Fayetteville City Council recap: Oct. 18, 2022

Flyer file photo

On the agenda…

  • Changes to the city’s short-term rental permitting process.
  • An agreement for a mixed-use building at the south end of the Upper Ramble.
  • Matching a new state law regarding bikes in crosswalks.
  • Allowing police to tow illegally parked trailers.
  • Rezoning 2.43 acres on Wedington Drive.
  • Rezoning 0.12 acres on East Mountain Street.
  • Vacating an easement at the JJ’s Live site.
  • Allowing VIP Club to stay open an extra half hour.

» Download the agenda

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 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, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sloan Scroggin, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None

» View current attendance records


City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Assistant Fire chief William Watts Special Recognition (Details)


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 Sept. 20, 2022 City Council Meeting Minutes.
Pass 8-0

2. Per Capita Jail Fee Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve the per capita jail fee agreement with Washington County for jail services in 2023 in the amount of $76,421.40.
Pass 8-0

3. Federal and State Law Enforcement Forfeitures Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $197,483.00 recognizing revenue associated with federal and state law enforcement forfeitures.
Pass 8-0

4. 2022 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Award (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a matching grant award from the 2022 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program in the amount of $19,184.00 for the replacement of body armor vests and outfitting new officers, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

5. 2023 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Grant (Details): A resolution to authorize acceptance of a 2023 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant in the amount of $143,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

6. 1010 S. Hollywood Ave. Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $79,149.00 recognizing revenue associated with the sale of city owned property located at 1010 S. Hollywood Ave.
Pass 8-0

7. G&W Diesel/EVS Fire Apparatus (Details): A resolution to approve the purchase of a new rescue fire apparatus from G&W Diesel/EVS in the amount of $1,300,000.00 plus any applicable sales tax and delivery charges, pursuant to a Houston-Galveston Area Council cooperative purchasing contract, for use by the Fayetteville Fire Department, and to approve a budget adjustment – Firefighting Facilities Improvements Bond Project.
Pass 8-0

8. Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway Operations and Management Plan Update (Details): A resolution to approve an updated Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway operations and management plan for the sections of the Razorback Regional Greenway within the City of Fayetteville.
Pass 8-0

9. Stribling Equipment (Details): A resolution to waive competitive bidding and authorize the purchase of inspection and repair services from Stribling Equipment to inspect and repair various equipment as needed through the end of 2022 and within the approved budget.
Pass 8-0

10. J&R Equipment (Details): A resolution to waive competitive bidding and authorize the purchase of original equipment manufacturer parts from J&R Equipment in the amount of $41,945.59 for the repair of accident damage to a refuse truck.
Pass 8-0

11. Miller Boskus Lack Architects, P.A Amendment 1 Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment 1 to the professional architectural services agreement with Miller Boskus Lack Architects, P.A in the amount of $439,290.00 for architectural services associated with the replacement of Fire station No. 2, and to approve a budget adjustment – Firefighting Facilities Improvements Bond Project.
Pass 8-0

12. 2023 Proportional Share Agreement for Judges (Details): A resolution to approve the 2023 proportional share agreement with Washington County and cities in Washington County to pay Fayetteville’s statutorily required share of our state district judges’ base salaries, and to authorize the mayor to sign future agreements as long as the amount allocated to Fayetteville remains the same.
Pass 8-0


Unfinished Business

1. Amend §118.01 Applicability, §151.01 Definitions and §163.18 Short-term Rentals (Details)

An ordinance to amend §118.01 applicability of the Fayetteville City Code, and § 151.01 Definitions and §163.18 Short-term Rentals of the Unified Development Code to remove the conditional use permit requirement for Type 2 short-term rentals, and to repeal the sunset provision.
Left on the second reading

Background:
This item would remove a rule that requires owners of short-term rentals to get a permit from the Planning Commission before they can begin operating. They would still have to get a business license and a safety inspection to operate legally in Fayetteville.

City staff last month said after working with the new regulations for over 15 months, some adjustments can be made to streamline the approval process.

» See our Sept. 13 story for more on this topic

Oct. 4 Discussion:
Scroggin asked how many permits have been revoked. Staff said zero. Scroggin said that’s concerning to him because he’s heard some severe complaints from neighbors of short-term rentals that possibly should’ve led to an STR owner losing their permit. He said he’s not sure he can support removing the permit requirement altogether.

“We have to start removing some of the bad actors,” said Scroggin.

Harvey said she’d like some more time to consider the proposal. City staff said they’d be fine with leaving the item of the first reading for now.

The council agreed to hold the item on the first reading. The discussion will continue on Oct. 18.

Oct. 18 Discussion:
Staff reminded the council that the city’s short-term rental ordinance is set to expire in December under the sunset provision.

During public comment, three residents spoke against removing the requirement for a conditional use permit.

One said they’re opposed to doing anything that would make it easier for people to operate a short-term rental in the city, especially out-of-town investors who are just trying to profit from day-to-day rentals in established neighborhoods.

“If somebody has $400,000 to buy a house should have to come here and live in it,” they said.

Another resident agreed, and said obtaining a the permit should remain a part of the process.

“It’s the only way for neighbors to have a voice on an issue that directly affects them,” they said.

Councilmember Kinion said he’d like to leave the ordinance on the second reading to gather more input from residents.

Councilmember Turk agreed, and said she’d like to find out more about the estimated 300 short-term rentals that are operating without a permit, so the city can have a better idea of how many STR units there are considering the ordinance has an overall cap on how many are allowed.

Councilmember Scroggin said residents need a say in whether short-term rentals should be allowed in their neighborhoods, but he’s unsure about adding a neighborhood or street density cap since that could create monopolies. Councilmember Hertzberg agreed.

Councilmember Wiederkehr said maybe the council should extend the sunset clause while working on fine-tuning the ordinance instead of allowing it to expire. He also said he’d like to consider reducing the citywide density cap from 2% to 1% of all residential units in the city.

The council agreed to leave the ordinance on the second reading. The discussion will continue on Nov. 1.


New Business

1. Reindl Properties, Inc. (Details, Memos)

A resolution to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign a letter of intent defining development agreement terms with Reindl Properties, Inc. for a public private partnership for construction of the mixed-use building planned to provide ground floor active uses for the Ramble civic plaza on the southern end of the site.
Tabled 8-0

Background:
This item would authorize the mayor to sign a letter of intent to enter a public-private partnership with Reindl Properties, Inc. for a mixed-use building at the south end of what’s currently known as the Walton Arts Center parking lot on West Avenue. The area is set to be completely redeveloped into a civic plaza and park. This agreement would allow Reindl to purchase the land needed for the building, which would include a private hotel with some public facilities.

» See more about the project in our July 23 story

City Attorney Kit Williams has some concerns about the letter of intent, and said in a Oct. 11 memo he believes that the way it’s written qualifies it as a binding contract. In a second memo on Oct. 17, Williams suggested adding some non-binding agreement language to the letter of intent to resolve the confusion. In a third memo on Oct. 18, Williams pointed out some terms of the agreement that still give him concerns.

» Read all the memos here

Location:

Discussion:
Architect Rob Sharp gave a presentation to try and address some issues that have been voiced about adding a hotel near Dickson Street, such as where customers will park. Sharp said studies show 70% of guests use valet parking and 30% prefer to hunt for parking elsewhere.

Hertzberg asked where the other 30% will park. Sharp said they will do what everyone else will do, which is to use one of the nearby parking decks or the on-street spaces.

Kinion suggested tabling the resolution to allow time to consider some of the issues that have been brought up, particularly whether the parking plan is sound.

Bunch said she likes valet parking at a hotel because she prefers to walk around a downtown area and not worry about her car when traveling. However, she said tabling the resolution to get more information is a good idea.

Turk said when the public voted on this issue, they voted on a building at the south end of the property, but not necessarily a hotel. She said this decision feels rushed.

Bunch said the bond issue presented a broad idea for the arts corridor, but it wasn’t definitive. She said she believes a hotel does fit with the vision that was presented to voters, and that an idea of a new downtown hotel has been discussed for many years.

Jones and Harvey said they like the proposal, and the downtown area needs more hotels if the creative economy is going to grow in the way that the city envisions. Both said taking more time to look at some of the issues is fine.

Six people spoke against approving the resolution tonight, including Steve Clark, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and developer Ted Belden who is working on a separate hotel project across Dickson Street.

Those against said more time is needed to examine the parking situation. Some said they simply don’t want to see a hotel next to the new civic space.

Seven people spoke in favor of building the hotel, including several downtown business owners like Kevin Frey of Puritan, Bo Counts of Pinpoint, and Jerry Davis of 21st Amendment, Rogers Rec and Los Bobos.

Those who spoke in favor said the downtown area needs more hotel rooms and while parking is important, that’s something that can be ironed out in the design process by the hotel developers.

Frey said he recently removed parking spaces at his business to expand outdoor eating options. He said if you build things that are a draw, people will come whether there’s parking or not.

The council voted 8-0 to table the resolution until the Nov. 1 meeting.


2. Amend §73.05 Riding on Sidewalks (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 73.05 Riding on Sidewalks of the Fayetteville City Code to align with state law regarding the rights and duties of a person operating a bicycle in a crosswalk.
Pass 8-0

Background:
An recent change in state law allows people on bicycles to ride through crosswalks with the same protections as pedestrians. Previously, the law stated that bike riders must dismount and walk their bicycles through crosswalks in order to receive those protections. This ordinance would update the city’s law to match the new state law.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


3. §72.02 Nonconsensual, Police-initiated Towing, Storage and Impoundment Procedures (Details)

An ordinance to amend §72.02 Nonconsensual, Police-initiated Towing, Storage and Impoundment Procedures to allow towing of a trailer blocking an alley.
Pass 8-0

Background:
Staff said a tractor trailer has been parked in a city alley near Watson Street for about a year, but the city’s laws don’t allow the trailer to be towed without the consent of the owner. This change would allow police to tow illegally parked trailers without permission from the owner.

Discussion:
The neighbors of the property in question both spoke and asked the council to please do something about the trailer. They said there is a large amount of trash piled up around the trailer in the alleyway that also needs to be cleaned.

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


4. RZN 22-035 (6074 W. Wedington Dr./Houston) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-035 located at 6074 W. Wedington Drive in Ward 4 for approximately 2.43 acres from R-A, Residential-Agricultural to RSF-4, Residential Single Family, 4 units per acre.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is on the north side of Wedington Drive about 400 feet west of 59th Avenue. It contains a portion of four existing lots, and an application for a property line adjustment was submitted concurrently with this request which would remove and adjust property lines to align with the proposed zoning boundary.

Initially, the request was to rezone the property to RI-U, Residential Intermediate-Urban, though the applicant amended their request to rezone the property to RSF-4, Residential Single-Family, 4 units per acre prior to the Sept. 26 Planning Commission meeting.

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

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


5. RZN 22-044 (170 E. Mountain St./Twin Summit) (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-044 located at 170 E. Mountain Street in Ward 1 for approximately 0.12 acres from RMF-24, Residential Multi-family, 24 units per acre to DG, Downtown General.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The property is just north of the Yvonne Richardson Community Center on the north side of Mountain Street. It is currently being developed a duplex. The applicant indicated that rezoning to DG would allow them to subdivide the property and create two townhome lots.

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

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


6. VAC 22-022 (3615 N. Steele Blvd./JJ’s Live) (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-022 for property located at 3615 N. Steele Blvd. in Ward 3 to vacate a portion of a utility easement.
Left on the first reading

Background:
The property is at the southwest corner of Steele Boulevard and Van Asche Drive and is a part of the CMN Subdivision. It is the site of JJ’S Live. Zoning on the property is currently C-1, Neighborhood Commercial, but is restricted by a Bill of Assurance that permits offices, eating places, and medium-scale retail. The facility recently enclosed much of the performance space, though still maintains the ability to operate as an outdoor music venue through the approved Conditional Use Permit. As a part of that enclosure, the applicant is proposing a loading dock on the north side of the building, which is why the vacation is needed.

City planners recommend approval of the request, with the following conditions:

  1. Any damage or relocation of any existing facilities will be at the applicant’s expense.
  2. Applicant agrees that in the event that at any time in the future, the Utility Company (AEP/SWEPCO) needs to do work in the area of the Utility Easement being vacated and if the canopy posts (located along the building setback line approximately 5 feet south of the Utility Easement line) would interfere with the performance of the work, applicant will temporarily remove the canopy posts at the Applicant’s expense to allow the work to be
    performed without interference.

Location:

Discussion:
Staff said a third condition should be added to require some planned canopy poles to be removed if necessary. City Attorney Kit Williams said he would be more comfortable getting permission from the applicant before adding any conditions, but the applicant is not present tonight.

The council agreed with Williams and left the item on the first reading. The discussion will continue on Nov. 1.


7. Amend Ordinance 6010 for VIP Club (Details)

An ordinance to amend Ordinance 6010 and change the approved closing time for VIP Club from 1:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The council in 2017 approved a permit to allow VIP Club to operate as a private club. At the time, the owners requested to be allowed to stay open until 2 a.m., but the council amended that request to 1:30 a.m. in an effort to make crowd control easier for police in the busy bar area near Dickson Street and West Avenue.

The applicant’s attorney said at the time, the owner believed the ordinance would either be temporary, or that other bars would also be required to close 30 minutes earlier. Since that was not the case, the owner is now requesting to stay open an extra half hour.

Discussion:
A representative from the Police Department said they are not opposed to allowing the business to stay open later.

There was no public comment.

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


Adjourned

This meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

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