Fayetteville City Council recap: June 18, 2024

(File photo)

Approved:

  • Rezoning 2.9 acres southwest of Treadwell Street and Hill Avenue.
  • Rezoning 23.14 acres in the Springwoods PZD.
  • Committing remaining ARPA funds to the city’s childcare assistance program.
  • Vacating a utility easement on Mana Court.
  • Rezoning 1.54 acres at 3390 W. MLK Jr. Blvd. to Urban Thoroughfare.
  • Rezoning 0.56 acres at 951 N. Double Springs Road to Neighborhood Services-General.
  • Rezoning 1.75 acres at 1000 S. Futrall Dr. to Community Services.
  • Denying a permit for a group home at 10 S. Palmer Ave.

Held:

  • Rezoning 39.41 acres in the Park West PZD on Highway 112.

» Download the agenda (PDF)

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2024 inside City Hall in Room 219. The meeting was available on Zoom and was broadcast live on the city’s YouTube channel.

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

Roll call

Present: Bob Stafford, D’Andre Jones, Sarah Moore, Mike Wiederkehr, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Scott Berna, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None

» View current attendance records

Meeting duration

This meeting lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes, and was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.


Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Nominating Committee Report (Details)
Pass 8-0

Background:
The committee approved the following candidates for appointment:

ANIMAL SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD
Emily Sledge – One Resident at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.
Kathleen Lehman – One Resident at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.

BLACK HERITAGE PRESERVATION COMMISSION
Janet Allured – One Unexpired Member at Large Term Ending 12/31/2026.

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS
Caroline Fox – One Unexpired Public at Large Term Ending 03/31/2027.

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COMMITTEE
Stacey Buff – One Resident at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.

FAYETTEVILLE ARTS COUNCIL
Jessica DeBari – One Community Resident Term Ending 06/30/2027.
Emily Miller – One Working Artist Term Ending 06/30/2027.

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
Cheri Coley – One Member at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.
Jennifer Didway – One Member at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.
Mark Harper – One Member at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.
William Hopkins – One Member at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.

URBAN FORESTRY ADVISORY BOARD
Joseph Fox – One Unexpired Citizen at Large Term Ending 12/31/2024.

WALTON ARTS CENTER COUNCIL
Barry Bryan – One Citizen at Large Term Ending 06/30/2027.


Consent

Consent items are approved in a single, all-inclusive vote without discussion unless an item is pulled by a council member either before or at the beginning of the meeting.

1. Approval of the June 4, 2024 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 8-0

2. Epic Glass Recycling – Service agreement (Details): A resolution to approve an agreement with Epic Glass Recycling for the hauling and disposal of solid waste and recyclables in the City of Fayetteville.
Pass 8-0

3. Waste Management of Arkansas – Contract amendment (Details): A resolution to approve an amendment to the contract with Waste Management in the amount of $25,000.00 for the cost increase of solid waste transfer and disposal contract services.
Pass 8-0

4. TSW, Inc. – Contract amendment #1 (Details): A resolution to approve amendment no. 1 to the contract with TSW, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $101,500.00 for additional design and construction documents for Walker Community Park, and to approve a budget adjustment. (Pulled from Consent – see below)

5. APAC-Central, Inc. – Change order #1 (Details): A resolution to approve change order no. 1 to the contract with APAC-Central, Inc. in the amount of $371,992.50 for the construction of the 15th and Razorback Road intersection improvements project, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

6. NASPO ValuePoint – Purchasing contract (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of tires, tubes, and services from approved manufacturers on an as needed basis pursuant to a National Association of State Procurement Officials ValuePoint cooperative purchasing agreement, through June 30, 2027 and any future renewal periods.
Pass 8-0

7. Illinois River Watershed Partnership – Landowner agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a landowner agreement with the Illinois River Watershed Partnership for natural stream restoration of an unnamed tributary of Flynn Creek within Rocky Branch Park.
Pass 8-0


Pulled from Consent

1. TSW, Inc. – Contract amendment #1 (Details):

A resolution to approve amendment no. 1 to the contract with TSW, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $101,500.00 for additional design and construction documents for Walker Community Park, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 5-3

Background:
This was pulled from Consent by Councilmember Stafford, who said he would’ve preferred the money go toward the Housing Crisis Task Force, as was proposed during the previous meeting. That proposal failed 5-3. Stafford said he just wanted an opportunity to vote against this item without having to also vote against the entire Consent agenda.

Discussion:
Four people spoke in favor of the Walker Park contract and one spoke against.

Moore suggested amending the resolution to include language that would only allow the city to spend the $101,500 for the specific Walker Park improvements proposed here and no others, which could leave any remaining ARPA money for projects that support the housing crisis. That amendment failed with only Stafford, Jones and Moore voting in favor.

Decision:
The resolution was approved 5-3 with Stafford, Jones and Moore voting against.


Unfinished Business

1. Rezoning-2024-0018 – Southwest of W. Treadwell St. and S. Hill Ave./Subtext Acquisitions, LLC. and Modus Studio, 522 (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-18 for approximately 2.9 acres located southwest of West Treadwell Street and South Hill Avenue in Ward 2 from RMF-40, Residential Multifamily, 40 units per acre to MSC, Main Street Center, subject to a Bill of Assurance.
Pass 7-1

Background:
The area is in central Fayetteville about 300 feet east of Harmon Field and 900 feet northeast of Fayetteville High School. It includes the full block east of Duncan Avenue, south of Treadwell Street, west of Hill Avenue and north of Putman Street. It’s currently home to the 40-unit Summit Terrace complex, a smaller 6-unit apartment building, a duplex, a single-family home, and a largely undeveloped lot with off-site parking. A private alleyway runs through the middle of the block.

If approved, the property would be rezoned from a residential multi-family zone allowing up to 40 units an acre to one called main street center. Both districts allow for five-story apartment complexes, but main Street center allows buildings up to seven stories in places on the property that are farther than 15 feet from the right-of-way. The current zoning allows for up to 116 dwelling units on the land, whereas main street center has no density limits.

The proposed district also allows a wide variety of other uses, but the applicants have offered a formal Bill of Assurance that would prohibit liquor stores, small-scale production and transportation services from operating on the property.

» See more about this request in our April 23 story

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

May 21 Discussion:
During public comment, seven people spoke against the request, many who live in housing on the subject property and who were concerned about where they would live or if they could afford to live anywhere else in town if their homes are sold and replaced with a new apartment complex.

Two other people who spoke said the city needs to change its outdated zoning districts to incentivize more affordable housing construction.

Berna said it’s a tough decision, considering the potential displacement of the current residents, but the owner of the existing complex sent the council an email explaining that they are ready to sell, which means redevelopment of that property is imminent, with or without the rezoning.

Stafford said he knows the block will likely be redeveloped, but he hopes the item is left on the first reading tonight to give him more time to consider the compatibility of the request.

Turk said she’d like some clarification about how many more units could be built on the property with the requested zoning versus the existing district.

Moore said she prefers the existing district.

Wiederkehr said he’s not enthralled with student housing in general, but it’s what the city needs and this property is in an appropriate location for adding as much of it as possible. He said if people are going to be displaced by a redevelopment on the property, he’d rather the density be increased to get as much housing as the city can.

Mayor Jordan said the city needs to add 1,000 units per year to keep up with the city’s growth, and while it’s certainly a tough decision, the council should get used to making tough decisions because there are many large housing developments coming down the pike.

The council left the item on the first reading. The discussion will continue on June 4.

June 4 Discussion:
The applicant requested this item be tabled until the next meeting on June 18. They said they’re taking feedback from the last meeting and making some updates to the plans. The council agreed and tabled the ordinance 8-0. There was no public comment.

June 18 Discussion:
A representative for the applicant said they have sped up and revised their plans in order to show more designs tonight (see below) and to include a pedestrian plaza with 2,000 square feet of retail space, such as a coffee shop or bodega to serve the neighborhood.





He also said the developers have worked with the landlords of the residents who live at 98 S. Duncan Ave. that are on month-to-month leases and who have expressed concerns about not having a place to live once this project breaks ground. He said they have executed lease addendums that will give those people a minimum of six months notice before their lease is terminated, and also allow them to terminate their lease themselves at any time with 30 days notice and get a refund of their pro-rated rent. He said the remainder of the tenants all have leases that expire in May of 2025.

Turk said she can’t support the project because she thinks it would add too much density to the area and compound existing parking issues.

Berna said nobody on the council wants to see people get displaced, but the owner of the existing apartment complex has said they can no longer continue operating and that they must sell. He said redevelopment will happen with or without the rezoning, so he’d prefer to take this opportunity get as much housing as possible. Bunch agreed, and said even if the property is remodeled instead of sold and demolished, the rent prices will surely escalate.

Decision:
The council voted 7-1 to approve the ordinance. Turk voted against.


2. Rezoning-2024-0011 – Springwoods PZD in Ward 2 (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-0011 for 23.14 acres in the Springwoods PZD in Ward 2 from Planned Zoning District to UT, Urban Thoroughfare and CS, Community Services.
Pass 7-1

Background:
At the previous meeting, an item with five rezonings for expired PZDs was separated into three requests – one that included three non-controversial properties which was approved during that meeting, and two that were removed with the understanding that they would be brought back as their own separate ordinances at the following meeting (this meeting).

During the break, the city’s Environmental Action Committee discussed the proposals and recommended against rezoning the properties from their current un-zoned status to Urban Thoroughfare and Community Services. Highlighting the areas’ significant ecological value, the committee instead suggested rezoning the properties to Residential Agriculture to preserve their role in supporting ecosystems and mitigating flooding. The committee argued that the proposed higher density zoning could exacerbate environmental challenges.

Location:

June 4 Discussion:
Turk presented the findings from the Environmental Action Committee, which recommended a zoning district that does not allow housing. She said the reasoning was to ensure the protection of the Wilson Springs Nature Preserve.

Staff said the property was once owned by the city and was sold to a developer that agreed to preserve portions of the property in an effort to protect Wilson Springs. In determining the proposal to rezone the land now that the PZD is expired, staff said they chose Urban Thoroughfare and Community Services because the plans for the PZD were similar to what those two districts would allow.

Stafford said his concern about the recommendation of the committee is the potential of devaluing the land to the point that it can’t be developed in a way the property owner prefers, and that it doesn’t guarantee the area will be protected. He asked if the city would be at risk of legal action by changing the district to Residential Agricultural. City Attorney Kit Williams said it’s hard to say considering the history of the property and the special circumstances of the expired PZD.

Don Nelms, who owns some of the property in question, said he does not want the land rezoned as Residential Agricultural because he won’t be able to move forward with his plans to develop the land. He said through the years, he’s taken several steps to protect the surrounding area.

Several people spoke in favor of the proposal, including some of the property owners and their attorney.

Bunch said the committee’s recommended district doesn’t come close enough to the previous PZD’s allowances, so she’ll stick with the staff’s original recommendation.

Wiederkehr acknowledged the work of the Environmental Action Committee, but said that their tools are advisory rather than binding. He said he’ll support the original recommendation because of the property’s context, the existing development and infrastructure nearby, and the significant investments made by the current owner.

Berna said he was hesitant at first, but he’s ready to support the request, and noted the stringent city codes any development would have to follow.

Moore said she needs more time to consider the request, and asked if the council would leave the ordinance on the second reading. The council agreed. The discussion will continue on June 18.

June 18 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council voted 7-1 to approve the ordinance. Moore voted against.


3. Rezoning-2024-0011 – Park West PZD in Ward 2 (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-0011 for 39.41 acres in the Park West PZD on North Highway 112 in Ward 2 from Planned Zoning District to UT, Urban Thoroughfare and CS, Community Services.
Tabled 8-0 until July 16

Background:
At the previous meeting, an item with five rezonings for expired PZDs was separated into three requests – one that included three non-controversial properties which was approved during that meeting, and two that were removed with the understanding that they would be brought back as their own separate ordinances at the following meeting (this meeting).

During the break, the city’s Environmental Action Committee discussed the proposals and recommended against rezoning the properties from their current un-zoned status to to Urban Thoroughfare and Community Services . Highlighting the areas’ significant ecological value, the committee instead suggested rezoning the properties to Residential Agriculture to preserve their role in supporting ecosystems and mitigating flooding. The committee argued that the proposed higher density zoning could exacerbate environmental challenges.

Location:

June 4 Discussion:
The council also agreed to leave this item on hold until the next meeting on June 18.

June 18 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Turk said she would like to either vote down the proposal or table it so that staff could present a secondary plan that addresses some new concerns about land that could be affected in the stream side protection zone.

The council voted to table the ordinance until July 16.


New Business

1. ARPA Childcare Assistance Program – Additional funding (Details)

A resolution to commit the remaining ARPA funds to the childcare assistance program and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

Background:
City staff propose committing the remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds of approximately $185,005, and any future accrued interest to the Childcare Assistance Program, which the council approved in December 2022 using $500,000 in ARPA funds and then quadrupled the budget by adding another $1.5 million in February 2023. Staff said the program is currently low on funding and needs additional money to continue. The ARPA funds must be formally committed by Dec. 31, 2024 to avoid returning the uncommitted funds to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Discussion:
During public comment, City Clerk Kara Paxton spoke about how important the program has been to many families in town.

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


2. Vacation-2024-0010 – 3337 N. Mana Ct./Half Moon Oral Surgery (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC-24-10 for property located at 3334 North Mana Court in Ward 3 to vacate a 0.03 acre portion of general utility easement.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is on East Longview Street in an area that includes numerous existing medical facilities, including Washington Regional Medical Center, the Washington County Health Department, North Hills Medical Park, and others. The applicant plans to build a new oral surgery facility, but needs the city to vacate a 70’x20’ portion of an existing general utility easement to the north of the proposed building that contains an existing sewer main. Because the proposed building and underground detention conflict with the location of the existing sewer main and manhole, the applicant proposes to pour a new manhole over the existing sewer main and connect with a 6-inch sanitary sewer service.

City staff recommend in favor of the request with the following conditions of approval:

  1. Any damage or relocation of any existing facilities will be at the applicant’s expense.
  2. New easements must be granted to SWEPCO/AEP for future service.
  3. Adjustment of sewer facilities must be designed, approved, constructed, and accepted prior to vacation.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 8-0 to approve it.


3. Rezoning-2024-0021 – 3390 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./Cathcart Rentals LLC (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-21 for approximately 1.54 acres located at 3390 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Ward 1 from R-O, Residential-Office, C-2, Thoroughfare Commercial, and RSF-4, Residential Single-Family, four units per acre to UT, Urban Thoroughfare.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is in southwest Fayetteville, west of I-49 along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It includes three parcels and is developed with one commercial building. A rezoning to UT would allow for a wider variety of commercial and residential uses than those permitted under the property’s current zoning designation. Specifically, it would permit the by-right development of single-family, two-family, three- and four-family dwellings, and multi-family dwellings.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend in favor of the request.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 8-0 to approve it.


4. Rezoning-2024-0022 – 951 N. Double Springs Rd/R&D Property Holdings LLC (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-22 for approximately 0.56 acres located at 951 N. Double Springs Road in Ward 4 from R-A, Residential Agricultural to NS-G, Neighborhood Services-General.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is in west Fayetteville at the southwest corner of Double Springs Road and Nicole Lane, and is
developed with a single-family home. It received its current zoning designation in 2003 with the adoption of a new city-wide zoning map. A rezoning to NS-G would allow for a wider variety of medium intensity commercial and residential uses. Specifically, it permits the by-right development of single-, two-, three-, and four-family dwellings. NS-G would also provide opportunities for small-scale commercial use.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend in favor of the request.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 8-0 to approve it.


5. Rezoning-2024-0023 – 1000 S. Futrall Dr./Adrois Hospitality LLC (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-23 for approximately 1.75 acres located at 1000 S. Futrall Dr. in Ward 1 from C-2, Thoroughfare Commercial to CS, Community Services.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is southeast of the intersection of Futrall Drive and Martin Luther King Jr.
Boulevard. It contains one parcel and is developed with two motel buildings that were constructed in 1981. Staff said since the surrounding area is primarily developed with commercial buildings that are set far back from the street, a rezoning to CS could encourage a different development pattern which would allow for
the insertion of complimentary residential uses and require buildings to be closer to the street and sidewalk network. Residential uses are currently permitted in the C-2 zoning district, though only as an accessory use. A rezoning to CS would allow all residential uses by right, but would make the current use of the property as a motel a conditional use.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend in favor of the request.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 8-0 to approve it.


6. Appeal: Conditional Use Permit-2024-0017 – 10 S. Palmer Ave./Beykirch (Details)

A resolution to grant the appeal of council members Sarah Bunch, Sarah Moore, and Mike Wiederkehr and deny conditional use permit CUP 2024-017 for a group home facility for graduate students and additional supportive services through the International Student Christian Association.
Pass 7-1

Background:
The property is in the University Heights neighborhood about 800 feet west of the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field. Includes a 3,000-square-foot single-family home. The property owner previously requested a conditional use permit for a Type 2 short-term rental, which was denied by the Planning Commission. After that, the owner applied for a permit to use the property as a group home for graduate students, operated by the International Student Christian Association. That permit was approved by the Planning Commission, but with conditions that limit the home to six full-time residents, four vehicles parked on the property, and some restrictions on the number of outside guests and events. Residents who are opposed to that decision have asked council members Bunch, Moore, and Wiederkehr to sponsor an appeal of permit, which they agreed to.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission were in favor of the approval of the permit, and remain so despite the neighbors’ opposition.

Location:

Discussion:
During public comment, about 10 people spoke in favor of allowing the permit, while six people spoke against allowing six people to live in the house.

Some of the international students who would live in the house said they aren’t allowed to make noise, drink alcohol, or be a bother to each other while they’re in the house, which is primarily used as study space during the day and a place to sleep at night.

The neighbors who spoke against said they don’t have a problem with any of the people who would live in the house, but rather the amount of people who would be living there, which they said is incompatible with the surrounding area.

Bunch said she supported the appeal request because the neighbors have a valid concern about six unrelated people living in a home in a neighborhood that where that is not the norm.

Wiederkehr said he doesn’t think the neighbors are worried about the specific people who would live there, but rather all the other people who would congregate at the home for the weekly and quarterly events that the permit would allow.

Berna said when the property was proposed as a short-term rental, he supported it, but at this point, he’s concerned about all the potential issues that have been raised tonight so he won’t support the permit.

Decision:
The council voted 7-1 to approve the appeal, so the permit is denied. Moore voted against.


Meeting duration

This meeting lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes, and was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.