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Mith242

Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Thanks for the confirmation- I think the River Rail extension has helped also hasn't it?

I cannot back anything up with statistics but I personally could not fathom the area without River Rail. Without that, I think Argenta would be a relative shell of what it is. I would credit River Rail with being the most important factor in sustaining the revitalization by giving mobility to both sides of the river. Alltel may have been the catalyst to kick it off but River Rail helps keep locals coming in regularly by opening up entertainment options.

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I think I'll make a list of questions for the next Historic Commission meeting on the district. If anyone could add to it........great!

1. Do non-contributing scructures have to have a certificate of appropriateness for work done on them? or put another way- Are all structures considered to be Historical Resources? I think the answer is yes but it isn't made clear in the guidlelines.

2. There is a line that reads partly "removal of spatial relationships that characterize a property shall be avoided". Does this mean that new structures can't be built on a lot that has a existing building on it? or what does it mean exactly?

3. Has the commission and staff considered doing a smaller scale preservation effort, say picking out certain buildings like what was done with the White Hangar at the airport?

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I think I'll make a list of questions for the next Historic Commission meeting on the district. If anyone could add to it........great!

1. Do non-contributing scructures have to have a certificate of appropriateness for work done on them? or put another way- Are all structures considered to be Historical Resources? I think the answer is yes but it isn't made clear in the guidlelines.

2. There is a line that reads partly "removal of spatial relationships that characterize a property shall be avoided". Does this mean that new structures can't be built on a lot that has a existing building on it? or what does it mean exactly?

3. Has the commission and staff considered doing a smaller scale preservation effort, say picking out certain buildings like what was done with the White Hangar at the airport?

1 - Yes, ALL structures within the district have to receive a COA for any exterior work being completed. Of course, non-contributing structures are often given less scrutiny.

2 - I believe that just means that you cannot remove or demolish structures or components of the structure that changes the historic nature or character of the property.

3 - Who knows.

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1 - Yes, ALL structures within the district have to receive a COA for any exterior work being completed. Of course, non-contributing structures are often given less scrutiny.

2 - I believe that just means that you cannot remove or demolish structures or components of the structure that changes the historic nature or character of the property.

3 - Who knows.

1. So the commission will have complete control over all structures. The idea that because it is just the exterior it is less less offensive doesn't make sense. If you want to turn a former bar into a full service resturant renovating the building will certainly require changes to the whole building inside and out. If you need to expand the square footage in order to have a viable business the restrictions will prevent that.

2. see # 1.

3. This would be a better alternative than trying to force the all owners to give up all rights to how they deal with their property. An even better alternative would be for the private individuals making up the commission to buy the properties themselves if they want to preserve them.

Edited by zman9810

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1. So the commission will have complete control over all structures. The idea that because it is just the exterior it is less less offensive doesn't make sense. If you want to turn a former bar into a full service resturant renovating the building will certainly require changes to the whole building inside and out. If you need to expand the square footage in order to have a viable business the restrictions will prevent that.

2. see # 1.

3. This would be a better alternative than trying to force the all owners to give up all rights to how they deal with their property. An even better alternative would be for the private individuals making up the commission to buy the properties themselves if they want to preserve them.

1. Incorrect. You can add to existing structures, as long as it is deemed appropriate to the historic significance of the property and/or district. New construction of course is also common.

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1. Incorrect. You can add to existing structures, as long as it is deemed appropriate to the historic significance of the property and/or district. New construction of course is also common.

This discussion illustrates the one of the problems with a historic district by ordinance. The guidelines are so subjective that it is up to the personal opinions of four private individuals on what is allowed. The success or failure of a business could depend on the whims of a clique that has no concern for the business owner or the economic well-being of the area- instead just a narrowed minded drive to preserve what they see as worthy.

I've read through the guidelines (several times) and they are phrased in terms of encouraged/recommended and discouraged. These terms are misleading to the point of being deceptive. If a business owner decides to paint his building in a certain color scheme because of cost concerns or directive from a regional owner and it isn't acceptable to the commission then the guidelines won't seem like recommendations or encouragements- they will be business ending mandates. The business owner will have no recourse to save their business except to sue in district court instead of appealing to our elected city leaders.

One other line from the guidelines stood out for me- "Don't negatively impact a neighbor's ability to attract business". This sounds like a mandate to not compete with other businesses. A business owner has to do all they can to attract traffic to their establishment whether it draws business from other owners or not. Having more attractive facilities is a normal part of doing business and the historic district would dictate otherwise.

Edited by zman9810

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1. Incorrect. You can add to existing structures, as long as it is deemed appropriate to the historic significance of the property and/or district. New construction of course is also common.

1. Wrong. Actually zman was correct. The commission will have complete control over ALL structures in the district. Not just 'contributing structures'. You own a Dickson street building--not just a 'contributing structure', but a relatively new building and you want to replace your windows with new glass? Add stucco to the front of your building? Add new bricks? Repave your lot? Add exterior lighting? Add a new awning? Add a new exterior sign? Have a mural painted? Add a patio? Don't even think about it if the commission doesn't approve. That's right, they would have to approve ANY of those changes for ALL structures in the district. So you think to yourself 'maybe I'll just spruce up my building by repainting the exterior instead of renovating'. Not so fast. The commission even gets to decide what color you would be allowed to repaint your building.

It gets better. It's not just existing buildings they have control over, it's the entire property. Say you own a historic structure and you want to keep and restore your historic structure but you want to make a new addition to the building to add more space. Add a second or third story on top of an existing historic building? Forget about it. Not allowed. New infill construction? Allowed ONLY if the new construction is 'to scale' with the contributing structure (transaltion: no multi-story buildings alowed anywhere near an existing single story historical sturcture).

FACT: the ONLY building in the entire district the commission would not have complete control over is the U.S. Post Office--and that is simply because federal law prohibitis them from doing so.

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1. Wrong. Actually zman was correct. The commission will have complete control over ALL structures in the district. Not just 'contributing structures'. You own a Dickson street building--not just a 'contributing structure', but a relatively new building and you want to replace your windows with new glass? Add stucco to the front of your building? Add new bricks? Repave your lot? Add exterior lighting? Add a new awning? Add a new exterior sign? Have a mural painted? Add a patio? Don't even think about it if the commission doesn't approve. That's right, they would have to approve ANY of those changes for ALL structures in the district. So you think to yourself 'maybe I'll just spruce up my building by repainting the exterior instead of renovating'. Not so fast. The commission even gets to decide what color you would be allowed to repaint your building.

It gets better. It's not just existing buildings they have control over, it's the entire property. Say you own a historic structure and you want to keep and restore your historic structure but you want to make a new addition to the building to add more space. Add a second or third story on top of an existing historic building? Forget about it. Not allowed. New infill construction? Allowed ONLY if the new construction is 'to scale' with the contributing structure (transaltion: no multi-story buildings alowed anywhere near an existing single story historical sturcture).

FACT: the ONLY building in the entire district the commission would not have complete control over is the U.S. Post Office--and that is simply because federal law prohibitis them from doing so.

Some of what you've said is correct, some is not:

First, re-read my earlier posts. YES, the commission would have control over ALL structures in the district. How you inferred that I said otherwise I do not know (particularly from my post you quoted?!?).

Second, generally, commissions do not have any control over paint colors...only materials. Subsequently, routine maintenance on existing materials/facades is allowable without review assuming you're not changing materials (i.e. if you are repairing wood siding, repainting, re-roofing with the same material, etc.).

Lastly, lest you think this is some heinous, unbelievable scenario, there are already dozens of these districts enacted quite successfully across the state.

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Some of what you've said is correct, some is not:

First, re-read my earlier posts. YES, the commission would have control over ALL structures in the district. How you inferred that I said otherwise I do not know (particularly from my post you quoted?!?).

Second, generally, commissions do not have any control over paint colors...only materials. Subsequently, routine maintenance on existing materials/facades is allowable without review assuming you're not changing materials (i.e. if you are repairing wood siding, repainting, re-roofing with the same material, etc.).

Lastly, lest you think this is some heinous, unbelievable scenario, there are already dozens of these districts enacted quite successfully across the state.

This is directly from the guidelines,

"Paint and Paint Color: Guidelines

1. The color scheme used on a building shall be appropriate to the building

Edited by zman9810

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Thankfully it looks like this issue is being put to rest. I do feel bad for the staff and commission members who say they have worked tirelessly for 3 years to create this district. However this should be a lesson to them: if they had made an effort to more actively involve property owners and citizens from the very beginning, this thing would have never gone this far and a lot of time and resources could have been saved. The article notes that the commission is now 0-3 in their attempts to establish historical districts in the city. I can now understand why.

RIP Dickson Street Historic District??

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Thankfully it looks like this issue is being put to rest. I do feel bad for the staff and commission members who say they have worked tirelessly for 3 years to create this district. However this should be a lesson to them: if they had made an effort to more actively involve property owners and citizens from the very beginning, this thing would have never gone this far and a lot of time and resources could have been saved. The article notes that the commission is now 0-3 in their attempts to establish historical districts in the city. I can now understand why.

RIP Dickson Street Historic District??

Yeah I really think they're going about this all wrong. Their methods also aren't winning over any of the property owners either. It's rather obvious this is more of an anti progress movement more than anything. If they're so concerned about preserving older buildings why isn't there a Historic District for the Square, where there's older buildings that actually stand out. With the way they've gone about all of this I think they've just made it harder on themselves for any future efforts. I think they've already given a lot of people a bad impression and I think they'd have a really hard time taking a small step in advancing a historic district for Dickson St. Honestly I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of small areas of Dickson St preserved. But I'd be very hesitant to offer this group any future support because I don't trust them or what they're real motives are.

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I don't feel sorry for them. Who do they think they are that they can just make up some far-reaching rules and force private property owners to adhere to them?

It sounds like the city wastes a lot of money on jobs for people who aren't actually needed. As a taxpayer, I think the city should get rid of some of that non-essential staff instead of creating things for them to do.

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Here's some good news for Fayetteville- kind of it's own little stimulus package. The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks broke ground on it's 158,000 sq. ft. addition Friday. The $62 million project will bring 200 jobs to the area and has been in the planning stages for 8 years.

NWAnews.com article

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The Fayetteville Housing Authority looks to be building a solar powered housing project for low income seniors. It would be the first solar powered housing project in this area. Sounded like a pretty interesting idea. The project is expected to cost around $1.6 Mil.

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The Fayetteville Housing Authority looks to be building a solar powered housing project for low income seniors. It would be the first solar powered housing project in this area. Sounded like a pretty interesting idea. The project is expected to cost around $1.6 Mil.

Yeah I read about that. It is a interesting idea- a federal grant to add the solar part and then it would make money that the Housing Authority could use for other projects. I like solar- it doesn't have the drawbacks that other alternative energy sources have like noise, killing birds, high corn prices, unsightly transmission lines, etc. It is all right there at the site and somewhat out of the way- plus the excess electricity can be fed back into the power grid. Hopefully the price of solar power will drop to the point where it is more common.

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I guess it's not really a big deal but I still found it pretty neat and interesting. Fayetteville got mentioned in the US Supreme Court. A city in Utah has or is trying to put up a large stone monument of the 10 Commandments. The Supreme Court ruled that a monument's 'message' is often nuanced and could convey a number of meanings. Then Justice Samuel Alito Jr mentioned "what is the message of the large bronze statue displaying the word Peace in many world languages that is displayed in Fayetteville, Arkansas?" Not a huge deal I deal in the whole scheme of things, but I just thought it was interesting that the Peace Fountain near the Fayetteville Town Center would actually get mentioned by a Justice at the Supreme Court.

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I guess it's not really a big deal but I still found it pretty neat and interesting. Fayetteville got mentioned in the US Supreme Court. A city in Utah has or is trying to put up a large stone monument of the 10 Commandments. The Supreme Court ruled that a monument's 'message' is often nuanced and could convey a number of meanings. Then Justice Samuel Alito Jr mentioned "what is the message of the large bronze statue displaying the word Peace in many world languages that is displayed in Fayetteville, Arkansas?" Not a huge deal I deal in the whole scheme of things, but I just thought it was interesting that the Peace Fountain near the Fayetteville Town Center would actually get mentioned by a Justice at the Supreme Court.

Yeah, that is neat. It's a cool little monument, and the "making of" video was pretty well done. Coody must have spent a lot more time in Washington than I thought.

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Yeah I really think they're going about this all wrong. Their methods also aren't winning over any of the property owners either. It's rather obvious this is more of an anti progress movement more than anything. If they're so concerned about preserving older buildings why isn't there a Historic District for the Square, where there's older buildings that actually stand out. With the way they've gone about all of this I think they've just made it harder on themselves for any future efforts. I think they've already given a lot of people a bad impression and I think they'd have a really hard time taking a small step in advancing a historic district for Dickson St. Honestly I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of small areas of Dickson St preserved. But I'd be very hesitant to offer this group any future support because I don't trust them or what they're real motives are.

Looks like the Historic District idea is dead: http://nwaonline.com/articles/2009/03/12/n...9fzhistoric.txt

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Looks like the Historic District idea is dead: http://nwaonline.com/articles/2009/03/12/n...9fzhistoric.txt

It's good that the Historic Commission and city were responsive to the concerns expressed by the property owners and public. The goal of preserving the character of Dickson Street is so vague and the methods proposed to do that so extreme that it's not surprising there was no support for the district.

Considering this is the fourth time the commission has atempted to establish an ordinance district and failed it might be time to revisit the role of the commission in the city. A rewriting of the ordinance creating the commission could give it an advisory role in the planning process. It could be used by property owners as a resource for guidance and information on how to renovate older buildings and make sure new construction fits in. By removing it's all powerful regulating role it could become a valuable tool for accomplishing exactly what it's stated goals have been.

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I thought one of the quotes I saw in another article was interesting. One of the commissioners stated the meeting last week "walking into a fiery furnace. I don't understand how we could have been so out of touch." It really sounds like they spent way too much time in these meetings over the last three years without ever getting any feedback from any of the property owners till last week. I think that was a big problem right there. A small group of people trying to decide the fate of Dickson St without any feedback from anyone else.

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Just to add one more comment to the Dickson Street discussion- I had someone remind me about a talk we had about Dickson Street's changes over the years. She told me that Dickson had been ruined since the Walton Arts Center was built- that it was all yuppified and for rich people now (this was several years ago). She liked it better before the renovations took place and the center of town had a larger number of people living an alternative lifestyle. No, she didn't mean the first idea that probably pops into one's head- she meant when Dickson and Fayetteville was the place for old hippies and freaks, as they were called affectionately. So, the character of Dickson Street means many things to many people. Trying to make Dickson be what one group of people think it should be will never be a good idea- it will always be changing.

Edited by zman9810

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Just to add one more comment to the Dickson Street discussion- I had someone remind me about a talk we had about Dickson Street's changes over the years. She told me that Dickson had been ruined since the Walton Arts Center was built- that it was all yuppified and for rich people now (this was several years ago). She liked it better before the renovations took place and the center of town had a larger number of people living an alternative lifestyle. No, she didn't mean the first idea that probably pops into one's head- she meant when Dickson and Fayetteville was the place for old hippies and freaks, as they were called affectionately. So, the character of Dickson Street means many things to many people. Trying to make Dickson be what one group of people think it should be will never be a good idea- it will always be changing.

I can see to a point the point about the gentrification of Dickson St. But I find it funny about how people seem to 'remember' Dickson St before the WAC. A number of people seem to have romanticized the old Dickson St. I have no problems with hippies or the alternative lifestyle and such. But the Dickson St I recall was rather rundown and had a reputation of being a somewhat rough place to be at night. But like you said things change. I liken cities to being a bit like living things. You see it happen a lot, especially in bigger cities. A once nice area of the city eventually becomes rundown. Then eventually the rundown area gets fixed up and becomes a nice area again although it may have a totally different function as it had before. While it may be a bit of a shame Dickson St isn't as 'funky' as it used to be. What's keeping people from making a new section of the city 'funky'? I've been a little surprised the old character of Dickson St hasn't reappeared to another area.

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I can see to a point the point about the gentrification of Dickson St. But I find it funny about how people seem to 'remember' Dickson St before the WAC. A number of people seem to have romanticized the old Dickson St. I have no problems with hippies or the alternative lifestyle and such. But the Dickson St I recall was rather rundown and had a reputation of being a somewhat rough place to be at night. But like you said things change. I liken cities to being a bit like living things. You see it happen a lot, especially in bigger cities. A once nice area of the city eventually becomes rundown. Then eventually the rundown area gets fixed up and becomes a nice area again although it may have a totally different function as it had before. While it may be a bit of a shame Dickson St isn't as 'funky' as it used to be. What's keeping people from making a new section of the city 'funky'? I've been a little surprised the old character of Dickson St hasn't reappeared to another area.

Oh yeah, there's no doubt that Dickson is a better place today than before the WAC was built, although it has lost some of it's funkiness. The rise in property values has forced some businesses out of the area but overall it has grown and become a larger economic force in the city. It presents a much better image of the city than it did 20 years ago. The Dickson Street of the early 80's which I remember was the place to be for a young college student even though I also remember being told I should be very careful while there. I can't imagine a bonfire being lit in the middle of the street now although then it was as exciting a time as I have ever had.

I thought a wish list of what anyone would like to see in the Dickson Street area for the future would be interesting. Here's mine-

1. The expansion of the Walton Arts Center with a parking deck to serve it.

2. A hotel of some sort- wouldn't have to be a luxury full-service top of the line hotel, just a midrange with limited service that would give a lift to the businesses along Dickson.

3. Some sort of affordable housing- would need to be a multifamily, multistory development that shouldn't be right on Dickson but within walking distance. With the right controls this is possible without it becoming a detriment to the area.

4. An improvement in public transporatation in the Dickson/downtown area- most likely involving Razorback Transit and Ozark Regional Transit.

Edited by zman9810

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Oh yeah, there's no doubt that Dickson is a better place today than before the WAC was built, although it has lost some of it's funkiness. The rise in property values has forced some businesses out of the area but overall it has grown and become a larger economic force in the city. It presents a much better image of the city than it did 20 years ago. The Dickson Street of the early 80's which I remember was the place to be for a young college student even though I also remember being told I should be very careful while there. I can't imagine a bonfire being lit in the middle of the street now although then it was as exciting a time as I have ever had.

I thought a wish list of what anyone would like to see in the Dickson Street area for the future would be interesting. Here's mine-

1. The expansion of the Walton Arts Center with a parking deck to serve it.

2. A hotel of some sort- wouldn't have to be a luxury full-service top of the line hotel, just a midrange with limited service that would give a lift to the businesses along Dickson.

3. Some sort of affordable housing- would need to be a multifamily, multistory development that shouldn't be right on Dickson but within walking distance. With the right controls this is possible without it becoming a detriment to the area.

4. An improvement in public transportation in the Dickson/downtown area- most likely involving Razorback Transit and Ozark Regional Transit.

Pretty good ideas. At least the first two have been talked about a bit.

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