Fayetteville City Council recap: July 2, 2024

(File photo)

Approved:

  • New rules for short-term rental business license suspension and revocation
  • New rules for grading permits and exceptions
  • Intent to implement new user fee study recommendations
  • Three property vacation requests
  • Rezoning request at 3145 E. Joyce Blvd
  • Rezoning request at 4260 W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
  • Rush Truck Centers purchase agreement approval
  • Lewis Ford Sales purchase agreement approval
  • Potable domestic water access to Ellis Estates approval

Denied:

  • Requiring new appointments to the Housing Crisis Task Force

» Download the agenda (PDF)

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, 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 2 hours and 52 minutes, and was adjourned at 8:22 p.m.


Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Monthly Financial Report


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 18, 2024 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 8-0

2. Continuum of Care Program – Renewal grants (Details): A resolution to approve the renewal of four Continuum of Care Program grant agreements with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the total amount of $334,694.00 for the city to administer programs to assist homeless Fayetteville residents.
Pass 8-0

3. Stantec Consulting Services – Contract amendment (Details): A resolution to approve an amendment to the professional services agreement with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. in the amount of $34,988.75 for a multiple property documentation form and National Register of Historic Places submission for the University Heights and Haskell Heights neighborhoods.
Pass 8-0

4. Eco-Counter, Inc. – Purchase agreement (Details): A resolution to waive competitive bidding and authorize the purchase of an Eco-Display Classic from Eco-Counter, Inc. in the total amount of $41,644.64 for the Razorback Greenway section adjacent to the Upper Ramble Civic Plaza, and to approve a budget adjustment – 2019 Trail Improvement Bond Project.
Pass 8-0

5. Spatco Energy Solutions, LLC. – Change Order #1 (Details): A resolution to approve Change Order No. 1 to the contract with Spatco Energy Solutions, LLC in the amount of $37,297.30 for the Fuel Farm Rehabilitation Project at Drake Field, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

6. U.S. Geological Survey – Joint funding agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for stream gauge operation and maintenance and water quality sampling and monitoring at various locations in the city of Fayetteville in 2024 with the amount paid by the city not to exceed $57,580.00.
Pass 8-0

7. American Soccer Company, Inc. – Purchase agreement (Details): A resolution to award RFP 24-07 and authorize a contract for the purchase of youth soccer uniforms from American Soccer Company, Inc. d/b/a Score Sports in the amount of $16.10 plus applicable taxes per uniform for the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 seasons with an option to renew for up to four additional one-year terms.
Pass 8-0

8. Black Hills Energy, Inc. – Easement approval (Details): A resolution to convey a 25 foot wide natural gas easement to Black Hills Energy for the extension of a gas line through Combs Park.
Pass 8-0

9. Rush Truck Centers – Purchase agreement (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of a 2024 International CV515 from Rush Truck Centers in the amount of $110,548.16, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

10. Lewis Ford Sales, Inc. – Purchase agreement (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of two hybrid Ford F150s from Lewis Ford Sales, Inc. in the total amount of $104,368.00, pursuant to Ordinance 6491.
Pass 8-0

11. Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. – Amendment No. 1 (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment No. 1 to the engineering services contract with Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $155,500.00 for professional services associated with the Noland Water Resource Recovery Facility Primary Switchgear Improvements Project.
Pass 8-0

12. Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. – Amendment No. 2 (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment No. 2 to the engineering services contract with Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $226,140.00 for additional services associated with utility relocations along Highway 112, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

13. Potable Domestic Water Access to Ellis Estates – Resolution (Details): A resolution to approve potable domestic water access to Ellis Estates Subdivision’s preliminary plat which was approved by the city on August 9, 2021 for 53 water taps.
Pass 8-0


Unfinished Business

None


New Business

1. Suspension and Revocation of Business License – Amendment (Details)

An ordinance to amend §118.03 Suspension and Revocation of Business License of the Fayetteville City Code to address the revocation of business licenses for short-term rentals.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The Ordinance Review Committee has recommended a new ordinance which states that if a business license to operate a short-term rental is revoked, the owner or operator is prohibited from reapplying for a new business license to operate a short-term rental on the same property for 12 months. If the property is sold after the revocation of the business license and a conditional use permit to operate a short-term rental remains active, the new owner may apply for a business license under the terms of the existing permit, provided they receive written approval from the city’s development services director.

Discussion:
Hertzberg said this idea came as a recommendation from the Ordinance Review Committee as a way to provide a legal “cooling off” period so that an owner whose license was revoked cannot immediately re-enter the waiting list.

Turk asked if the owner could create a new LLC, transfer ownership to that entity, and then apply for a new license. City Attorney Kit Williams said the ordinance requires approval from the development services director which provides an opportunity to stop that behavior.

There was no public comment.

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


2. Review and/or Permits Required; Exceptions – Amendment (Details)

An ordinance to amend §169.03 Review and/or Permits Required; Exceptions in Chapter 169 Physical Alteration of Land of the Unified Development Code to require permits for the placement of more than six inches of mulch and compost.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The proposed ordinance requires a grading permit for any grading, clearing, filling (including the placement of mulch or compost), excavation, land alteration, or construction of new impervious areas greater than 10,000 square feet. It mandates prior development approval as specified in Chapter 166, except for general grading on existing developed sites that do not impact trees or floodplains and do not significantly alter the natural landform. Additionally, it requires a grading permit and, if applicable, an Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Stormwater Construction Permit with an incorporated Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. The ordinance also introduces a new exception, allowing the placement of mulch, compost, topsoil, or similar materials at depths of 6 inches or less for landscaping and gardening purposes without requiring a permit, as long as it adheres to accepted best practices and industry standards.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


3. Implement User Fee Study Recommendations – Resolution of intent (Details)

A resolution of intent to implement the recommendations of the 2024 User Fee Study including a full cost recovery model, establishment of a master fee schedule, and annual adjustment.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The proposed resolution would express the intent of the council to implement the recommendations of the 2024 User Fee Study. It includes adopting a full-cost recovery model that staff said would ensure that municipal services are adequately funded.

The study recommends comprehensive changes, including:

  1. Implementing a full cost recovery model to ensure applicants bear the cost of development review services.
  2. Adjusting user fees annually based on a consumer price index (CPI) factor.
  3. Conducting user fee evaluations every three to five years to account for changes in policy, development standards, and staffing.
  4. Restructuring development fees to accurately reflect application volumes and service costs.
  5. Establishing a master fee schedule to centralize fee information and allow for administrative adjustments.
  6. Considering targeted subsidies for specific applicants rather than blanket subsidies for all.

City Attorney Kit Williams, however, believes that while development regulations are beneficial, especially for health and safety, charging developers 100% of the costs for permits is not fair or practical. In a memo to council members, Williams recalls a similar proposal in the 1990s that was rejected in favor of partial cost-sharing. He suggests that aesthetic and community regulations, which benefit the city more than developers, should be partly funded by the city. Full-cost recovery, he said, should be reserved for requests that primarily benefit the property owner, like rezoning requests and variances. To avoid legal challenges, Williams recommends reducing the proposed fees by at least 10%.

Discussion:
Blake Jorgensen with Jorgensen & Associates said he’s in favor of anything that could potentially help speed up the approval of development projects.

Jordan said he thinks if the fees are increased and the city uses that extra revenue to put toward additional staff resources, then development projects could indeed be approved faster.

City staff said they plan to implement the increases by one-third over the next three years.

Williams said when the fee schedule brought back later this year for approval, he would still like to see a cushion between full-cost recovery and the current pricing, even if it’s as small as 2-3%.

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


4. Vacation-2024-0004 – 4861 N. Maple Grove Dr./Montgomery, 061 (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC-24-04 for property located at 4861 North Maple Grove Drive in Ward 3 to vacate a 312 square foot portion of general utility easement.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is in north Fayetteville at the southwest corner of the Maple Grove Drive and Blue Stone Drive intersection. The owner is requesting a partial utility easement vacation to accommodate the installation of an in-ground swimming pool in their backyard.

City planners recommend approval of the request.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


5. Vacation-2024-0013 – 653 W .15th St./Washington County Partners LLC, 600 (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC-24-13 for property located at 653 West 15th Street in Ward 1 to vacate a 0.09 acre portion of sewer easement.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property is on the south side of 15th Street about a quarter of a mile west of the street’s intersection with School Avenue. A large site improvement plan, which would allow the property to be developed with a 152-unit multi-family residential development, was approved in January. The applicant said the vacation is necessary since the sewer main in the easement is being abandoned and rerouted.

City planners 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. Hertzberg is having trouble with her online mic and her vote couldn’t be heard.


6. Vacation-2024-0011 – East of 1074 E. Sain St/Trails on the Creek, 174 (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC-24-11 for property located east of 1074 East Sain Street in Ward 3 to vacate a 0.66 acre portion of general utility easement.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is in north Fayetteville, south of Mud Creek, and west of Butterfield Trail Village. The property received its current Residential Planned Zoning District zoning designation in late 2020, and an associated large-scale development for multi-family housing was approved in late 2022. Previous easement and right-of-way vacation requests were approved by the council in 2023, and a drainage easement was vacated earlier this year. Vacating these new easements is necessary to continue moving forward with the development.

City planners recommend approval of the request.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


7. Rezoning-2024-0024 – 3145 E. Joyce Blvd/Fayetteville Public Schools, 177 (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-24 for approximately 27.77 acres located at 3145 East Joyce Boulevard in Ward 3 from R-A, Residential-Agricultural to P-1, Institutional.
Pass 7-1

Background:
The property is located northeast of Joyce Boulevard’s intersection with Crossover Road. The property was purchased in 2024 by Fayetteville Public Schools with the intent of building a new middle school on the land.

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

Location:

Discussion:
Superintendent John Mulford said the district doesn’t plan to remove any trees on the property, and will keep the existing barns for use as an outdoor learning area.

City staff said improvements are being planned for the Joyce-Crossover intersection.

Moore said she can’t support the request due to concerns about sustainability and equity related to increased busing distances for students from lower socioeconomic areas.

There was no public comment.

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


8. Rezoning-2024-0025 – 4260 W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd/Club Carwash, 595 (Details)

An ordinance to rezone the property described in rezoning petition RZN 2024-25 for approximately 1.44 acres located at 4260 West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Ward 1 from R-A, Residential-Agricultural and UT, Urban Thoroughfare to UT, Urban Thoroughfare.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is in southwest Fayetteville just west of the intersection of Rupple Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The property is developed with a commercial carwash, and is split-zoned, which is a designation it received in 2018 when the southern portion of the property was rezoned from R-A, Residential-Agricultural to UT, Urban Thoroughfare. At the time of that rezone, the northern portion of the property was within the 100-year floodplain of North Fork Farmington Creek and remained zoned R-A. The FEMA floodplain has since adjusted and only approximately 46-square-feet of the northwest corner of the subject property is still within the floodplain.

Both city planners 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 8-0 to approve it.


9. Renter & Renters Rights Advocate Appointment to the Housing Crisis Task Force – Resolution (Details)

A resolution to require the appointment of a renter and an individual who works with renters’ rights to the Housing Crisis Task Force.
Fail 5-3

Background:
Mayor Jordan selected the following nine Fayetteville residents to serve on the newly created Housing Crisis Task Force: Josh Carson, Tommie Flowers Davis, Bo Diamond, Henry Ho, Jessica Lewallyn, Eleanor Parizek, Robert Sharp, Keaton Smith and Nick Thorn.

When the council approved the formation of the task force, it called for the group to include 7 to 11 members “with expertise or a demonstrated interest in housing services, housing development, city planning and policy and economics representing government agencies, nonprofit organizations, renter groups, developers, landlords and community members.”

This resolution, brought forward by Council members Moore and Jones, would require Jordan to appoint a renter and someone who works in renters’ rights to the task force.

Discussion:
Stafford said he’s heard from some residents and members of the task force who worry about the group’s legitimacy due to the lack of renters among its members, so he’s not against the idea of adding a renter to the task force.

Mayor Jordan said he included three individuals specifically recommended by Renters United when forming the task force. He said at this point, he’s hesitant to select any new members for the task force due to numerous resident comments and specific requests about the ideal type of renter that should be included. He said the influx of opinions since the issue was raised has made him cautious about appointing the newly proposed members. He said if the council wants to add more people to the task force, he’d prefer them to pick the members themselves.

Bunch said the resolution the council approved to establish a task force didn’t mention anything about whether a board member should be a homeowner or a renter. She said she wanted to mention that because there was pushback from residents on social media who criticized the mayor’s choices for the makeup of the board and she didn’t think that was entirely fair. She said if a mention of a renter was left out, then it was an oversight on the part of the council, not the mayor. She said maybe the task force should pick its own new members by creating a subcommittee.

Jones said all he wants is to see a renter on the task force and he’s not concerned with specifically who it is. He said renters see things from a different perspective and they should be included. He said this proposal is simply about correcting what he perceived as an oversight.

Wiederkehr said many homeowners have previously been renters, so it’s not necessarily as if the task force is without anyone who’s had experience as a renter. Turk agreed and said she was a renter for a very long time before finally becoming a homeowner.

Berna said he doesn’t want to micro-manage the task force by adding members after it has already met and begun its work. He said the group includes experts in multiple facets and several people who were specifically recommended to the mayor by those who first proposed the formation of the task force. He said the group’s first meeting was a success and he’s concerned about setting the task force up for failure by jumping in and making changes so early on.

Three people spoke during public comment, all who were in favor of the proposal.

Moore moved to amend the resolution to include the suggestion that the task force appoint its own new members instead of the mayor. That amendment passed 5-3 with Berna, Wiederkehr and Turk voting against.

Berna said mandating the task force to pick new members through the passage of a resolution is only muddying the waters of the group’s task.

Turk agreed. “We need to let them do their work,” she said.

Moore suggested tabling the resolution since it appears the proposal might fail tonight.

Berna disagreed, and said voting down the resolution won’t stop the task force from talking to renters and bringing them into the conversation.

‘I don’t think voting this resolution down does anything but allow them to work,” said Berna.

Jordan said the task force has a “little bit of play” in that they are allowed 11 members, but currently only have nine.

Williams corrected Jordan and said if the amended resolution fails, the task force couldn’t add two new members themselves. They could, however, bring forward a recommendation to add two new members.

Discussion:
The amended resolution failed 5-3 with only Stafford, Jones and Moore voting in favor.


Meeting duration

This meeting lasted 2 hours and 52 minutes, and was adjourned at 8:22 p.m.