Fayetteville City Council recap: June 21, 2022

Flyer file photo

On the agenda…

  • A water damage claim on Makeig Court.
  • Changes to some permit fees.
  • Changes to water and sewer rates.
  • Rezoning 3.1 acres on Happy Hollow Road.
  • Amending the city’s street tree rules.
  • Increasing the city’s damage claim cap.

» Download the full agenda

Meeting Info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, 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, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sloan Scroggin

» View current attendance records


City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Nominating Committee Report (Details)

Pass 7-0

The Mayor recommends the following candidates for appointment:

FAYETTEVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Bret Park – One unexpired term ending 04/01/23

The Nominating Committee recommends the following candidates for appointment:

ANIMAL SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD
Jennifer Cole – One Citizen at Large Term Ending 6/30/25
Vacant – One Business Representative Term Ending 06/30/25
Vacant – One Licensed Veterinarian/ Veterinary Professional Term Ending 06/30/25

CONSTRUCTION BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS AND APEALS
Richard Roberts – One Unexpired Term Ending 03/31/27
Vacant – One Unexpired Term Ending 03/31/27

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COMMITTEE
Sarah Grace – One Resident at Large Term Ending 6/30/25

FAYETTEVILLE ARTS COUNCIL
Chloe Bell – One Arts and Culture Citizen at Large Terms Ending 06/30/25
Lara Hightower – One Arts and Culture Citizen at Large Terms Ending 06/30/25
Robert Stafford – One Working Artist Terms Ending 06/30/25
Abby Hollis – One Working Artist Terms Ending 06/30/25
Emily Miller – One Unexpired Working Artist Term Ending 06/30/2024

FAYETTEVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Jonathan Wood – One Unexpired Term Ending 12/28/22
Christina Cole – One Unexpired Term Ending 12/28/26

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
Vacant – Two Terms Ending 06/30/25

PEG ADVISORY BOARD
Gil Gildner – One unexpired term ending 06/30/26
Vacant – One Term Ending 06/30/26

PUBLIC FACILITIES BOARD
Vacant – One unexpired term ending 12/31/22

WALTON ARTS CENTER COUNCIL, INC
Shabana Kauser – One Term Ending 06/30/25
Justin Tennant – One Term Ending 06/30/25


2. Monthly Financial Report


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 June 7, 2022 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 7-0

2. Amend the Master Street Plan (Details): A resolution to amend the Master Street Plan by adopting Residential Link – Trailhead Parking as a new street section, and by designating the portion of South Smokehouse Trail between West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South Hoot Owl Lane as Residential Link – Trailhead Parking.
Pass 7-0

3. McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. – 2019 Transportation Bond Project (Details): A resolution to approve an amendment to the professional engineering services agreement with McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. in the amount of $151,500.00 for the full design for Phase 1 of the North Street Corridor Project, and to approve a budget adjustment – 2019 Transportation Bond Project.
Pass 7-0

4. Planit Geo, Inc. (Details): A resolution to authorize a contract with Planit Geo, Inc., pursuant to RFP 22-01, Selection #1, for the development of a ten-year urban forestry plan in the amount of $73,550.00, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $4,000.00.
Pass 7-0

5. Amend Resolution 96-22, Doggett Freightliner of Springdale (Details): A resolution to amend Resolution 96-22 and authorize the purchase of a Freightliner recycling truck through Doggett Freightliner of Springdale for a new total amount of $206,825.00.
Pass 7-0

6. Approve AOP Policies for Fire Department (Details): A resolution to approve policies AOP-121, Daily Staffing; AOP-127, Special Operations Section; and AOP-403, Fire Education Dogs as part of the Fayetteville Fire Department Administrative Operating Procedures.
Pass 7-0

7. Airport Flight Line Operations Technician (Details): A resolution to increase the airport services staffing count by 0.40 FTE for a Flight Line Operations Technician, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-0

8. Conduit Occupancy and Fiber Swap Agreement with OzarksGo, LLC (Details): A resolution to approve a conduit occupancy and fiber swap agreement with OzarksGo, LLC to allow ozarksgo to utilize the city’s fiber conduit to install fiber optic cable in exchange for providing ten dedicated fiber optic strands for city use.
Pass 7-0

9. Approve Request to not Dedicate Additional Right of Way along North Street (Details): A resolution pursuant to § 166.04(b)(3) of the Fayetteville Unified Development Code to approve the request to not dedicate additional right of way along North Street for a lot split associated with the Fire Station #10 project.
Pass 7-0


Agenda Changes

1. Damage Claims (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 39.10 Water and Wastewater Damage Claims and § 39.11 Damage Claims Other Than Water and Wastewater Damage Claims of the Fayetteville Code to increase the allowed compensation amount by 25% because of a decade of inflation and to approve an emergency clause.
Pass 7-0

Background:
This item is related to a recent damage claim after a major rupture of one of the city’s largest water mains. The incident caused significantly more damage to nearby homes than any previous breakage and because the maximum limits of compensation are capped at $40,000, the city cannot compensate those homeowners appropriately.

City Attorney Kit Williams said the city’s rules about maximum compensation have not been changed for over a decade, and since some council members requested a change in city code to allow a higher cap, he prepared this ordinance, which increases compensation by 25% to account for inflation. The new cap would be $50,000.

Discussion:
This item was moved above Unfinished Business because it would need to be passed before the first item in Unfinished Business can be passed as requested by the council.

There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it along with an emergency clause so that the ordinance can take effect immediately.


Unfinished Business

1. Patricia Knepp Water Damage Claim (Details)

A resolution pursuant to §39.10(c)(4) of the Fayetteville City Code to authorize the mayor to pay the amount of $40,000.00 to Patricia Knepp for water damage remediation at 3252 N. Makeig Court.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The city last September experienced a 36-inch diameter water main break on North Makeig Court which caused substantial flooding and damage to the neighborhood and to Patricia Knepp’s home. Knepp’s insurance company denied her claim, so she immediately filed a damage claim with the city after the incident. The total reimbursement Knepp is requesting is $40,707.67, but city law has a maximum cap of $40,000 for damage claims.

Here’s a summary of the claim:

June 7 Discussion:
City staff said about 29 million gallons of water was lost during the break.

Scroggin said he visited the area shortly after the incident. He said it was devastating and he’s in full support of awarding the claim. Bunch asked if more money could be appropriated for the repair since the damage was so severe.

City Attorney Kit Williams said he could draft an amendment to the city’s ordinance that provides an increase to the maximum damage claim cap to account for inflation if the council is interested. He said he could draft it so that it would apply to past unpaid damages if the council holds off on a decision tonight.

The council voted 8-0 to table the resolution for two weeks.

June 21 Discussion:
Now that the damage claim cap has been raised from $40,000 to $50,000, the council voted 7-0 to amend the resolution to include the full claim of $40,707.67.

There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council voted 7-0 to approve the resolution.


2. Amend §159.01 Fees/Schedule (Details)

An ordinance to amend §159.01 Fees/Schedule of the Unified Development Code to adopt increased variance request fees, eliminate an obsolete accessory dwelling unit fee, and create fees for services that are currently provided without any cost recovery.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The city charges certain fees to cover the cost of services provided, including a variety of permits, reviews, and inspections across departments. City staff said many services are codified with well-established procedures, meetings, and fees, but others arise organically, sometimes in response to an unanticipated need. In some instances, services that begin as a courtesy prove to be so useful that demand increases, which also increases the workload for city staff.

Staff have identified three prominent instances where the required workload has reached the point where fees should be applied, including:

  1. Zoning verification letters: The city sends letters to current and prospective property owners, real estate agencies, financial institutions, and title companies of zoning laws. This happens about 45 times per year and each instance takes between two and four hours to complete, staff said. The proposal is to charge $50 per letter to the respective applicant.
  2. Grading permits: The city creates a grading permit document to an entity for land disturbance and the installation of infrastructure. The proposal is to charge $75, $100 and $200 for each subsequent resubmittal request for a new permit after an initial permit is granted and changes are made to the development. The proposal also would charge $25 for each re-inspection after an initial inspection, with that fee doubling for each subsequent re-inspection up to a maximum of $200. Finally, the proposal calls for doubling the cost of a grading permit if a construction project was started without first obtaining a permit.
  3. Temporary closure permits: The city currently oversees review and permitting for all temporary closure permits on streets, sidewalks and trails. There are between 85-125 requests each year from contractors who need to close areas while working on projects. The proposal recommends a $50 application fee for those permits, plus additional daily fees for keeping areas closed. Residential Streets and busy areas like the Entertainment District would cost $25 per day to keep closed. Busier streets would be subject to an incremental use fee between $25-$150 per day to keep closed. Permit extension applications would cost $25 each.

Aside from the new proposed fees, there are two other fees this proposal would affect:

  1. ADU reviews: A current $100 fee associated with a zoning review of accessory dwellings is not needed, staff said, because the ADU ordinance no longer requires a zoning review.
  2. Variance requests: Staff are proposing to increase the fee required for zoning and development variance requests, depending on the circumstances, such as whether it’s in response to a violation.

» See the full proposal details here

June 7 Discussion:
Staff said they’ve reached out to a number of stakeholders and have only received positive feedback.

There was no public comment.

Council Member Holly Hertzberg said she supports the ordinance, but suggested holding the item until the next meeting to allow more time for the development community to consider the proposal. The council advanced the item to the second reading, and agreed to hold it there until the next meeting on June 14.

June 21 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Wiederkehr said it’s only fair for those who are requesting services be asked to pay for city staff’s time.

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


New Business

1. Public Hearing – Discussion on recommendations for water and sewer rates effective January 1, 2023 (Details)

An ordinance to amend §51.136 Monthly Water Rates and §51.137 Monthly Sewer Rates to change water and sewer rates as recommended by the cost of service study conducted by Black & Veatch.
Tabled 7-0 until July 19

Background:
The city has been conducting a water and sewer rate study since August 2020 in an effort to establish new water and sewer rates “that fully recover the cost of providing service to customers, adequately provide for maintaining and expanding the city’s infrastructure, and provide adequate reserves for future needs.” The current rates were adopted in 2008.

» Click here to see the study

The rate study prepared by Black and Veatch reflects some of the following guidelines:

  1. The city has adopted a cost of service rate schedule based on customer class.
  2. The city is using a volumetric block system within customer class to encourage
    conservation.
  3. New rates reflecting the true cost of service by customer class as determined by the rate
    study will be implemented on January 1, 2023.
  4. A 3% annual inflation increase shall be applied at the first of each new calendar year until
    a new study is adopted.

The study recommends various changes, including a 3% increase for monthly water and sewer service charges for those outside the city limits by 2026.

» See the full recommendations here

Discussion:
Hertzberg asked for a ballpark figure on how these changes would affect the average customer. Staff said they can get that figure by the next meeting.

Heith Caudle, mayor of West Fork, said the sewer rate changes will have a major affect on West Fork residents since that city entered into a contract with Fayetteville for sewer service a few years ago.

Kinion said the pass-through contract with West Fork is not a major burden on Fayetteville’s system and he sympathizes with Caudle’s concerns, especially considering West Fork has a stagnant population that is not growing like Fayetteville is. Bunch and Turk said it’s a concern worth looking into.

The council voted 7-0 to table the item until July 19.


2. RZN-2022-021 (S. Happy Hollow Road/Black Pine Construction and Development) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-021 located at 248 S. Happy Hollow Road in Ward 1 for approximately 3.1 acres from RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre to NC, Neighborhood Conservation.
Left on the first reading

Background:
The property is about 800 feet south of the Mount Sequoyah Woods trailhead. It is developed with a single-family home. A request to rezone the property to RI-U, Residential Intermediate, Urban was brought forward in August 2021 which was ultimately denied by the Planning Commission. The applicant has not submitted an associated development proposal.

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

Location:

Discussion:
Robert Rhoads, an attorney who represents the applicant, said after the previous request was denied, the applicant listened to the Planning Commission’s comments and has revised the request appropriately. He asked that the council advance the ordinance to the third reading and approve it tonight.

Rhoads said while there are no plans yet, the applicant anticipates that there will be between 16-20 lots on the property.

Turk said she has some concerns about the request and would like to take a closer look at the property before making a decision. She suggested holding the item for two weeks until July 5. The council agreed.


3. Amend §159.01 Fees (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 159.01 Fees of the Fayetteville Unified Development Code to clarify that homeless shelters are exempt from building permit fees.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The council approved an ordinance in 2019 that exempts homeless shelters from building permit fees, but some changes to city code in 2021 inadvertently excluded that 2019 ordinance exhibit, effectively reverting the ordinance back to its original language. This ordinance would correct that mistake.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


4. Amend §177.05 Street Tree Planting Standards (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 177.05 Street Tree Planting Standards of the Unified Development Code to require the planting of a street tree on every street frontage in residential subdivisions.
Pass 7-0

Background:
City staff said they have identified an oversight in evaluating the city’s street tree planting ordinance’s intent versus its outcomes. Specifically, corner lots and other lots with multiple street frontages were not given specific consideration for street tree planting. The result is that the code only requires one street tree per lot, regardless of the number of streets the property abuts. The result is that side streets are not being planted with street trees in new neighborhoods. Staff are proposing correcting that oversight and increasing consistency.

Discussion:
Bunch asked how many actual trees would be required on corner lots. Staff said two – one on each street frontage.

There was no public comment.

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


Adjourned

This meeting was adjourned at 7:43 p.m.

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