Fayetteville City Council recap: May 3, 2022

Flyer file photo

On the agenda…

  • Razing a dilapidated structure at 2141 N. Green Acres Road.
  • Allowing longer live music hours at Prairie Street Live.
  • Rezoning 3.5 acres on Stephen Carr Memorial Boulevard.
  • Issuing the second phase of the 2019 bond projects.
  • Rezoning 22 acres on Highway 112.
  • Amending the council’s Rules of Order and Procedure.
  • Amending the Master Street Plan.
  • Changes to the approval process for tandem lot development.

» Download the full agenda

Meeting Info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, 2022 inside City Hall in Room 219. The meeting is also available on Zoom and is broadcast live 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, Sloan Scroggin, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: Mayor Lioneld Jordan

» View current attendance records


City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Civilian Heroic Service Recognition (Details): Recognize civilians, Wes Wooten and Griffin Webb, who have demonstrated life-saving heroic service at a motor vehicle accident scene.


2. Monthly Financial Report: – Presented by Paul Becker


Agenda Additions

1. Sewer System Extension (Details):

A resolution to approve an extension of the city’s sewer system beyond the city limits to property located at or near 4594 E. Huntsville Road.
Pass 8-0

Background:
Council member Harvey said she’s been working on this item since August on behalf of her friends so they can have a sewer connection to their mobile home outside of the city limits.

Council member Turk asked if there is a sewer main nearby.

City staff said the property is across the street from an existing city sewer main and manhole, and is just barely outside the city limits. No extension of the main would be required by the city, and the property owner would just need to tap into the system.

There was no public comment.

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


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 April 5, 2022 and April 19, 2022 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 8-0

2. Hazmat Services Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $2,639.00 recognizing hazmat services revenue received from Washington County and increasing the related expense budget.
Pass 8-0

3. Recreational Trails Program Grant (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a recreational trails program grant in the amount of $75,000.00 for improvements to Kessler Mountain natural surface trails, to approve an agreement of understanding with the Arkansas Department of Transportation for the project, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

4. Jet Fuel and Avgas Purchase (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $1,040,690.00 for the purchase of additional loads of jet fuel and avgas due to increasing fuel sales and rising fuel costs.
Pass 8-0

5. RFP 22-03 Titan Lawn & Landscape, LLC (Details): A resolution to award RFP 22-03 and authorize a one-year contract with Titan Lawn & Landscape, LLC, for mowing services on an as-needed basis for the estimated base amount of $91,310.72 and any additional services to be billed at the hourly rates provided in the contract, with automatic renewals for up to four additional one-year terms.
Pass 8-0

6. Bid #20-58 King Electrical Contractors, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a proposal from King Electrical Contractors, Inc. in the total amount of $62,991.00, pursuant to Bid #20-58, electrical services associated with the addition of parking lot lighting at Walker Park, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $5,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

7. Bid #22-31 Doggett Freightliner (Details): A resolution to award Bid #22-31 and authorize the purchase of a Freightliner recycling truck from Doggett Freightliner of Springdale, AR in the total amount of $203,025.00 plus any applicable tax and shipping charges for use by the Recycling and Trash Collection Division.
Pass 8-0

8. Bid #22-26 Goodwin & Goodwin, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award Bid #22-26 and authorize a contract with Goodwin & Goodwin, Inc. in the amount of $603,630.00 for the replacement of water service lines in the Skyler Subdivision, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $120,726.00.
Pass 8-0

9. Water Damage Claims (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $100,000.00 to cover water leak and sewer overflow damage claims that may occur in 2022.
Pass 8-0

10. Bid #22-30 W. Center Street & N. Harmon Avenue Intersection Project – 2019 Transportation Bond Project (Details): A resolution to award Bid #22-30 and authorize a contract with NEC., Inc. in the amount of $1,752,736.50 for construction of the West Center Street and North Harmon Avenue intersection project, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $175,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment – 2019 Transportation Bond Project.
Pass 8-0

11. Project Safe Neighborhood Grant Award (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a Project Safe Neighborhood grant award in the amount of $28,765.00 for the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

12. Project Safe Neighborhood Grant Award (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a Project Safe Neighborhood grant award in the amount of $14,100.00 for the Fayetteville Police Department, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0


Unfinished Business

1. Raze and Removal of Structures at 2141 N. Green Acres Road (Details)

A resolution to order the razing and removal of a dilapidated and unsafe structure on property owned by Rose Mary Austin located at 2141 N. Green Acres Road in the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $33,894.00.
Tabled 7-0 until July 5

Background:
A fire damaged a home on Green Acres Road in April 2021, and while the owner stated their intent was to clean up the property, staff said minor work that began in the following months has since ceased. Inspections revealed piles of junk and unsafe debris remain on the property, and that there have been no repairs to the home which remains without electricity, without water service, and is open to the elements. Staff said the owner has pursued assistance from the city’s Community Resources department, but the cost of repairs exceeds the housing rehab and repair program scope. The owner stated in November an intent to sell the property, which is listed for sale.

» See photos of the property

Location:

April 5 Discussion:
The property owner said she is having financial difficulty, and doesn’t have a place to go until the home sells. She said she is currently camping in the home with her two large dogs.

Yolanda Fields, the city’s community resources director, said they could work with the applicant to try and find her some rental assistance while she waits for the home to sell.

“We want to help,” Fields said. “We will reach out again tomorrow to set up a time to visit with her.”

Scroggin said it’s possible the lot could be worth more than the cost of repairing. He said he’d like to table the item to allow more time for staff to help the property owner.

Bunch said she’s willing to take more time before deciding, but suggested a time period of 30 days since this has been an ongoing issue for a very long time. She said after 30 days the council could get an update on how the situation has evolved.

Jones said that’s a fair suggestion.

Two people who spoke during public comment said they’d also like the item to be tabled.

Jonathan Curth, development services director, said the item is at the council level because no progress has been made after many months of attempts. He said the goal is always to reach an agreement with the property owner in these situations, and if the council wants to wait 30 days, that should be plenty of time to reassess the situation and see if any progress has occurred after tonight’s discussion.

Bunch’s motion to table until May 3 passed 8-0.

May 3 Discussion:
City staff said no changes have been made to repair the property or improve the habitability of the structure since the last meeting. Some junk has been removed from the property area, however. Staff said they have also reached out to extend help to the property owner on several occasions, but the owner did not want to communicate with city staff so no offers to help have been accepted.

An attorney representing the owner said he was told by the owner that as far as she knows, nobody has reached out. He requested the item be tabled again to allow more time.

Wiederkehr asked the attorney if he would serve as the point person when communicating with the city. He answered yes.

The owner’s real estate agent said some yard work and junk cleanup has occurred. She said a dumpster has been filled and removed, and another is on site for further cleanup. Rainy weather has made cleanup difficult, she said. So far she hasn’t been able to find another affordable place to live that allows dogs, and she needs more time to solve the problem.

Council member Kinion said he thinks there’s been some progress and he doesn’t want to inhibit any possibility of a resolution before razing and removing the structure.

Turk suggested tabling the item for 60 days (until July 5), but to ask that the owner be in contact with the city herself or through someone else, that the inside of the property be cleaned up, and that the exposed parts of the home be closed in some way.

The council voted 7-0 to table (Jones was not present during the vote) the item until July 5.


2. 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 5-2

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.

April 19 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.

May 3 Discussion:
Council member Sloan Scroggin, who originally voted against the extra hour, said before the meeting he’s heard from some people who are worried that the 5-3 vote from April 19 might not be repeated on May 3, so he plans to switch his vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ in hopes of ensuring the original intended decision remains intact.

“I think it’s only fair that we stick with what we voted last time,” Scroggin said last week.

There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council voted 5-2 to pass the resolution. Turk and Wiederkehr voted against. Jones was not present for the vote.


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.
Pass 8-0

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:

April 19 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.

May 3 Discussion:
One person spoke during public comment and said there are nearby stormwater problems that need to be addressed.

Wiederkehr said he understands there are stormwater issues on other properties, but the applicant’s property can’t be held hostage until all other stormwater problems are solved around the city.

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


New Business

1. Sales and Use Tax Capital Improvement Bonds, Series 2022 (Details)

An ordinance authorizing the issuance and sale of the city’s not to exceed $74,340,000 Sales and Use Tax Capital Improvement Bonds, Series 2022, for the purpose of financing all or a portion of the costs of certain street, trail, drainage, park, city facilities, arts corridor and firefighting facilities and improvements; authorizing the execution and delivery of a first supplemental trust indenture pursuant to which the Series 2022 bonds will be issued and secured; authorizing the execution and delivery of an official statement pursuant to which the Series 2022 bonds will be offered; authorizing the execution and delivery of a bond purchase agreement providing for the sale of the Series 2022 bonds; authorizing the execution and delivery of a continuing disclosure agreement; and prescribing other matters relating thereto.
Pass 8-0

Background:
This item would issue up to $74.3 million in bonds for the second phase of projects that voters approved in 2019 as part of a $226 million bond referendum. The first phase included $142.7 million in projects. A third and final phase would come next.

This second phase would include the following work categories:

  • Transportation improvements – $29.49 million
  • Trail improvements – $4.57 million
  • Drainage improvements – $8.21 million
  • Park improvements – $10.95 million
  • City facilities improvements – $2.69 million
  • Construction of an arts corridor – $12.62 million
  • Firefighting facilities improvements – $5.82 million

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


2. RZN-2022-0017 (3352 N. Hwy 112/112 Drive-In) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-017 located at 3352 N. Highway 112 in Ward 2 for approximately 22.32 acres from C-2, Thoroughfare Commercial to UT, Urban Thoroughfare.
Pass 8-0

Background:
This rezoning would allow for a redevelopment of the 112 Drive-In property along Highway 112 in north Fayetteville. A submitted site plan shows a variety of housing options and several commercial uses across the property. While the current movie screen at the north end of the site would be replaced with housing units, the site plan does show a smaller outdoor movie screen on the southeast corner of the land next to an 805-seat cinema with a beer garden. The southwest portion of the site includes a proposed 10,000-square-foot retail or restaurant space with associated parking.

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

Location:

Submitted Site Plan:

Discussion:
Attorney Steve Brooks, who represents the developer, said he can’t say much about the plans at this point, but told the council the development does include a drive-in movie screen.

One person spoke during public comment and said he’s worried the proposed housing development will only cater to wealthy people.

Scroggin said UT is likely the best use of the property, and whether the homes that are eventually built are affordable for everyone or not, Fayetteville still needs more housing. He said he frequents the drive-in and will be sad to see it go, but the proposed development might be the best chance for Fayetteville to continue having an outdoor movie theater.

Turk said the nearby floodplain makes the current drive-in an appropriate use, but there’s no guarantee that the drive-in would survive if the rezoning isn’t approved. She said she hopes the city’s development processes will help protect the area when it’s eventually developed.

Bunch said the drive-in property has belonged to the same family for many, many years and now they’re ready to move on. She said it’s unfortunate for fans of the drive-in, but business owners do that all the time. She said the rezoning request is an appropriate change for the property and she’ll support it.

Kinion said UT is a vast improvement over the potential uses that are allowed under the current zoning district. He said with the highway work that’s set to soon begin, he thinks it’s a timely decision to rezone and redevelop the drive-in property now that it’s clear the owners are ready to sell.

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


3. Amend Rules of Order and Procedure of the Fayetteville City Council (Details)

A resolution to amend A.7.E. Courtesy and Respect and A.D.(2) Public Comments of the Rules of Order and Procedure of the Fayetteville City Council to better conform with recent First Amendment court decisions.
Pass 8-0

Background:
City Attorney Kit Williams said some minor changes are needed to the council’s Rules of Order and Procedure to ensure there are no potential violations of anyone’s free speech rights.

From Williams’s memo:

Your current Rules attempt to prevent “rude…remarks.” Personally, I like this limitation and hope that we will not be subjected to rude remarks from staff, elected officials or citizens in the future. However, I do fear that “rude” is such a broad term that a Court might interpret our attempt to limit “rude” remarks as an unconstitutionally vague limit on the public’s free speed rights. Thus, I believe we need to remove this reference and replace it with language approved by a recent Federal Circuit Court decision regarding local government public rules.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


4. Amend the 2040 Master Street Plan (Details)

A resolution to amend the Master Street Plan by adding North Hemlock Avenue, Millsap Road and Futrall Drive as Neighborhood Link streets.
Pass 8-0

Background:
City staff said changes are needed to the Master Street Plan to ensure some longterm goals are achievable, including connecting the Sain Street Extension project to the flyover, improving the Millsap Road intersection at College Avenue, and providing a side street connection to Millsap Road. The changes would position the city to be eligible for federal-aid funding for those projects, staff said.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


5. Repeal §163.12 Tandem Lot Development and Enact §164.25 Tandem Lot Development (Details)

An ordinance to repeal §163.12 Tandem Lot Development and enact §164.25 Tandem Lot Development in the Unified Development Code to provide an administrative approval process for tandem lot development.
Pass 8-0

Background:
This changes would provide an administrative approval process for tandem lot development rather than requiring Planning Commission approval of a conditional use permit.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


Adjourned

This meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

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