Fayetteville City Council recap: April 19, 2022

Flyer file photo

On the agenda…

  • Five rezoning requests from the previous meeting.
  • Two new rezoning requests.
  • Allowing more outdoor live music at Prairie Street Live.
  • Two property vacation requests.
  • Claiming a standard allowance for ARPA funds.

» Download the full agenda

Meeting Info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, 2022 inside City Hall in Room 219. The meeting is also available live on Zoom and on the city’s YouTube channel.

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, Mike Wiederkehr, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sloan Scroggin, Sarah Bunch*, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None

* Bunch is in Portugal and arrived via Zoom after the Consent Agenda and left shortly after the New Business agenda began.

» View current attendance records


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. RFQ #22-01, Selection #2 McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. and GTS, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award RFQ #22-01 Selection #2 and authorize the purchase of on-call materials testing services from McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc., Olsson, Inc. and GTS, Inc. based on price and availability as needed through April 30, 2023.
Pass 7-0

2. RFQ #22-01, Selection #3 McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. and Olsson Associates, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award RFQ #22-01 Selection #3 and authorize the purchase of on-call surveying services from McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. and Olsson, Inc. based on rates provided and availability as needed through April 30, 2023.
Pass 7-0

3. BKD, LLP (Details): A resolution to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign an engagement letter with BKD, LLP and pay an amount not to exceed $117,320.00 for auditing services for the 2021 Audit.
Pass 7-0

4. Amend Resolution 33-22 (Details): A resolution to amend Resolution 33-22 by reducing the amount of reappropriations to the 2022 Budget by $9,279,035.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0


Unfinished Business

1. RZN-2022-003 (2235 W. Wedington Drive/Pagliani) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-003 located at 2235 W. Wedington Drive for approximately 0.43 acres from RSF-4, Residential Single-Family, 4 units per acre to RI-12, Residential Intermediate, 12 units per acre.
Pass 7-1

Background:
The property is about 1/2 mile to the east of the I-49 interchange. It currently includes one single-family house.

The applicant has indicated an intent to develop duplexes on the property.

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

Location:

May 15 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

The applicant said they would be willing to retain the same setback requirements as RSF-4 if possible. Staff said there is actually no opportunity to do that under any of the city’s zoning districts.

City Attorney Kit Williams suggested holding off on a decision until the applicant can meet with city staff about their options.

Hertzberg asked the applicant if they are ready to move forward. The applicant said yes.

Turk said she’d rather leave the item on the first reading. The council agreed.

The discussion will continue on April 5.

April 5 Discussion:
The applicant asked to amend their request to RI-U and offered a Bill of Assurance that limits the property to two duplex structures.

Turk said she’d like to tour the property before making a decision.

The council agreed to hold the item on the second reading. The discussion will continue on April 19.

April 19 Discussion:
The applicant offered a Bill of Assurance that limits the density to two duplex structures for a total of four dwelling units on the property that are each limited to a maximum of three unrelated residents.

During public comment, two people spoke against citing concerns about increased density and the potential for increased traffic.

Harvey said she thinks the owner is trying to improve the neighborhood and remove a dilapidated structure that has been a problem in the area. She said the area is part of a major thoroughfare and it makes sense to have higher density there.

Hertzberg agreed, and said while RI-U might sound concerning at first, she thinks the the way this particular request has been presented makes sense for the area.

Turk said she has concerns about access to the property and the potential for added traffic problems if the request is approved. She called the request “spot zoning” and said she won’t support it.

Bunch asked what “spot zoning” is. City Attorney Kit Williams said it’s when something extremely out of character is placed in the middle of an area. He said that argument has mostly been put by the wayside since the city currently encourages a mix of uses in many area.

Bunch said she doesn’t think this request qualifies as “spot zoning” and she’ll support it.

“I really feel that this is going to be a better fit for the area than what is currently there,” said Bunch. “I think it’s totally appropriate.”

Wiederkehr agreed with Hertzberg and said RI-U might seem out of character at first glance, but with the Bill of Assurance that the applicant has provided, it’s clear the property owner is trying to improve the area.

Scroggin said he likes the idea of more housing in this area.

The council amended the ordinance 8-0 to include the Bill of Assurance.

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


2. RZN-2021-093 (1101 N. Woolsey Ave./WRMC) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 21-093 located at 1101 N. Woolsey Ave. for approximately 0.75 acres from RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre to NS-G, Neighborhood Services-General.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is located northwest of the intersection of Woolsey Avenue and North Street. It contains a building that was originally constructed as a single-family home, though it was heavily renovated in 1996 for use as the Washington Regional Medical Center’s Cancer Support Home.

The applicant has shared an intent to restore the existing building on the property. Rezoning to a mixed-use zoning district would allow the building to be used for either commercial or residential purposes by-right.

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

Location:

May 15 Discussion:
Turk asked why a rezoning is needed to renovate the house since it’s already being used for non-residential purposes.

Staff said a non-conforming use is grandfathered in for a property as long as the use doesn’t cease for more than six months at a time. Sometimes, a renovation project can last longer than six months and that can present a problem for a property owner who’d like to resume that use.

The applicant said the use has already been suspended for more than six months, so they need a rezoning to resume at all.

Kinion said he’d like to hold the item until the next meeting. The discussion will continue on April 5.

April 5 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Wiederkehr and Kinion said they’ve heard from residents who are concerned about the project, but only about the design of the renovation – specifically about where the parking would be located. Kinion said he also heard from folks who are in full support of the request.

Hertzberg said she’d like more time to think about it before voting.

The council left the item on the second reading. The discussion will continue on April 19.

April 19 Discussion:
Kinion said he trusts that the applicant will make good on their intentions.

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


3. RZN-2022-008 (608 S. Ray Ave./Siemek) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-008 located at 608 S. Ray Ave. in Ward 1 for approximately 0.47 acres from RSF-4, Residential Single-Family, 4 units per acre to RSF-8, Residential Single-Family, 8 units per acre.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is developed with one single-family home. Staff said the applicant has indicated an intent to construct additional single-family homes on the property.

The applicant’s original request was for NC, Neighborhood Conservation, and while city planners recommend approval, the Planning Commission recommended a different zone of RSF-8, Residential Single-Family, 8 units per acre. According to a staff memo, commissioners found that a rezoning to RSF-8 was more consistent with prevailing lot widths and setbacks in the area. Commissioners also found that alternatives to subdividing the lot in the applicant’s intended way existed through other means such as seeking a tandem lot request or by seeking a Board of Adjustment variance. The owner’s representative expressed reluctance to revise their client’s request from NC to RSF-8 given the uncertainty in being able to complete the envisioned project without additional discretionary approval.

Location:

April 5 Discussion:
FYI, this item was moved from No. 8 to No. 3.

The applicant said he would prefer his original request of NC-Neighborhood Conservation instead of RSF-8, which is what the Planning Commission changed it to.

Hertzberg made a motion to amend the ordinance to the applicant’s original request of NC-Neighborhood Conservation. Turk said she’d like to go visit the property before amending the ordinance. Hertzberg withdrew her amendment.

The council left the item on the second reading. The discussion will continue on April 19.

April 19 Discussion:
The council amended the ordinance 8-0 from RSF-8 to NC as requested by the applicant.

There was no public comment.

Kinion said the request seems reasonable and respectful to the property.

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


4. RZN-2022-006 (3493 N. Hwy 112/Biotech Pharmacal) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-006 located south of west Highway 112 for approximately 65.90 acres from R-A, Residential Agricultural; RSF-8 Residential Single-Family, 8 units per acre; and I-1, Heavy Commercial and Light Industrial to NS-G, Neighborhood Services-General; CS, Community Services; UT, Urban Thoroughfare; and I-1, Heavy Commercial and Light Industrial.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property is south and west of Highway 112 and just west of Interstate 49. The request involves four parcels which are zoned a mix of R-A, RSF-8, and I-1. The site includes three single-family buildings, two residential outbuildings, two commercial structures, and an associated warehouse outbuilding. About 25 acres of the land was once used as a vineyard and associated winery. The westernmost parcel is entirely undeveloped. An unnamed tributary of Clabber Creek bisects the westernmost parcel and is classified as a protected stream. A planned trail connection runs along the north and east boundary of the site, part of which serves as a connection to the Clabber Creek Trail which runs parallel to Van Asche Drive to the east. Staff said the applicant has not shared any specific development plans, though they have stated that the rezoning will allow for a mix of commercial and residential uses and with varying densities.

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

Location:

April 5 Discussion:
Kinion recused himself from the discussion and vote because of business connections.

Turk said she wants to hold the item for two weeks.

Bunch said she feels confident with what’s being presented and even if the property was developed to its highest allowed density, she’d be alright with it. She said she could wait, but she’d also be comfortable voting tonight.

The council agreed to leave the item on the first reading.

April 19 Discussion:
Kinion again recused himself from the discussion and vote because of previously stated business connections.

The applicant said the plan is to keep the development in the property owner’s family, and the plan is to utilize low-impact development practices when building what she called a “health-focused” development.

During public comment, two people spoke in favor of the request, including Steve Clark, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

Wiederkehr said he appreciated the gradual increase of density across the property.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it.


5. RZN-2022-011 (3220 W. Old Farmington Road/Stricklin) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-011 located at 3220 W. Old Farmington Road in Ward 1 for approximately 20.40 acres from RSF-8, Residential Single-Family, 8 units per acre to NC, Neighborhood Conservation.
Pass 7-1

Background:
The property is located on the south slope of Millsap Mountain and is the site of two recent development applications – a rezoning and a conditional use permit for a cluster housing development. The site slopes rapidly 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. About 6-7 acres on the north side of the property are designated as Hillside-Hilltop Overlay District. Other site characteristics include a protected, unnamed tributary of the Farmington Branch which runs parallel to the western property line.
Staff said the applicant indicated the rezoning would create flexibility in the front setback requirement associated with the development of the approved cluster housing development.

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

Location:

April 5 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Harvey asked to leave the item on the first reading. The discussion will continue on April 19.

April 19 Discussion:
Turk said she has concerns about developing the north side of the property which is designated as a Hillside-Hilltop Overlay District. City Attorney Kit Williams interjected and said the Hillside-Hilltop Overlay District was not designed to prevent development in those areas, but rather to be able to require more strict building standards aimed at preserving hillsides. He said the council cannot use the designation as a reasoning for not rezoning a property because it doesn’t want to see any development there.

There was no public comment.

Before the vote, Wiederkehr said he hopes that larger courtyards can be built for the cluster homes planned on the property now that the structures can be shifted to allow them within the new district.

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


6. Appeal of ADM-2022-001 (509 W. Prairie St./Prairie Street Live) (Details)

A resolution to grant the appeal of council members Sonia Harvey, D’Andre Jones, and Mark Kinion and approve an amendment to conditional use permit CUP 19-6721 for Prairie Street Live located at 509 W. Prairie Street.
Pass 5-3

Background:
Council members Harvey, Jones and Kinion have signed on to help Prairie Street Live appeal the Planning Commission’s decision not to grant a temporary extension that allowed for an extra hour of music (from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.) on Thursdays, and not to grant an allowance for amplified music from two days per week to three days per week.

The owners said they lost $20,000 in contracts since the decision was made and they were going to use 40% of that money for noise reduction to try and mitigate sound ordinance violations.

City planners also recommend against the extra hour of music.

Staff said most of the opposition to the request came from neighbors who have issued complaints about noise disruptions, vulgar language, and parking difficulties when the venue is operating. Those in favor, staff said, said the venue supports the local performing arts community and reflects the spirit and intent of the nearby cultural arts corridor.

April 5 Discussion:
Harvey said she supports the business and thinks it’s a good fit for the adjacent cultural arts corridor.

Kinion said it’s a unique venue that expands upon the cultural arts corridor, but he is concerned about the noise violations. He said he wants to see the business succeed, but there have been promises broken about noise abatement that concern him.

Turk said she is also concerned about the noise and the other issues the neighbors have complained about. She said she likes live music, but the business is not located in the entertainment district.

Bunch said at this point she’s not sure the business owner’s promises about noise abatement will ever be addressed.

Wiederkehr said the city has a great track record of supporting the arts and also supporting quality of life for neighbors. He said the conflict won’t solve itself and the challenge here is that the owner is making another promise to solve the noise issues, but only if the council allows extra time for live music that will generate enough revenue to pay for a solution.

Kinion suggested tabling the item for two weeks. Scroggin seconded the motion and said that should be fine because the question is not whether to take anything away from the business, but rather whether the council should give more.

The motion to table passed 8-0. The discussion will continue on April 19.

April 19 Discussion:
The applicant said she’s serious about complying with the noise ordinance and discussed some infrastructure changes that have already been implemented or are in the works, including improved noise monitoring, sound curtains on the stage and new trees planted around the property. She said without the extra hour she will lose significant business from the University of Arkansas.

Jones said without the extra hour allowance, the council will be holding the applicant back from a potential for success and he doesn’t want to do that. He said he’ll support the appeal.

Turk said she’s concerned about the complaints from the neighbors and asked what new noise monitoring practices would be implemented. The applicant said she has a new, more accurate decibel meter and that she’d be monitoring the sound herself instead of using a third-party provider.

One person who lives in a condo building near Prairie Street Live said the amplified music is a problem. He said he’s had to add soundproofing to his windows and keep them permanently closed in efforts to keep the sound out.

Planning Commissioner Porter Winston spoke and said during their meeting, while the commissioners didn’t all agree on every point, they did agree that the venue should have an opportunity to exist, and since there were only six members present during the meeting, they had to come up with a “lowest common denominator” approach in order to pass something that would keep the business open so it wouldn’t immediately be required to close the following day. He said it’s a good location and personally, he thinks it’s important that the venue owners be allowed a chance to improve the situation.

Kinion moved to amend the resolution to allow music until 10 p.m. on Thursdays.

Turk said the venue continues to ask for more each year and they continue to receive it without addressing the complaints of the neighbors.

“I don’t think we should reward bad behavior,” said Turk.

Kinion said he thinks the owner has stepped forward after her two violations in an attempt to resolve the problems. He said if there’s another offense or they violate their permit, then they could lose their privileges.

“This is a pretty restricted resolution,” said Kinion. “But I’m going to support it based on the tightness with which the conditional use could be revoked.”

Turk said there have been ongoing complaints from property owners in the area who were there long before the venue existed.

“I think we need to think about who got there first,” said Turk. “I love outdoor music, but we need to also be sensitive to our community and the people who are there that invested a lot in their livelihood before there was outdoor music.”

Bunch said it’s a tough decision because she wants to support the arts, but she also doesn’t want the neighbors to be uncomfortable in their homes. She said she knows there are people who have issues with the venue, but she has also talked to several adjacent neighbors who don’t have a problem with the venue at all. She said she’ll support the request for the same reasons Kinion mentioned – because of its strict language that doesn’t allow for further violations.

Decision:
The council voted 5-3 to approve the appeal. Turk, Scroggin and Wiederkehr voted against.

UPDATE 4/26/22: The council voted 5-3 to amend the resolution to allow for the extra hour on Thursday, but didn’t take the required additional vote to pass the amended appeal. At the time, nobody realized this mistake, and everyone in the room believed the final vote had been taken. The city clerk noticed the error the following day and alerted the city attorney. The council will need to revisit this item at the May 3 meeting.


New Business

1. Bid #22-35 Razorback Road Construction (Details)

A resolution to award Bid #22-35 and authorize a contract with Flintco, LLC in the amount of $2,398,991.26 for the construction of Razorback Road from the university’s Administration Services Building to Hotz Drive, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $100,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment to recognize revenue in the amount of $1,372,516.00 from the University of Arkansas and $334,055.00 in federal-aid funding and to move $792,421.00 from the W&S Impact Fee funds to the project.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The University of Arkansas was awarded $334,055 in pandemic relief funding to help complete the final phase of widening Highway 112 between Hotz Drive and the UA Administrative Services Building (ADSB). City staff said the most expedient way to access those funds was for the city to execute an amendment to its original agreement rather than requiring the university to start a whole new process. The UA will perform the construction oversight and administration of the project, while the city will make payments to the contractor, and then request reimbursement. Any costs exceeding the federal funding amount for the road construction will be paid by the university.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


2. RZN-2022-012 (1893 & 1909 N. Stephen Carr Blvd./Eubanks) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-012 located at 1893 and 1909 N. Stephen Carr Boulevard in Ward 2 for approximately 3.5 acres from R-A, Residential Agricultural to CS, Community Services.
Left on the first reading

Background:
The property is just north of the intersection of Porter Road and Deane Street on the west side of Stephen Carr Memorial Boulevard by the city’s new police headquarters and fire station. It includes two single-family homes. Staff said no development intent has been shared.

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

Location:

Discussion:
The applicant said an agricultural district is no longer compatible with an area that’s surrounded by houses, services and an interstate. And the property, he said, has become an eyesore since it is now used as a trash dump.

During public comment, two people spoke and expressed concerns about the potential for added stormwater runoff if the property is developed.

The council agreed to hold the item on the first reading. The discussion will continue on May 3.


3. RZN-2022-013 (NE of S. School Ave. & W. 22nd St./Graham House, LLC.) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-013 located northeast of South School Avenue and West 22nd Street in Ward 1 for approximately 1.35 acres from C-2, Thoroughfare Commercial to CS, Community Services.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property is undeveloped and at the southernmost boundary of the 71-B Master Plan area. The applicant has not submitted any additional development plans, but has submitted a request to vacate a water/sewer easement that is currently on the property.

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 7-0 to approve it. Bunch was absent during the vote.


4. VAC-2022-005 (West Foxglove Dr./Adventure Subaru) (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-005 for property located at West Foxglove Drive in Ward 2 to vacate a portion of a general access and utility easement.
Pass 7-0

City planners recommend approval of the request (no recommendation needed from the Planning Commission).

Background:
The property part of the Springwoods CPZD and encompasses two parcels that now represent the Meadow Field Commercial Subdivision which was recently approved as a large-scale development for a new automotive dealership.

Location:

Discussion:
The ordinance was amended 7-0 (Bunch absent) to strike condition no. 1 at the request of city staff.

There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the final reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Bunch was absent during the vote.


5. VAC-2022-008 (NW of 481 S. School Ave./Mill District LLC) (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-008 for property located northwest of 481 S. School Ave, in Ward 2 to vacate a portion of an access and parking easement.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property includes a gravel parking lot adjacent to Frisco Trail, a mixed-use structure, and Arsaga’s at the Mill. The applicant proposes to vacate an access and parking easement that was originally needed to create an access point from Prairie Street and extend a parking lot, but the easement is no longer needed now that the plan is to build another structure on the site.

City planners recommend approval of the request (no recommendation needed from the Planning Commission).

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the final reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Bunch was absent during the vote.


6. American Rescue Plan Act Funds (Details)

A resolution to authorize the approval to elect the standard allowance of $10,000,000.00 in revenue losses due to the public health emergency created by the Covid-19 pandemic from the previously awarded American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Pass 6-1

Background:
City staff said American Rescue Plan Act rules provide that a “standard allowance” (deduction) of $10 million in awarded funds may be claimed as public revenue loss for a municipality. Although making the claim does not increase the total amount awarded, staff said it allows more flexibility in how the money is spent by eliminating some restrictions that prevent using some of the funds for infrastructure uses for parks, public buildings or work force development training programs. Staff said the decision to make the claim must be made by April 30.

Discussion:
Chief Financial Officer Paul Becker said this proposal would essentially allow the city to use some of its $17.9 million in ARPA funds for other projects if the council chooses to do so.

Becker said the council has already spent $1.8 million of the funds on appreciation pay to city employees for working during the pandemic, as well as $400,000 for a vaccine incentive program. $1 million has also been set aside for nonprofits that experienced losses during the pandemic.

One person who spoke said the council’s Environmental Action Committee met Monday and requested that the council look into the pros and cons of making the claim in relation to whether there will still be enough money left for a $202,000 water quality study to begin the process of cleaning up Lake Fayetteville, which is something the council pledged to do in July 2021.

Becker said those funds are still be available to use for the study, and the city plans to bring forward a proposal for that at the May 17 council meeting.

Turk said while flexibility is good, the city already has a lot of options for how to spend the money. She said the city should “keep its eye on the prize” in terms of using the money specifically for pandemic relief.

Wiederkehr said the city wouldn’t be locked into spending the money any specific way if this resolution is passed, it would just give more flexibility.

Kinion agreed. “It gives us an opportunity to imagine a broad spectrum of things that could help the most people in our community,” Kinion said.

Decision:
The council voted 6-1 to approve the resolution. Turk voted against. Bunch was absent.


Adjourned

This meeting was adjourned at 9:24 p.m.

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