineering services agreement with KLM Engineering, Inc., pursuant to RFQ #23-01 Selection #3, in an amount not to exceed $36,062.00 for water storage tank inspections, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $7,212.40.
Pass 7-0

7. WEX Bank – Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to approve a contract with WEX Bank, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing agreement, to enable the city to participate in a fuel card program.
Pass 7-0

8. Canon USA Inc. – Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of copiers and managed print services from Canon USA, Inc., pursuant to a State of Arkansas cooperative purchasing contract, through July 31, 2024.
Pass 7-0

9. GovDeals Inc. – Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to authorize a contract with GovDeals, Inc. for online auction services for surplus equipment and vehicles through March 19, 2025, and any renewal periods, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract.
Pass 7-0

10. Springdale Tractor Co. – Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a Kubota tractor from Springdale Tractor for the amount of $16,651.72 plus any applicable taxes and freight charges, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

11. GapVax Inc. – Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of a GapVax excavator from GapVax, Inc. in the amount of $665,575.70, plus any applicable sales taxes and freight charges, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

12. Rush Truck Centers – Utility Truck Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of two International heavy-duty utility trucks and one snow plow attachment from Rush Truck Centers of Arkansas, Inc. for the total amount of $218,435.95 plus any applicable taxes and freight charges, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract.
Pass 7-0

13. Rush Truck Centers – Recycle Truck Purchase Contract (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of two International recycle body trucks from Rush Truck Centers of Arkansas, Inc. for the total amount of $499,990.56 plus any applicable taxes and freight charges, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract.
Pass 7-0

14. ARDOT – Highway 16 – Relocation Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a utility relocation agreement with the Arkansas State Highway Commission for utility relocations related to the Highway 16 East widening project.
Pass 7-0

15. ARDOT – Highway 112 – Relocation Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a utility relocation agreement with the Arkansas State Highway Commission for utility relocations related to the Highway 112 improvements project.
Pass 7-0

16. Robert Walsh – Water Damage Claim (Details): A resolution pursuant to §39.10(C)(4) of the Fayetteville City Code to authorize the Mayor to pay the amount of $10,434.25 to Robert Walsh and Equity Trust Company for water main break damage at 2416 East Sharon Street, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

17. Steve Mangan – Sewer Damage Claim (Details): A resolution pursuant to §39.10(C)(4) of the Fayetteville City Code to authorize the Mayor to pay the amount of $42,971.43 to Steve and Heather Mangan for sewer overflow damage at 3190 North Malinda Drive.
Pass 7-0

18. Beaver Watershed Alliance – Cost Share Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a cost share agreement with the Beaver Watershed Alliance for the installation of low impact development features in the Town Branch watershed associated with the Elmhurst and McClinton drainage improvement project, with matching funds provided by the city in the amount of $190,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

19. Freese and Nichols, Inc. – Service Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a professional engineering services agreement with Freese and Nichols, Inc., pursuant to RFQ #22-14, in an amount not to exceed $151,420.00 for Hamstring Creek watershed flood mitigation and grant support.
Pass 7-0

20. Ann Harbison Farms – Lease Agreement (Details): A resolution to award Bid #23-23 and authorize a five-year airport hay field lease agreement with Ann Harbison for rent in the amount of $6,001.00 per year.
Pass 7-0

21. Motorola Solutions Inc. – Equipment Purchase (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of radio equipment from Motorola Solutions Inc. in the amount of $419,383.29 plus any applicable tax and freight charges, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0


Unfinished Business

There is no unfinished business on this agenda.


New Business

1. Appeal: CUP-2023-0043: (435 N. Oliver Ave/ King Investments of Fayetteville LLC, 482) (Details)

A resolution to grant the appeal of Council Members Sarah Moore, Scott Berna, and Teresa Turk and deny Conditional Use Permit CUP 2023-043 for a short-term rental at 435 North Oliver Avenue in Ward 4.
Fail 5-3

Background:
The Planning Commission in April approved a permit for a short-term rental on the property, but neighbors Barbara Fraleigh, Margaret Holcomb, Lisa Orton, Ethel Simpson and Jane Scroggs are asking that the decision be appealed and the permit denied. In a letter to the council, the neighbors said there is inadequate parking infrastructure, a lack of suitable nearby streets for on-street parking, a concentration of nearby licensed and unlicensed short-term rentals, and an incompatibility with the neighborhood’s historic character.

Location:

Discussion:
Turk said aside from the two nearby short-term rentals in the area, she found at least seven more unlicensed rentals on Airbnb in the neighborhood. She said she co-sponsored this appeal because the Planning Commission might not have known about the other unlicensed rentals when they approved this permit.

The applicant said his daughter will be playing softball at the University of Arkansas for the next four years, so they purchased the home to stay there to watch her play games. They said they’d like to rent the home out to others when they’re not in town for some additional investment revenue.

During public comment, two people spoke in favor of the appeal and one spoke against.

A fourth resident, Bob Stafford, said he doesn’t live near the area, but the council shouldn’t consider the unlicensed properties in making their decision, because that encourages illegal activity instead of encouraging people to go through the legal process. “I think it’s wrong to punish good behavior by rewarding bad behavior,” Stafford said.

Hertzberg and Berna said they agree with Stafford

“We can’t hold someone who’s trying to do right to a different standard than those who aren’t,” said Berna. “He’s done everything he’s supposed to do.”

Bunch said she is concerned with the growing amount of short-term rentals in town, but in this case she agrees with Hertzberg and Berna because the applicant is going through he proper process in applying for a permit.

Decision:
The council voted 5-3 to deny the appeal, meaning the property owner can use the home as a short-term rental. Turk, Moore and Harvey voted in favor.


2. Arts & Culture Master Plan – Funding Approval (Details)

A resolution to approve funding of $200,000.00 to develop an Arts and Culture Master Plan and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

Background:
City staff are asking that an arts and culture master plan be developed to support the city’s existing commitments to fostering the arts and culture ecosystem, to address the lack of a specific strategy for the arts sector in the city’s 2040 plan, and to position Fayetteville as a leader in arts and culture in the region.

Discussion:
Three people spoke in favor of the resolution.

Decision:
The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.


3. Historic Black District Preservation – Land Purchase (Details)

A resolution to authorize the Mayor of the City of Fayetteville to purchase real estate to be returned to the NWA Black Heritage Association for restoration, redevelopment, and advancement to the African American community into the vibrant and thriving district it is meant to be.
Tabled 8-0 until Sept. 5

Background:
The proposal would authorize the mayor to purchase properties that have a place in Fayetteville’s Black history and return them to the NWA Black Heritage Association.

City Attorney Kit Williams said while it isn’t necessarily unconstitutional to authorize the mayor to purchase land for a third-party association, the actual purchase would likely be against state law. Williams said he told council members Jones and Harvey about this, but neither member requested to remove the item from the agenda. He said if this resolution is passed and the mayor purchases land for the association, it would likely be considered an illegal exaction prohibited by the Arkansas Constitution, which does not allow cities to use taxpayer funds to purchase property to give to a private independent group.

Discussion:
Jones said he knows the city attorney’s job is to protect the city, but he thinks the council can somehow find a way to preserve some of the remaining pieces of the city’s Black history.

Sharon Killian, board president of the NWA African American Heritage Association, gave a presentation that outlined some of the historical examples of the remnants of Black history that are being erased around town, and spoke about a 1945 city plan that codified the removal of Fayetteville’s Black neighborhoods and allowed for the displacement of minority families.

Killian said there’s an urgency to create a district of some type to preserve those remnants.

“We want to stop the bleeding,” Killian said. “So there is land there and buildings there so that, when we do build a district, there’s something to build it with.”

During public comment, six people spoke in favor of the resolution. Resident Kyle Smith said he supports the intent of the resolution and if the council does also, they should consider this current draft of the resolution as a starting point instead of simply voting it down because of its questionable constitutionality.

Jones said since there are legal concerns, he wants to know if the city attorney has any suggestions for how to move forward.

Williams said he shares the concerns about the gentrification of south Fayetteville, but this particular proposal isn’t the mechanism to accomplish the restoration of lost history.

“This resolution really does not allow us to do anything,” said Williams. “What it authorizes is simply not legal under our constitution, but that should not be the end of the story.”

Williams said he has some ideas he’d like to discuss with the council for a future proposal.

“I would love to craft a vessel that could accomplish some of the goals here,” said Williams. “I believe there are things we can do to save some of the most important buildings.”

Williams said tabling the resolution indefinitely would give the council until the end of the year to rework it in a legal way to come up with a proposal that accomplishes its original goals.

Jones said he’d like to put a timeline on the tabling so it doesn’t get lost amongst the other agenda items that come up throughout the year. He moved to table the item for three months. The motion passed 8-0.

The discussion will continue on Sept. 5.


4. Amendment – §166.25 – UDC (Details)

An ordinance to amend §166.25 Commercial, Office and Mixed Use Design and Development Standards of the Unified Development Code to clarify that cross access between properties is required.
Pass 7-0

Background:
City staff and the Planning Commission are recommending an amendment to city code to require cross access between properties, instead of merely encouraging it.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Turk left the meeting before this vote.


5. Amendment – §130.23 – False Alarm Reduction (Details)

An ordinance to amend §130.23 False Alarm Reduction of the Fayetteville Code to simplify and clarify certain provisions and reduce some fees for service.
Pass 7-0

Background:
This ordinance would make some changes to the city’s false alarm regulations, including lowering penalties for offenders, changing the makeup of the resident panel that reviews false alarm appeals, and eliminating distinctions between burglary and robbery alarms. The ordinance will also seek a new company to administer the ordinance due to some issues with the current contractor.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it.


6. Planned Zoning District-2023-0002 (Southeast of W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and S. Smokehouse Trail/Sweet Bay at Kessler, 596)(Details)

An ordinance to approve a residential Planned Zoning District entitled PZD-2023-002 for approximately 4.49 acres located southeast of West Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and South Smokehouse Trail in Ward 1.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property is located in west Fayetteville, southeast of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rupple Road.

The applicant has proposed three planning areas:

  • Planning Area #1 – 2.93 acres: The intention of this planning area is to provide cabin-style single- family homes at a maximum density of 10 units per acre that are clustered and concentrated to leave additional room in the planning area for parking, detention, and utilities. The allowable uses are similar to but more limited than those allowed in other single-family zoning districts such as RSF-4 or NC, Neighborhood Conservation.
  • Planning Area #2 – 0.49 acres: This planning area is intended for parkland dedication. The area in question currently includes a portion of a downhill mountain biking trail. Parkland dedication would be required to be evaluated by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and a full evaluation of its suitability for City acquisition would take place during the large-scale development process. The permitted uses are similar to those in the P-1, Institutional zoning district.
  • Planning Area #3 – 1.07 acres: This planning area is intended for natural preservation. There are limited uses permitted, but it does allow for cultural and recreational facilities and other city-wide uses by right.

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

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it.


Meeting duration

This meeting lasted 3 hours and 33 minutes, and was adjourned at 9:03 p.m.