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Rezoning proposals for northeast, midtown parts of Fayetteville held until April

Changes sought for properties in midtown, northeast Fayetteville by Stacy Ryburn | March 22, 2023 at 10:05 a.m.
(File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

FAYETTEVILLE -- The City Council unanimously decided to come back later to a pair of rezoning proposals it discussed Tuesday.

One request was to rezone about 15 wooded acres southeast of Oak Bailey Drive and Old Wire Road, west of the intersection with Crossover Road. The other was to rezone nearly 2 acres southeast of Gregg Avenue and Elm Street.

The council will discuss both proposals again during its April 4 meeting.

The westernmost 7.5-acre section of the Oak Bailey Drive and Old Wire Road property is zoned for single-family homes up to four units an acre. The remaining acreage along Niokaska Creek to the east is zoned as agricultural land. The rezoning request would realign the zoning boundaries. The proposal would keep nearly 6 acres along the creek as agricultural and change about 9.5 acres to a neighborhood conservation zone.

A neighborhood conservation zone allows the same residential uses as the current zone but with smaller lots, shorter setbacks from the right of way and higher density. For instance, the lot width minimum for a neighborhood conservation zone is 40 feet, as opposed to 70 feet for a residential single-family zone allowing up to four units per acre. Maximum density under neighborhood conservation is 10 units an acre. Homes built under neighborhood conservation have to sit within 25 feet of the right of way, while the current zoning requires homes to be set back at least 15 feet from the right of way.

Blake Jorgensen with Jorgensen and Associates presented the request to the council. Although the math may come out to a potential maximum of 95 dwellings under the rezoning, the actual density would be more like 55 to 60 lots, he said. The development would include right of way for streets, utilities and other features that would cut into the maximum number of lots possible, Jorgensen said. Only single-family homes would be allowed under the rezoning.

Seven neighbors spoke in opposition to the request in person and online. Robert Crouch said the city's overall goal is appropriate infill development, not maximum development. He said he felt 50 to 60 lots would be inappropriate and that traffic is already a problem in the area.

Council member Scott Berna, who represents the northeast part of town, said he hoped the developers and neighbors would talk to each other about the proposal before the next meeting. Everyone who spoke had reasonable concerns, he said.

"Are we all going to agree? No. But maybe we can get closer to where everyone is more comfortable with the situation," Berna said.

The rezoning proposal for Gregg Avenue and Elm Street would change the land from a residential single-family zone allowing up to four units an acre to a mix of zones allowing higher residential density. Nearly an acre facing Gregg Avenue would become a residential intermediate urban district, while the remaining land to the east would become a residential intermediate zone allowing up to 12 units an acre.

Brian Teague with Community by Design presented the request to the council and said he envisioned triplexes resembling single-family homes for the part of the property facing Gregg Avenue. He offered, and the council accepted, a bill of assurance restricting development of the eastern portion of the property to single-family homes.

The development team met with neighbors before Tuesday's meeting. Neighbor Robert Ginsburg said he felt there were still too many uncertainties with the proposal and that concerns remained over traffic and drainage.

Development Review Manager Jessie Masters said many aspects that neighbors brought up such as access, drainage, and the number and placement of homes would be addressed once the Planning Commission reviews a development plan. If the council approves the rezoning, neighbors would be notified by mail of the date for the commission's hearing on the plan, she said.

Council action

Fayetteville's City Council met Tuesday and approved:

A benefits package for the city's firefighters that includes longevity, education and certification pay.

A $38,950 contract with Crossland Heavy Contractors Inc. to make improvements at the Lake Fayetteville Softball Complex.

A $124,499 federal Justice Assistance Grant to reimburse police officers' time spent serving on the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

Renewal of a 10-year lease agreement with the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission for the Fayetteville Town Center and associated parking deck.

Adding $150,000 to a contract with Titan Lawn and Landscape to provide trash removal services from unsanctioned campsites on city property along the trail system.

Source: Fayetteville


Print Headline: Council holds pair of rezoning proposals


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