Fayetteville City Council recap: Nov. 16, 2021

Fayetteville Government Channel

On the agenda…

  • Rezoning 20.40 acres on Old Farmington Road.
  • Extending the start-up period for short-term rentals.
  • Ending the city’s mask mandate.
  • Adopting the 2022 budget.
  • Annexing and rezoning 100 acres off Black Oak Road.
  • Allowing temporary outdoor refreshment areas with special event permits.
  • Adding a future plan chapter to help inform policies that impact environmental issues.

» Download the full agenda

Meeting Info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. It is lived streamed on the city’s YouTube channel, and held at City Hall in Room 219, or virtually on Zoom.

Listed below are 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, Mark Kinion*, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sloan Scroggin, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None

* Kinion joined the meeting after the walk-on vote.

» View current attendance records


Proposed Agenda Additions

1. Ozark Kenworth (Details)

An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and authorize the purchase of three dump trucks and one roll-off truck from Ozark Kenworth of Springdale for the total amount of $780,322.00 plus any applicable taxes and freight charges, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 6-0

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


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 Nov. 2, 2021 City Council meeting minutes
Pass 7-0

2. Community Policing Development Crisis Intervention Team Grant (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a Community Policing Development Crisis Intervention Team Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in the total amount of $250,000.00, to approve the addition of two full-time equivalent non-uniformed positions to the Police Department to hire social workers to identify and work with residents in need of services and two full-time equivalent uniformed positions, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

3. G&W Diesel Services, Inc. d/b/a EVS (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of an air cascade system from G&W Diesel Services, Inc. d/b/a EVS in the amount of $34,461.05 plus any applicable taxes, pursuant to a Houston-Galveston Area Council cooperative purchasing contract, for use at Fire Station #1, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

4. Lion Manufacturing (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of bunker gear coats and pants from NAFECO, Inc., pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract, in the amount of $64,968.00 plus applicable taxes and freight charges.
Pass 7-0

5. McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. Change Order No. 1 (Details): A resolution to approve Change Order No. 1 to the professional engineering services agreement with McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. in the amount of $19,115.00 for materials testing services associated with the new Police Headquarters facility, and to approve a budget adjustment – 2019 Police Headquarters Bond Project.
Pass 7-0

6. Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a professional engineering services agreement with Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $197,000.00 for design and bidding services for Recycling and Trash Facility improvements, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

7. Flintco, LLC Change Order No. 6 (Details): A resolution to approve Change Order No. 6 to the construction manager at risk contract with Flintco, LLC for the Police Headquarters project in the amount of $5,431,413.00, and to approve a budget adjustment – 2019 Police Headquarters Bond Project.
Pass 7-0

8. Nabholz Construction Corporation Change Order No. 6 (Details): A resolution to approve Change Order No. 6 to the contract with Nabholz Construction Corporation in the amount of $1,255,595.00 for the early site package related to the Replacement Parking Deck project, and to approve a budget adjustment – 2019 Cultural Arts Corridor Bond Project.
Pass 7-0

9. Parking Facilities and Services Revenue Recognition (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $43,900.00 recognizing additional revenue and associated expenses for certain parking facilities and services.
Pass 7-0

10. Johanson Consulting, Inc. d/b/a Johanson Group (Details): A resolution to approve a one (1) year contract with automatic renewals for four (4) additional one (1) year terms with Johanson Consulting, Inc. d/b/a Johanson Group for a classification, compensation and benefits study in the amount of $20,000.00 for the first year, to approve an annual project contingency of $7,500.00 for market reviews and ongoing consulting services each year the contract is in effect, and to approve a one (1) year software license and support agreement with automatic renewals for four (4) additional one (1) year terms with DB Squared, LLC for DB compensation software in the amount of $3,000.00 per year.
Pass 7-0

11. Jet Fuel (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $198,000.00 for the purchase of additional jet fuel due to increased jet fuel sales.
Pass 7-0


Unfinished Business

1. RZN-2021-072 (3220 W. Old Farmington Road/Stricklin) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 21-072 located at 3220 W. Old Farmington Road for approximately 20.40 acres from R-A, Residential Agricultural and RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre to RSF-8, Residential Single Family, 8 units per acre.
Pass 7-0

Background:
This item was left on the first reading at the Nov. 2 meeting.

The property is located on the south slope of Millsap Mountain and north side of Old Farmington Road. The site slopes downward from its northern boundary to the two small ponds located roughly halfway to Old Farmington Road to the south. Between these ponds and Old Farmington Road, the site becomes more level. Approximately 6-7 acres of the property’s northern extent is designated as Hillside-Hilltop Overlay District in association with the terrain and tree canopy present. Another site characteristic includes a protected, unnamed tributary of the Farmington Branch which runs parallel to the western property line. In 2019, a request to rezone the property to NS-G, Neighborhood Services, General, was proposed. Staff recommended denial and the Planning Commission expressed concerns that prompted the applicant to ultimately table the request indefinitely. The applicant has not submitted development plans for the property, though the request letter says the intent of the rezone is to allow a cluster housing development. The applicant has suggested that a conditional use permit to that effect would follow if the rezoning is successful.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval.

Staff received one phone call inquiry about the proposal, but the person did not issue any specific comments or concerns with the request.

Location:

Nov. 2 Discussion:
Harvey said she’d like to hold the item on the first reading to allow more time for consideration. The discussion will continue on Nov. 16.

Nov. 16 Discussion:
Both Ward 1 council members said they haven’t had anyone reach out to them about this item.

Harvey said it seems like a fair request and she’s inclined to support it.

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


2. Amend §118.01 Applicability and §163.18 Short-term Rentals (Details)

An ordinance to amend §118.01 Applicability of the Fayetteville City Code and §163.18 Short-term Rentals of the Unified Development Code to extend the short-term rental start-up period from six months to nine months.
Pass 7-0

Background:
This item was left on the first reading at the Nov. 2 meeting.

Fayetteville’s recently approved short-term rental ordinance included a six-month start-up period to allow time for owners of short-term rentals to come into compliance with the new regulations. Staff said they have since received 240 applications, of which 69 have been approved. Given the large number of applications still in review, totaling over 70% of the total received, staff recommends giving applicants and staff additional time through a three-month extension of the start-up period, for a total of nine months.

» Read more about this issue here

Nov. 2 Discussion:
Hertzberg said she would like to leave the item on the first reading to bring more awareness to the issue. The discussion will continue on Nov. 16.

Nov. 16 Discussion:
City Attorney Kit Williams asked the council to amend the ordinance to include an emergency clause so it can go into effect immediately since the startup period is currently set to expire in a few days.

City staff said they have received more applications in the last two weeks than in any two-week period so far. The press coverage likely contributed to that, said Jonathan Curth, the city’s development services director (read our coverage here).

Decision:
The council passed the emergency clause amendment 7-0 and advanced the item to the third reading before unanimously approving it.


New Business

1. Repeal Ordinances 6465 and 6486 (Details)

An ordinance to repeal ordinances 6465 and 6486 to end the mask mandate because new Covid-19 virus infections and hospitalizations have now been reduced, more vaccinations have been administered, and vaccines are now authorized and available for all Americans five years old and older and to declare an emergency.
Pass 7-0

Background:
Council members Scroggin and Hertzberg have proposed to end the city’s mask mandate because of reduced infections and hospitalizations, and the availability of vaccines.

This item includes an emergency clause which means a mask ordinance repeal would go into effect immediately. With the emergency clause, it would go into effect Dec. 18. Masks became optional for public school students in grades 7-12 on Nov. 15. Grades K-6 will become optional on Dec. 23.

The city’s Board of Health met last week and recommended matching the district’s Dec. 23 date to end the mandate.

Marti Sharkey, the city’s public health officer, last week said cases in Washington County had been trending downward, but have recently started to plateau and then increase slightly. Sharkey said as of Nov. 2, 58% of people in Washington County who were eligible for shots were fully vaccinated, and 68% had received at least one shot.

Discussion:
Hertzberg said she doesn’t think this is a discussion about the efficacy of mask usage, but rather about the efficacy of an ordinance that doesn’t have a strong enforcement structure. She said having this ordinance in place without much cooperation from the public and without enforcement makes the city look foolish, and mask policies are better left to individual businesses.

Scroggin said initially, he thought the ordinance had some good effects, but lately people aren’t really wearing masks anymore, and having a policy on the books that isn’t obeyed or enforced isn’t a good look.

Public health officer Marti Sharkey said local COVID and ICU hospital admissions are hovering around the point at which local medical officials say is a strained point for their facilities. She said the Board of Health would like COVID hospitalizations to stay near or below 30 across the region, and overall ICU bed usage to stay below 100 if masks are to become optional. Todays stats show 36 COVID hospitalizations and 96 ICU beds in use across Washington and Benton counties, according to the Northwest Arkansas Council.

Scroggin made a motion to amend the ordinance to end the mandate on Dec. 23 to match the school district’s plan to make masks optional for grades K-6 (grades 7-12 became mask-optional yesterday). His motion did not include a contingency for the 30/100 hospital data as recommended by the Board of Health. There was no second for Scroggin’s motion.

Harvey suggested a similar motion to amend the ordinance to end on Dec. 23, but with the hospital data contingency included.

Hertzberg said that idea seems too complicated for people to understand, and the council should just pick a date.

Bunch said it’s a difficult decision because people seem to be doing whatever they want regardless of the city’s mandate.

Kinion agreed, and said people who want to wear masks are wearing them, and those who don’t want to wear them simply aren’t doing so. He said it bothers him personally, because he is a strong advocate for mask usage, but said he’s struggling to determine at what point the decision should be left up to the public.

“I think at this point, there’s enough evidence out there for people to be able to make a choice,” he said. “It’s regrettable and this is not easy for me to say…but at this point we shouldn’t be mandating something that isn’t happening anyway.”

Turk said she’s disappointed that so many people won’t take the proper precautions to stop the spread of the virus, but she will support ending the mandate on Dec. 23. She said if the numbers spike back up, she would like to reconsider that date.

Williams said if the council votes to end the mandate on Dec. 23, but notices a dramatic increase in hospitalizations in mid-December, any council member could bring forward a proposal to extend the mandate.

Scroggin’s original amendment was reconsidered and passed 7-0.

During public comment, three people spoke in favor of repealing the mandate and one person spoke in favor.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to end the mask mandate on Dec. 23.


2. 2022 Annual Budget and Work Program (Details)

A resolution to adopt the 2022 Annual Budget and Work Program.
Tabled 7-0

Background:
The proposed budget is included in the agenda packet for this item (see it here).

Discussion:
Council Member Jones suggested adding $45,000 to the budget for added staffing at the Yvonne Richardson Community Center. Staff said they will look into that and get input from the center’s management.

The council voted 7-0 to table the resolution until the next meeting on Dec. 7.


3. ANX-2021-003 (South of 2936 S. Black Oak Rd./Riverside Village) (Details)

An ordinance to annex that property described in annexation petition ANX 21-003 submitted by Rausch Coleman Homes, Inc. for property located south of 2936 S. Black Oak Road containing approximately 101.77 acres.
Left on the first reading

Background:
The property is in south Fayetteville off Black Oak Road, immediately south of Combs Park. It includes four parcels that lie within unincorporated Washington County. It is undeveloped with most of the tree canopy present near the West Fork White River, and the eastern extent of the property is encumbered by the floodway and floodplain of the river. An unnamed protected tributary of the West Fork White River is present in the northeast quadrant of the property. The applicant has requested the annexation to provide additional residential housing stock to northwest Arkansas which they said is facing substantial current and projected growth.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval.

Location:

Discussion:
Turk asked about the water and sewer availability in the area. Staff said the water line is big enough, but they’re not certain about the sewer line and would need to ask someone from the utilities department. Turk said she’d like that answer by the next meeting.

During public comment, four people spoke in favor – including two who either own parts of the property in question or that are representing the owners – and one person spoke against.

Turk said this is a tough decision for her, and she hopes the ordinance can be left on the first reading until the next meeting.

The council agreed. The discussion will continue on Dec. 7


4. R-PZD-2021-004: (South of 2936 S. Black Oak Rd./Riverside Village) (Details)

An ordinance to approve a residential planned zoning district entitled R-PZD 2021-004 for approximately 101.77 acres located south of 2936 S. Black Oak Road to allow the development of 2.2 acres for commercial and multi-family residential uses and 97.8 acres for single-family to four-family residential uses and parkland/open space.
Left on the first reading

Background:
This is the same property described in the preceding agenda item.

If the property is annexed into the city, the applicant has requested to rezone it to a Residential Planned Zoning District (R-PZD) with two planning areas. The first area includes 2.2 acres that’s intended to be commercial in nature, but still allows for some multi-family units. The second area is intended to be residential and parkland/greenspace in nature with allowances single-family, two-family, three- and four-family, and accessory dwelling units.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval.

Location:

Concept Drawing:

Planning Areas:

Discussion:
Those who signed up to speak said they made their points during the previous discussion and chose not to speak again.

This item cannot be voted on unless the previous annexation passes, so it will also be held on the first reading and the discussion will continue on Dec. 7.


5. VAC-2021-026 (NW of E. 5th St. & E. Sequoyah Ct./Coody) (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 21-026 for property located northwest of East 5th Street and East Sequoyah Drive to vacate a portion of a general utility easement and street right-of-way.
Pass 6-0

Background:
The property is located southeast of downtown Fayetteville, roughly 700 feet northwest of the intersection of East Huntsville Road and South Sherman Avenue and at the west end of East 5th Street. The easement and right-of-way in question are located on a property which totals approximately 6.81 acres and is an undeveloped greenfield site. Nearly the entire property falls within the Hillside Hilltop Overlay District. There is over 100 feet of declining elevation difference from the north property line to the south at a relatively steady grade of about 20%. A depression runs along much of the west property line. Further limiting the potential connectivity of the roadway is a City Council resolution approved in February of 1996 which established a policy to not extend streets over Mount Sequoyah finding that it was not in the best interest of the city to create narrow, winding, and congested streets.

The applicant proposes to vacate approximately 7,560 square feet of Overland Trail cul- de-sac right-of-way and 5,830 square feet of un-utilized general utility easement. Staff said the plan is to subdivide the property and create large lots.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 6-0 to approve it. Harvey was not present for the vote.


6. Amend § 166.23 Urban Residential Design Standards (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 166.23 Urban Residential Design Standards of the Unified Development Code to promote pedestrian cross access and require unobstructed access from residential buildings to public sidewalks.
Pass 6-0

Background:
Fayetteville’s Urban Residential Design Standards require dwellings to have street-facing entries and access to sidewalk when they are located on the ground level and street adjacent. Staff said recent projects have made evident a lack of specificity about the manner and degree of access. As a result, staff said some projects have utilized non-standard and possibly inadequate surfacing materials, including organic matter like mulch. Further, required pedestrian connections have been installed to direct residents and other users to fenced-in or otherwise inaccessible entries.

A further concern from planning commissioners is the inability to require pedestrian cross access where it is accommodated by adjacent properties. Staff said this has led to projects on large tracts of land with limited to no connectivity. Where a subdivision includes public streets that afford mobility, large multi-family developments often do not, resulting in reduced access and increased vehicle dependence.

To address the issues, the Long-Range Planning Subcommittee in conjunction with staff have drafted two amendments: The first addresses the standard for pedestrian connections to be unobstructed and made of durable materials, and includes an avenue for administrative relief from the city’s Zoning and Development Administrator. The second amendment requires connecting to sidewalks on adjacent commercial and residential properties when they are present.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 6-0 to approve it. Harvey was not present for the vote.


7. Amend § 111.07 Outdoor Refreshment Area (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 111.07 Outdoor Refreshment Area to allow temporary outdoor refreshment areas through the special events permit process.
Pass 6-0

Background:
This ordinance is being proposed by city staff in response to a request from the University of Arkansas. It would give event organizers the option to request open consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages (outside of beer gardens) in event areas throughout the city.

It includes an emergency clause to go into effect immediately so the University of Arkansas can allow open consumption during its pre-game party on Maple Street before the final home game of the season on Nov. 26.

» Read the letter from the UA

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 6-0 to approve it. Harvey was not present for the vote.


8. Natural Environment, Ecosystems, and Climate Resilience Chapter in an Existing or Future City Plan (Details)

A resolution to request that Mayor Jordan direct the city staff or contract for services to draft a Natural Environment, Ecosystems, and Climate Resilience chapter in an existing or future city plan that will inform future policies, programs and actions that impact environmental and ecosystem issues, to assess and expand the footprint of lands of high ecological value, to provide funding if needed to draft the plan, and to create a permanent capital improvement project budget for the purchase of lands with high environmental or ecological value.
Pass 6-0

Background:
This item was proposed by Council Member Turk as a way to help inform future policies that impact environmental issues and to assess lands with high ecological value. The resolution would allocate up to $100,000 to help fund and augment the drafting of the chapter, and provide annual funding of $100,000 to purchase ecologically valued land.

» Read Turk’s letter to the mayor and council

Discussion:
Jones suggested amending the resolution to include an environmental justice component. Turk agreed, and said it was an oversight on her part to not include that. The amendment passed 6-0.

One person spoke in favor of the resolution.

Scroggin said he hopes this resolution doesn’t eventually get used as ammunition to fight infill development. “If we’re going to fight climate change, we need more density,” Scroggin said.

Turk said the intention is to protect areas around streams, not to combat high-density development.

Decision:
The council voted 6-0 to approve the resolution. Harvey was not present for the vote.


Adjourned

This meeting was adjourned at 9:48 p.m.

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