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mcheiss

South Pass Development

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Kessler Mountain is a very beautiful part of our city, or soon to be part of.

I don't necessarily think a huge development out there is what's best for that land. I hope if this goes forward, that a LOT of that land is dedicated to parkland and preservation. The trails on Kessler Mountain make you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere.

I personally think it is too much development on one exit, not to mention how it seems like a separate locality if they build it out that big. Anyways I don't like the idea of that land being developed either because I like how remote things look not so far from the city. It seems like an "outfill" project.

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You do have to remember that this project has a very long timeline. I believe it is on the order of 20-25 years. There will be alot of change in the infrastructure of the entire city and I-540 (I-49) during this entire buildout. This is not something that is going to pop up in the next 2-4 years. It will probbly just be getting started by then.

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I can understand some not being in favor of this project in comparison to others. To some this is sprawl. But I guess for some reason I just never quite felt that way about it. I haven't actually been up to the top of Mt Kessler. Maybe it would be nice if they preserved some of the natural beauty on Mt Kessler. As a side not if the developers own this land then isn't going up to Mt Kessler basically trespassing? But anyway while I do think we need to preserve some nice green areas for the city, I don't think we have to limit development to only flat areas either. And as Colby has mentioned this will be a long drawn out process. But as I said before, I can better understand people not in favor of this development compared to say ones like Ruskin Heights.

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I can understand some not being in favor of this project in comparison to others. To some this is sprawl. But I guess for some reason I just never quite felt that way about it. I haven't actually been up to the top of Mt Kessler. Maybe it would be nice if they preserved some of the natural beauty on Mt Kessler. As a side not if the developers own this land then isn't going up to Mt Kessler basically trespassing? But anyway while I do think we need to preserve some nice green areas for the city, I don't think we have to limit development to only flat areas either. And as Colby has mentioned this will be a long drawn out process. But as I said before, I can better understand people not in favor of this development compared to say ones like Ruskin Heights.

All of Mt. Kessler land isn't owned by developers. A lot of it is in trusts, etc as far as I can tell. Still, having a big development in that area will change the feel a lot. Of course I expect a lot will change around here in 25 years.

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This development has so many strong positives and strong negatives that is hard to figure if it will be approved or not.

Positives

  1. Regional park- this would be a great asset for the city. It would provide needed facilities for the citizens and be a tourism draw that would help the local economy. The developers knew what they were doing when they made this a central theme of their pitch to the city( and I don't mean that in a negative way).
  2. New Urbanism style development - the renderings and written plans for this project are great. The town center is very attractive and the mixed use plans with different residential types fit what the city should strive for.
  3. City control of land development- this property could develop in ways that the city would not want if it isn't annexed. If it is left in the county or even if Greenland annexed it could become an opportunity lost.

Negatives

  1. It is SPRAWL- it is not infill or redevelopment and is not connected to the city now. It is taking greenfield land (even though there is a buried landfill on it) and developing it. It's location out in the country will require the extension of infrastructure including utilities, police and fire protection, etc out to it. The money spent doing this will not be able to be spent improving the existing city proper or the land immediately adjacent to it. The only saving point here is that in the 25 year buildout the surounding land may develop so that it is indeed infill, but that is a big maybe.
  2. Access problems- the only way to access the land is Cato Springs Road (State Hwy 265) which is now a narrow 2 land road in that area. The road has been widened to 5 lanes north of I540 but I don't think it has been determined if the overpass or underpass is wide enough to carry 4/5 lanes. The plan to extend Shiloh Dr. will not resolve access issue as it comes out at the heavily congested I540/ 6th Street intersection. I drove through that intersection on a Sunday afternoon recently and eastbound traffic waiting to turn north on I540 had backed up to Shiloh Dr- until that problem is fixed planning to add more traffic is a bad idea.
  3. Will the developers follow through on it? The economic downturn has hit everybody hard but until the Rennaisance Tower project is completed the public's confidence in the developer's ability to see this huge two and a half decade plan through is shaky at best. This may not be the best time or place for it.

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This development has so many strong positives and strong negatives that is hard to figure if it will be approved or not.

Positives

  1. Regional park- this would be a great asset for the city. It would provide needed facilities for the citizens and be a tourism draw that would help the local economy. The developers knew what they were doing when they made this a central theme of their pitch to the city( and I don't mean that in a negative way).
  2. New Urbanism style development - the renderings and written plans for this project are great. The town center is very attractive and the mixed use plans with different residential types fit what the city should strive for.
  3. City control of land development- this property could develop in ways that the city would not want if it isn't annexed. If it is left in the county or even if Greenland annexed it could become an opportunity lost.

Negatives

  1. It is SPRAWL- it is not infill or redevelopment and is not connected to the city now. It is taking greenfield land (even though there is a buried landfill on it) and developing it. It's location out in the country will require the extension of infrastructure including utilities, police and fire protection, etc out to it. The money spent doing this will not be able to be spent improving the existing city proper or the land immediately adjacent to it. The only saving point here is that in the 25 year buildout the surounding land may develop so that it is indeed infill, but that is a big maybe.
  2. Access problems- the only way to access the land is Cato Springs Road (State Hwy 265) which is now a narrow 2 land road in that area. The road has been widened to 5 lanes north of I540 but I don't think it has been determined if the overpass or underpass is wide enough to carry 4/5 lanes. The plan to extend Shiloh Dr. will not resolve access issue as it comes out at the heavily congested I540/ 6th Street intersection. I drove through that intersection on a Sunday afternoon recently and eastbound traffic waiting to turn north on I540 had backed up to Shiloh Dr- until that problem is fixed planning to add more traffic is a bad idea.
  3. Will the developers follow through on it? The economic downturn has hit everybody hard but until the Rennaisance Tower project is completed the public's confidence in the developer's ability to see this huge two and a half decade plan through is shaky at best. This may not be the best time or place for it.

Very nicely laid out.

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Southpass finally got approved by the Planning Commission last night by a 7-1 vote. It will now be forwarded to the City Council sometime next month with approval support. Hopefully the council will continue the approval process.

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Southpass finally got approved by the Planning Commission last night by a 7-1 vote. It will now be forwarded to the City Council sometime next month with approval support. Hopefully the council will continue the approval process.

I will have to watch the replay on local access. I am really concerned about the nature areas on Kessler Mountain. I do hope they preserve a lot of it.

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Southpass finally got approved by the Planning Commission last night by a 7-1 vote. It will now be forwarded to the City Council sometime next month with approval support. Hopefully the council will continue the approval process.

I was a little surprised there was only one dissenting vote. As much as it's been talked about and tabled I sorta thought there might be a little more problem getting it passed. But like you said now comes the actual City Council. I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the upcoming month.

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More talk about Southpass coming up soon for the city. I've seen links to article about Southpass but don't recall seeing a link to the actual website for the development. Although maybe the website itself could be relatively new or revamped.

http://southpassdevelopment.com/

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While I like the regional park (especially the financial end of it) and the type of developement Southpass is, I also don't like the massive channeling of both public and private resources away from central part of town that will happen. I know one could say that maybe the reources wouldn't be spent on the central part of town anyway but with Southpass taking them they are sure not to be spent elsewhere. Maybe I'm off base and this will somehow help the central part of the city thrive and be a better place to live but it seems more like it is sprawl like what is happening out Wedington Road west of I540.

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Southpass is slowly making it through the city council. The annexation of the nearly 900 acres passed last night with a vote of 6-2. Lionald Jordan (who will not get my vote for mayor) and Kyle Cook (who is against everything) were the two no votes. The master plan was also accepted.

Here is more information on the regional park and each phase of it: Southpass Regional Park Phases

It's a pretty informative article.

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Southpass is slowly making it through the city council. The annexation of the nearly 900 acres passed last night with a vote of 6-2. Lionald Jordan (who will not get my vote for mayor) and Kyle Cook (who is against everything) were the two no votes. The master plan was also accepted.

Here is more information on the regional park and each phase of it: Southpass Regional Park Phases

It's a pretty informative article.

Yeah I had read about that. I just hope it doesn't come down to being a big mess. There was talk that if the developers meat all the requirements and still get denied they could have the option to sue the city. Apparently the city entered in an agreement with the developers back in 2004 to develop a partnership for the 910 acres. But now it seems the city has gotten cold feet over trying to accept a development that big.

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It seems to me that Lioneld Jordan and his cronies have decided to turn South Pass into an election issue. Its become a rallying cry for the NIMBYs.

I shudder to think what will happen to the city's economy if Lioneld Jordan becomes our mayor. We'll instantly lose all the green business momentum, international contacts, and our planning and development process will stagnate even more overnight. Plus, the guy talks like a redneck hippie. I really don't want him representing Fayetteville to the world.

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Yeah I don't think anybody who participates on the forum here is a fan of Jordan.

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Yeah I had read about that. I just hope it doesn't come down to being a big mess. There was talk that if the developers meat all the requirements and still get denied they could have the option to sue the city. Apparently the city entered in an agreement with the developers back in 2004 to develop a partnership for the 910 acres. But now it seems the city has gotten cold feet over trying to accept a development that big.

Go here for more info on SouthPass: http://www.southpassdevelopment.com/

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Sounds like Fayetteville is waiting for a survey of the area before street plans are presented. It also sounds like the city is waiting for the deed to the regional park that was promised as well before they move forward. I realize not everyone seemed crazy about the development. It is pretty big and it's also on the outskirts of the city. But overall I think this could be a promising development. But with such a big project it's scheduled to take 20-25 years to complete. So it's going to be a long while before we see just how this development plays out.

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[quote name='butttrumpet' date='Nov 7 2008, 05:47 PM' post='1026708'

I shudder to think what will happen to the city's economy if Lioneld Jordan becomes our mayor. We'll instantly lose all the green business momentum, international contacts, and our planning and development process will stagnate even more overnight. Plus, the guy talks like a redneck hippie. I really don't want him representing Fayetteville to the world.

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This has more to do with the fact that the FEDC was the brainchild of Dan Coody and Gary Dumas than anything else.

Jordan and Marr are making sure to rid the city of anything started by those two, if for no other reason than to put their own stamp on the city. It also allows them to get rid of any people who were put into their positions by Coody or Dumas.

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FEDC has been suffering a slow death for a while now. There was no political motive for it, the money to run it simply wasn't there. It would have failed even if Coody had been re-elected.

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FEDC has been suffering a slow death for a while now. There was no political motive for it, the money to run it simply wasn't there. It would have failed even if Coody had been re-elected.

The lack of money issue for FEDC is true and along that same line of thought where will the money to run Green Valley Development come from? I wonder if Fayetteville will be putting up money to draw Green development to other cities now? That would be in line with the anti-growth policy for Fayetteville that seems to be in force now. As was mentioned before there seems to be a segment of the population that wants the benefits of economic development but not the growth that it entails.

FEDC may be gone but putting new business growth in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce would be a mistake. A separate entity that is not beholden to dues paying members who own existing businesses needs to be organized and funded by the city.

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FEDC may be gone but putting new business growth in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce would be a mistake. A separate entity that is not beholden to dues paying members who own existing businesses needs to be organized and funded by the city.

You are forgetting that it is very important for the Chamber's membership to GROW and the easiest way to do that is to encourage new business development. FEDC was originally started by the Chamber, the city, and U of A.

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You are forgetting that it is very important for the Chamber's membership to GROW and the easiest way to do that is to encourage new business development. FEDC was originally started by the Chamber, the city, and U of A.

A year ago I would have agreed that one of the Chamber's goals was to grow but with the change in leadership of the Chamber and in the mayor's office I'm not so sure that is the case now. I see a mayor who is paying lip service to growth but who's actions and inactions so far indicate that he is against any but the most superficial growth in Fayetteville. The new Chamber head is closely aligned with the mayor and that wouldn't be the case if there wasn't agreement on economic development issues.

The lack of a clear plan of action for keeping the expansion of the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville or what to do if it does leave and the disbanding of a group promoting economic development specifically in Fayetteville in favor of one with a regional interest are just the two clearest examples of the new city administration's anti-growth bent.

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I won't add my two cents on the mayor, that is for an entirely different discussion. I will say though that the Chamber's core mission is still most certainly on adding new and retaining old members, actually I would say this is even MORE of an emphasis than before.

You have to understand that FEDC was funded entirely through private membership, the city had little input in the day to day running or financing of it. It's membership failed and when the powers that be inside its organization were deciding what to do, they decided to take it from trying to encourage a wide range of business to come to a specific market to trying to encourage a specific range of business to a wider market. That is all this is, it has NOTHING to do with the city administration. It was on the brink of failure two years ago and has been on life support from the beginning. Once the economy started to cool off, its membership dropped like a rock as businesses started to reign in expenses.

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I won't add my two cents on the mayor, that is for an entirely different discussion. I will say though that the Chamber's core mission is still most certainly on adding new and retaining old members, actually I would say this is even MORE of an emphasis than before.

You have to understand that FEDC was funded entirely through private membership, the city had little input in the day to day running or financing of it. It's membership failed and when the powers that be inside its organization were deciding what to do, they decided to take it from trying to encourage a wide range of business to come to a specific market to trying to encourage a specific range of business to a wider market. That is all this is, it has NOTHING to do with the city administration. It was on the brink of failure two years ago and has been on life support from the beginning. Once the economy started to cool off, its membership dropped like a rock as businesses started to reign in expenses.

Thanks for the insight on FEDC and Green Valley- I do realize that the city government had little input on the decison making of FEDC. It's regrettable that they and the city didn't try to work out better arrangement that would have included city funding . That's where I question how the new administration has handled the situation- it may be possible that no matter what the mayor suggested to FEDC that they would have refused to work with him but with a offer of city funding it doesn't seem likely.

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