FAYETTEVILLE -- Planning Commissioners voiced displeasure over, but approved, a plan for homes and one lot with commercial use facing Huntsville Road west of Crossover Road.
The commission voted 7-0 Monday to approve the plan for 11 single-family lots on the north side of Huntsville Road. One additional lot abutting the street will feature some type of commercial use. A road would split up the middle of the nearly 2-acre site.
Commissioners in May approved rezoning the land, and the City Council subsequently approved, to a community services zone. The city's community services zone allows single-family up to four-unit dwellings, as well as multifamily and accessory dwellings and cluster housing. Commercial uses include eating places, neighborhood shopping, gas stations or drive-through restaurants, offices and home occupations.
Several commissioners expressed disappointment at a lack of variety of housing types presented in the plan. Commissioner Matt Hoffman described the request as a reason why single-family homes should be a conditional, rather than included, use under the community services zone.
"Basically every commissioner expressed the fact that we didn't really want to see single-family houses here," he said.
Much discussion centered around a second lot facing Huntsville Road planned to be used for a retention pond. Chris Bakunas with McClelland Engineers said the lot serves as the lowest location on the site, and water flows downhill.
"Shifting it up would cause a challenge," he said. "I understand the concerns to have more commercial along the street there."
Commissioners said they wished another commercial use, rather than a retention pond would face Huntsville Road. Commissioner Kris Paxton pointed out it's the largest lot on the property.
"It's not going to be used and 25 years from now it'll probably be a big eyesore," he said.
In other business, commissioners forwarded rezoning just more than an acre south of Township Street, west of College Avenue, to the City Council with a recommendation of approval.
The land was the site of a car wash demolished in 2018. Tom Hennelly with Crafton Tull & Associates said the intention is to build a mixed residential use development.
Commissioners praised the request, saying it's the right move for the area. The new zoning would take more into account the form of buildings, meaning they would be closer to the street, than under the current zoning. The current zone is commercial thoroughfare, like much of College Avenue. The new zone would allow residential mixed with commercial.
"I think this is the right zoning at the right time," Hoffman said.
The commission also considered a residential planned zoning district for more than 20 acres south of where Sain Street is planned to connect to Vantage Drive, south of Joyce Boulevard. The plan proposes 321 multifamily units.
Rezoning requests that came up multiple times at previous Planning Commission and City Council meetings were met with substantial opposition from neighbors. Hugh Jarratt presented Monday's request to the commission, saying the development team met with neighbors in an attempt to come up with a proposal everyone could agree on.
"I think this is a good example of stepping back, getting in a room and everybody figuring it out," Jarratt said.
Two residents asked questions during the public comment period for the item. Commission discussion on the request went past 9:30 p.m.
Commissioners Quintin Canada and Rob Sharp were absent Monday. The meeting was held online via Zoom.
Fayetteville’s Planning Commission met Monday and approved:
• A development plan for the planned 16,000-square-foot Sterling Bank northwest of Shiloh Drive and Steele Boulevard.
• A permit for Fayettechill to open a shop at 600 N. Mission Blvd., the former home of Fork and Crust.
Source: NWA Democrat-Gazette