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Mith242

Fayetteville, Arkansas

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The razing of the parking deck at the Washington County Courthouse has started. I haven't heard exactly which church but I guess people are supposed to park at a nearby church and I guess there may be a shuttle running between there and the courthouse. Maybe it's the church that has the parking deck north of the Post Office. Hopefully everything will go according to plan so that construction can finish as soon as possible.

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The razing of the parking deck at the Washington County Courthouse has started. I haven't heard exactly which church but I guess people are supposed to park at a nearby church and I guess there may be a shuttle running between there and the courthouse. Maybe it's the church that has the parking deck north of the Post Office. Hopefully everything will go according to plan so that construction can finish as soon as possible.

Yeah- it's the Central United Methodist. I don't think they are even getting paid for the use- just being community minded, I guess.

I'm glad to see they put crosswalk markings across College although it would be nice if they added some more devices to make it more pedestrian friendly. One thing that would help calm traffic through that area is to install a traffic light at College and Spring- too many people use that stretch to gain speed and make through the other lights.

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Instead of adding lights, they should remove the one at Center and College which serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever except to make people stop. There is NO intersection there, just a red light. Without that light people wouldn't have anything to "try to beat" and hence to reason to "hurry up and stop" since there would be no lights between Dickson and Mountain (which DOES need the light that is there) on College.

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Yeah I guess the only real purpose the light at Center is to let people make left hand turns for people coming from the south. If there was more room you could add a turn lane and let the light only turn when someone turns into the turn lane. Maybe if nothing ever happens on the Renaissance land the city could try taking a bit to allow room for a turn lane. But it's still a tight fit there and I'm not sure how many people there are who make left hand turns there or if it's really worth all the effort.

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Instead of adding lights, they should remove the one at Center and College which serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever except to make people stop. There is NO intersection there, just a red light. Without that light people wouldn't have anything to "try to beat" and hence to reason to "hurry up and stop" since there would be no lights between Dickson and Mountain (which DOES need the light that is there) on College.

The idea for adding a traffic light would be to calm traffic on College thus making it more pedestrian friendly. There have been many complaints that College creates a division between the downtown area and the historic district to the east and even areas further south of it. By creating more distinct crossing paths for pedestrians with lights and crossing markings it would make for a better pedestrian environment. College will always be the major thoroughfare for downtown but making it easier to cross would help the whole central part of the city.

Edited by zman9810

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The idea for adding a traffic light would be to calm traffic on College thus making it more pedestrian friendly. There have been many complaints that College creates a division between the downtown area and the historic district to the east and even areas further south of it. By creating more distinct crossing paths for pedestrians with lights and crossing markings it would make for a better pedestrian environment. College will always be the major thoroughfare for downtown but making it easier to cross would help the whole central part of the city.

Eventually it will take as long to go from downtown to the mall as it does from 540 to downtown Springdale via 412. Stopping every block in an area where pedestrian travel is only an interesting thought and not a current reality just isn't a good idea. I work in downtown and can pretty much count on one hand how many people I see crossing College each day.

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Yeah but I think that's where the problem is, nobody sees College Ave as being pedestrian friendly. And to honest it really isn't. Some areas do have sidewalks, but they tend to be right next to the street. Then there's also quite a few areas along College where the sidewalks disappear. But you'd have to do more than just adding more sidewalks to make College Ave more pedestrian friendly. It will take a lot of work but I do think the city should at least continue to make some efforts.

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I had first hand experience with how pedestrian unfriendly college a couple of weeks ago. I was taking College from North Street to Center Street and while the area between Dickson and Center was nice, the bit north is terrifying as a pedestrian. The sidewalk is too close to the road. Either the speed limit needs to go down (which is the cheap fix) or the sidewalk needs to be moved further back (preferably with a curb between the sidewalk and road).

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I had first hand experience with how pedestrian unfriendly college a couple of weeks ago. I was taking College from North Street to Center Street and while the area between Dickson and Center was nice, the bit north is terrifying as a pedestrian. The sidewalk is too close to the road. Either the speed limit needs to go down (which is the cheap fix) or the sidewalk needs to be moved further back (preferably with a curb between the sidewalk and road).

Yeah that's another problem on the sections where there is sidewalks. Like you said they tend to be right next to the road. In some areas there is room to move it back. But when you get closer to downtown there's not really any room to move the sidewalk. But yet another big problem is that there's so many curb cuts where businesses have their exits and entrances. You have to be very aware of vehicles turning in off the street.

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The developer who now owns the property near the Natl Cemetery has made more of an effort to show they mean to work with everyone. A three story limit to all buildings within 50 feet of Government Ave. A 50-foot building set back along all property adjacent to Government Avenue. They'd also give land for a future extension of the Frisco Trail and would work with the city on that extension. Native plants would be planted along the streets near the property. They'd also put in a storm water detention pond that would be located near the future Frisco Trail extension.

http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2009/09/...zfzsalebarn.txt

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The City Council finally decided to vote on the issue of the land near the Natl Cemetery after putting it off for months. It ended up being a 4 to 3 vote against rezoning for the developer. One councilman was called away. Note sure if that would have been a vote for or against. But if it had been a 4 to 4 split most people believe the Mayor would have voted against the developer as well. I guess the developer will keep working on the plans and see if they can work with the city to get something going there.

On another issue I also just learned about recently. Apparently some have given people the impression that this piece of land is the only way for the Natl Cemetery to expand. But that's just not true. There are other pieces of land available. If they had the money they could buy those.

I'd still recommend that the city try to work with the developer with this piece of land. Or I think this will end up just being used as another example of the city being unfriendly for developers and business.

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The City Council finally decided to vote on the issue of the land near the Natl Cemetery after putting it off for months. It ended up being a 4 to 3 vote against rezoning for the developer. One councilman was called away. Note sure if that would have been a vote for or against. But if it had been a 4 to 4 split most people believe the Mayor would have voted against the developer as well. I guess the developer will keep working on the plans and see if they can work with the city to get something going there.

On another issue I also just learned about recently. Apparently some have given people the impression that this piece of land is the only way for the Natl Cemetery to expand. But that's just not true. There are other pieces of land available. If they had the money they could buy those.

I'd still recommend that the city try to work with the developer with this piece of land. Or I think this will end up just being used as another example of the city being unfriendly for developers and business.

This is true. The ones charged with possible expansion of the cemetery (Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation) are not all interested in the sale barn land.

http://nwaonline.com/articles/2009/09/11/n...9fzveterans.txt

Basically just a bunch of anti-student, anti-apt guys leading this deal.

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This is true. The ones charged with possible expansion of the cemetery (Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation) are not all interested in the sale barn land.

http://nwaonline.com/articles/2009/09/11/n...9fzveterans.txt

Basically just a bunch of anti-student, anti-apt guys leading this deal.

I also wonder if the councilman who missed the vote is going to create some controversy. Apparently she was going to vote for the developer. That would lead to a tie and made Mayor Jordan weigh in. I've gotten the impression he wouldn't have voted for the developer but I guess we won't know for certain.

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This denial is an example of how mob rule and emotion can lead good people to make bad decisions. I think there were council members who knew in their heart that the rezoning should have been approved but bully tactics and the fear of a sentimental backlash led them to vote no. That along with the council members who already have a anti growth/anti development bent led the council to go against city policy and legal intent. The vote wasn't against compatibilty but for the cemetery supporters- that makes it unlawful.

As has been shown in photos and is readily visible to anyone who visits the area the sale barn land is not adjacent to the residential neighborhood except for two houses. It serves as a buffer and transition area from the industrial/ commercial areas along South School and to the north and the cemetery. The downzoning was a very compatible use of this land and the complex would have been much better than what can be built there with the zoning it has. If the city trys to deny the use of the land for it's zoned uses it will end up in court and the cemetery supporters and neighbors could have a truly nasty enterprise there. The bill of assurances the developers offered went far beyond what it needed to make this a good project that fit right in.

What is up with the council member showing up for the meeting and leaving for this highly debated issue's vote? According to reports he was right outside the chamber immediately after the vote. Is our city council turning into a Centerton or Tontitown type body? The vote couldn't have waited a few minutes more when it was so close? It certainly gave Mayor Jordan an easy out- he didn't have to take a stand either way although with his anti development bent and need to please everyone it probably isn't hard to guess how he would have voted. Between the fire department firings fiasco and this our city government is showing a lack of leadership and accountabilty.

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What is up with the council member showing up for the meeting and leaving for this highly debated issue's vote? According to reports he was right outside the chamber immediately after the vote. Is our city council turning into a Centerton or Tontitown type body? The vote couldn't have waited a few minutes more when it was so close? It certainly gave Mayor Jordan an easy out- he didn't have to take a stand either way although with his anti development bent and need to please everyone it probably isn't hard to guess how he would have voted. Between the fire department firings fiasco and this our city government is showing a lack of leadership and accountabilty.

I'm not saying that he would have voted for the issue, but how do y'all know that Jordan would have voted against it? Is there some inside info that I am missing? I really have no clue as to what Jordan's history is or what he stands for. Not trying to egg anyone on.

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We don't really know what all exactly happened or what Jordan would have voted. I've gotten the impression from people who know Jordan personally that he probably would have not voted for the developer. But that's just the assumption people seem to have. As far as the Council member apparently it was a phone call of a personal nature. We'll probably never know what exactly happened with that either. Was it a phone call of a serious nature or just an easy out to try to avoid a tied vote going to the mayor? Other than saving the mayor from taking some heat directly by having to cast a vote I don't see any other reason why the Council member would avoid the vote. I don't know if any of the Council members would purposely avoid a vote just to make it easier on the mayor from having to cast a vote. Although you have to admit the whole situation is odd. I got the impression they tried to prolong things a bit while the Council member was out. But exactly how long that was I have no idea. Now I'm pretty sure Council members have missed out on other votes and usually no one notices. But you also have to know people would raise questions about this particular instance. This issue has been pushed back numerous times. Did they not hold off the vote a bit longer because of the lengthy delay already or did they try to hurry up and squeeze a controversial issue through when a lot of people would be focused on the school millage? I was surprised they had voted on the issue to be honest. I hadn't even heard the City Council was going to officially talk about the issue again. Have to admit it seems suspicious they took the vote when a lot of people would be focused on the school millage instead.

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This denial is an example of how mob rule and emotion can lead good people to make bad decisions. I think there were council members who knew in their heart that the rezoning should have been approved but bully tactics and the fear of a sentimental backlash led them to vote no. That along with the council members who already have a anti growth/anti development bent led the council to go against city policy and legal intent. The vote wasn't against compatibilty but for the cemetery supporters- that makes it unlawful.

As has been shown in photos and is readily visible to anyone who visits the area the sale barn land is not adjacent to the residential neighborhood except for two houses. It serves as a buffer and transition area from the industrial/ commercial areas along South School and to the north and the cemetery. The downzoning was a very compatible use of this land and the complex would have been much better than what can be built there with the zoning it has. If the city trys to deny the use of the land for it's zoned uses it will end up in court and the cemetery supporters and neighbors could have a truly nasty enterprise there. The bill of assurances the developers offered went far beyond what it needed to make this a good project that fit right in.

What is up with the council member showing up for the meeting and leaving for this highly debated issue's vote? According to reports he was right outside the chamber immediately after the vote. Is our city council turning into a Centerton or Tontitown type body? The vote couldn't have waited a few minutes more when it was so close? It certainly gave Mayor Jordan an easy out- he didn't have to take a stand either way although with his anti development bent and need to please everyone it probably isn't hard to guess how he would have voted. Between the fire department firings fiasco and this our city government is showing a lack of leadership and accountabilty.

Excellent zman.

Score one for another anti-whatever group who vows to block everything but has no plans of their own.

Its also nice to know that I can go scream at our city council and mayor and get whatever I want. Or maybe I have to be over 50 first.

Edited by marmot

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This denial is an example of how mob rule and emotion can lead good people to make bad decisions. I think there were council members who knew in their heart that the rezoning should have been approved but bully tactics and the fear of a sentimental backlash led them to vote no. That along with the council members who already have a anti growth/anti development bent led the council to go against city policy and legal intent. The vote wasn't against compatibilty but for the cemetery supporters- that makes it unlawful.

As has been shown in photos and is readily visible to anyone who visits the area the sale barn land is not adjacent to the residential neighborhood except for two houses. It serves as a buffer and transition area from the industrial/ commercial areas along South School and to the north and the cemetery. The downzoning was a very compatible use of this land and the complex would have been much better than what can be built there with the zoning it has. If the city trys to deny the use of the land for it's zoned uses it will end up in court and the cemetery supporters and neighbors could have a truly nasty enterprise there. The bill of assurances the developers offered went far beyond what it needed to make this a good project that fit right in.

What is up with the council member showing up for the meeting and leaving for this highly debated issue's vote? According to reports he was right outside the chamber immediately after the vote. Is our city council turning into a Centerton or Tontitown type body? The vote couldn't have waited a few minutes more when it was so close? It certainly gave Mayor Jordan an easy out- he didn't have to take a stand either way although with his anti development bent and need to please everyone it probably isn't hard to guess how he would have voted. Between the fire department firings fiasco and this our city government is showing a lack of leadership and accountabilty.

:thumbsup:

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What were they planning to develop there? Student apartments?

It must be hard for the council members to make decisions against things that might make them unpopular with rowdy people groups. They probably don't have enough fortitude to bear it. If it was a corporation the decision would be made and people would have to learn to live with it. However, in each case you hope that the right decision was made.

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What were they planning to develop there? Student apartments?

It must be hard for the council members to make decisions against things that might make them unpopular with rowdy people groups. They probably don't have enough fortitude to bear it. If it was a corporation the decision would be made and people would have to learn to live with it. However, in each case you hope that the right decision was made.

Yes, the developers bent over backwards to present a very good plan for the complex. They offered a 50 ft. buffer to the cemetery planted with native vegetation, density and heights limits beyond what was required, storm water dentention and a connection to the Frisco Trail. It would have been a much nicer complex than the apartments (that were barely mentioned) just south of the cemetery and a much better neighbor than the automotive garage immediately south of the cemetery. For the council members who voted against the rezoning to say it was about compatibility is like telling us the Emperor has new clothes. Well guess what- the Emperor has no clothes! The council and mayor are elected to represent the good of Fayetteville and it's citizens only and to uphold the laws and policies of the city. I don't think this action did and the sale barn land owner is paying the price.

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Yes, the developers bent over backwards to present a very good plan for the complex. They offered a 50 ft. buffer to the cemetery planted with native vegetation, density and heights limits beyond what was required, storm water detention and a connection to the Frisco Trail. It would have been a much nicer complex than the apartments (that were barely mentioned) just south of the cemetery and a much better neighbor than the automotive garage immediately south of the cemetery. For the council members who voted against the rezoning to say it was about compatibility is like telling us the Emperor has new clothes. Well guess what- the Emperor has no clothes! The council and mayor are elected to represent the good of Fayetteville and it's citizens only and to uphold the laws and policies of the city. I don't think this action did and the sale barn land owner is paying the price.

That's a funny thing about all of this. If it wasn't for the Natl Cemetery there's really not much there in that neighborhood. Take the Natl Cemetery out and that neighborhood would be almost an eyesore. There haven't been any renderings for the apartment complex itself. But just hearing some of the other issues mentioned on the grounds makes it sound like it would certainly be a big improvement over what's there.

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Yes, the developers bent over backwards to present a very good plan for the complex. They offered a 50 ft. buffer to the cemetery planted with native vegetation, density and heights limits beyond what was required, storm water dentention and a connection to the Frisco Trail. It would have been a much nicer complex than the apartments (that were barely mentioned) just south of the cemetery and a much better neighbor than the automotive garage immediately south of the cemetery. For the council members who voted against the rezoning to say it was about compatibility is like telling us the Emperor has new clothes. Well guess what- the Emperor has no clothes! The council and mayor are elected to represent the good of Fayetteville and it's citizens only and to uphold the laws and policies of the city. I don't think this action did and the sale barn land owner is paying the price.

Zman, you say the developers presented a plan at the council meeting. What you neglected to say is the council was not voting on a development plan.

The council was voting on a rezoning of the property. You might try to understand the council cannot vote on a concideration of something that is not on the table.

If the developers purchase the property and then go through the planning commission with a development plan it would be a vote on the development.

When this neighborhood goes through the Walker park and Fayette Junction type master plan process this land will probably be rezoned to downtown general.

Until that time you have to have a reason to rezone, not just a request to rezone.

The criteria for consideration is pretty narrow.

Whatever you do, don't listen to Matt Petty to figure out the process.

Another comment is Robert Rhoads misses lots of votes. Look at his voting record as compared to the rest of the City Council. If the council had rules like most of the city boards he would have been tossed out a long time ago for poor attendance.

Sorry to be so negative, it's just when you deal with the city you have to play by the rules. If you don't like the rules then run for council and change them.

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Zman, you say the developers presented a plan at the council meeting. What you neglected to say is the council was not voting on a development plan.

The council was voting on a rezoning of the property. You might try to understand the council cannot vote on a concideration of something that is not on the table.

If the developers purchase the property and then go through the planning commission with a development plan it would be a vote on the development.

When this neighborhood goes through the Walker park and Fayette Junction type master plan process this land will probably be rezoned to downtown general.

Until that time you have to have a reason to rezone, not just a request to rezone.

The criteria for consideration is pretty narrow.

Whatever you do, don't listen to Matt Petty to figure out the process.

Another comment is Robert Rhoads misses lots of votes. Look at his voting record as compared to the rest of the City Council. If the council had rules like most of the city boards he would have been tossed out a long time ago for poor attendance.

Sorry to be so negative, it's just when you deal with the city you have to play by the rules. If you don't like the rules then run for council and change them.

Actually... I didn't say they presented it to the council-it was presented to the opponents of the rezoning to try and get them to go along with it. You are right in that the council wasn't supposed to consider the development plan which they obviously didn't. They also weren't supposed to consider who they wanted to have the land either and I think that was the overriding reason for the denial. They favored the veterans group over the land owner and developer- which the city attorney made clear earlier was wrong and could open the city up to having it end in court. Of course, there is no way to prove the exact intent in this case but the fact that the Planning Commission and city staff approved the rezoning is a good indication that it was compatible. The fact that is was a downzoning from an industrial use to a residential use next to a cemetery and not far from other residential areas also show that it was compatible. It also would follow the development policies that the city has in place. If I were the land owner I would be looking to see if there was legal relief from this decision.

As far as the council member missing the vote when he was in the building right after the vote - that is a sad example of the lack of leadership and accountability that I spoke of earlier. When it has been reported that it would have been a tie vote with the mayor having to break the tie and this episode occurs it hurts the credibility of the whole process. The council has spent many meetings longer than this one discussing issues and tabling if needed- the vote could have been delayed a little longer or tabled again in order that all members had a say on this very hotly debated issue. For that matter, although we don't publicly know the reason for the absence the council member could have made clear to all what his situation was and asked for a delay until he was back.

Edited by zman9810

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Actually... I didn't say they presented it to the council-it was presented to the opponents of the rezoning to try and get them to go along with it. You are right in that the council wasn't supposed to consider the development plan which they obviously didn't. They also weren't supposed to consider who they wanted to have the land either and I think that was the overriding reason for the denial. They favored the veterans group over the land owner and developer- which the city attorney made clear earlier was wrong and could open the city up to having it end in court. Of course, there is no way to prove the exact intent in this case but the fact that the Planning Commission and city staff approved the rezoning is a good indication that it was compatible. The fact that is was a downzoning from an industrial use to a residential use next to a cemetery and not far from other residential areas also show that it was compatible. It also would follow the development policies that the city has in place. If I were the land owner I would be looking to see if there was legal relief from this decision.

As far as the council member missing the vote when he was in the building right after the vote - that is a sad example of the lack of leadership and accountability that I spoke of earlier. When it has been reported that it would have been a tie vote with the mayor having to break the tie and this episode occurs it hurts the credibility of the whole process. The council has spent many meetings longer than this one discussing issues and tabling if needed- the vote could have been delayed a little longer or tabled again in order that all members had a say on this very hotly debated issue. For that matter, although we don't publicly know the reason for the absence the council member could have made clear to all what his situation was and asked for a delay until he was back.

I don't have a dog in this hunt as far as property in this area, so what I think doesn't mean a thing.

That being said... the Hill place apts. is really a burden on the area around it, noise, traffic, late night parties etc.. It is possible that the council members that voted to not rezone were looking at that.

If the property were to become a high rise condo complex with lower floor mixed use it probably would have gone the other way.

Hill place is new and already leaving a bad taste in some peoples' mouth. It will be hard to sell student complexes to the council.

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I don't have a dog in this hunt as far as property in this area, so what I think doesn't mean a thing.

That being said... the Hill place apts. is really a burden on the area around it, noise, traffic, late night parties etc.. It is possible that the council members that voted to not rezone were looking at that.

If the property were to become a high rise condo complex with lower floor mixed use it probably would have gone the other way.

Hill place is new and already leaving a bad taste in some peoples' mouth. It will be hard to sell student complexes to the council.

I don't think high rise condos would be too popular, either. Look at how our expensive condo projects have fared--very poorly!

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