Thursday, December 20, 2007
Part of Aspen Ridge site and Rochier Hill proposed construction sites aerial view from west
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Summitt & Aspen Ridge development area
A proposed development in south Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Rochier Hill south of Sixth Street and the UA and Fayetteville High School. The hilltop and hillside projects (a church on the NE part and a housing development on the rest) would replace a nursing home torn down in the past two years, a great many magnificent hillside trees bulldozed in the past two years, many trees currently standing and a grassy native-soil prairie over much of the plain atop the hill. It would include construction on a steep part of the hill almost to the railroad that runs northeast/southwest along bottom of the hill and along the western border of the unfinished Aspen Ridge site. Stormwater runoff would be directed to two arms of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the River. The western arm of the Town Branch would catch water from the western and southwestern parts of the development, while water from the east and southeast sides would flow to the main Town Branch through the Aspen Ridge site. That is the part of the Town Branch that flows from the UA athletic facilities and much of the main campus and Markham Hill under the railroad near Sixth Street and between Hill and Duncan avenues and under 11th Street and then betweem Ellis and Van Buren avenues to a bridge on 15th Street.
The project would not only decrease the tree canopy of the area significantly but would also further threaten the integrity of the railroad. Vegetation was removed from the downhill side of the RR right of way and has caused major erosion. The Summit project would do the same on the uphill side. In coming decades, that railroad right of way will become increasingly important and ought to be widened and reinforced rather than compromised.