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Monday, April 6, 2009

Would student apartments be more appropriate than a livestock auction barn next to National Cemetery for veterans? Not likely

Everyone is welcom at today's 5:30 p.m. meeting of Ward One residents and the Town Branch Neighborhood at the S. Hill Avenue Church of Christ near the intersection of 11th Street and S. Hill Avenue to hear and discuss a proposal to rezone the Washington County Livestock Auction Barn for student apartments. The area is shown on Google Maps below.

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The sale barn in the view below is at right and the national cemetery is at left. WOULD STUDENT APARTMENTS be any more appropriate next to the National Cemetery than a sale barn? The cemetery was created in 1867 and the sale barn in 1937.

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Please share information about the 5:30 p.m. April 5 (TODAY) meeting of Ward One residents at the Church of Christ on South Hill Avenue in Fayetteville.
Attorney Bob Estes is to present a proposal to have the Washington County Sale Barn rezoned so that student apartments may be built on the land in the Town Branch Neighborhood. If the rezoning is accepted, then a North Carolina company will buy the land and build the apartments.
The cattle-auction facility was constructed in 1937 by the grandfather of the current owner.
Cattle are brought in early each week and auctioned on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. There is no permanent housing of a large group of animals.
Because of the north slope's being well vegetated, stormwater runoff to streams in each direction is relatively clean, much cleaner than the runoff from the Hill Place Apartment complex being constructed three blocks to the west.
Closing the sale barn in south Fayetteville would greatly inconvenience ranchers and farmers in south Washington County. In fact, having to travel to Springdale to buy and sell cattle could be final factor in some landowners deciding to sell out and stop farming.
All this would come at a time when encouraging local production of food and protecting the rich soil on the prairies in the river valleys is high on the agenda of many people and many conservation organizations.
Closing the sale barn could affect the local farm economy and several other businesses in south Fayetteville that rely on local farming. It would encourage more unneeded housing to be built in rural areas while allowing more unneeded apartments to be built in a city where empty apartments and condominiums are plentiful.
Anything that damages the agricultural economy of Northwest Arkansas will reduce the effectiveness of such ongoing efforts as the FNHA's green-infrastructure project, the Beaver Lake and Illinois River watershed-protection efforts and the efforts of OMNI Center, the Sierra Club, Audubon Arkansas, the League of Women voters, the Ozark Society, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited and many other conservation organizations to protect and improve our environment and counter the threat of global climate change.

Town Branch Neighborhood Association meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday April 6, 2009

Ward One City Council members, members of the Town Branch neighborhood association and the public will hear a presentation from a developer seeking to rezone the Washington County Sale Barn property to allow construction of student apartments. Everyone is welcome to the meeting in the church at 1136 S Ellis Avenue south of the intersection of S. Hill Avenue and Eleventh Street at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 6.
For details, please call 479-444-6072 or visit http://townbranchneighborhood.blogspot.com

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