Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day 2009: Time to raise the money to buy the auction-barn property for expansion of the National Cemetery

The Morning News had a good but far too short article on the upcoming 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting of the Fayetteville Planning Commission where a public hearing on the future use of the Washington County auction barn property is to be discussed. A developer wants to put more than 500 bedrooms in multistory buildings next to Fayetteville's National Cemetery, where U.S. military veterans have been buried since the end of the Civil War.
The many ways the proposed development and the construction of it would hurt the neighborhood and the watershed of Beaver Lake can't all be listed completely in even many paragraphs. But the incredible insult of even proposing such a project adjacent to a national cemetery for veterans is all that needs to be considered for the city planning commission to reject the proposed rezoning of this land.
A major fund-raising campaign must be started to allow the Regional Cemetery Corporation to buy the sale barn for expansion. It is not too late, but it must begin on Memorial Day 2009.

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Apartments Planned For Sale Barn Site
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE — A proposal to build student apartments where the long-running livestock sale barn operates will come before the Fayetteville Planning Commission on Tuesday.
Before the 8.9-acre Washington County Sale Barn property can become a 192-unit apartment complex, the area has to be rezoned. Right now, most of the area is zoned for heavy commercial and light industrial uses. Campus Crest, a Charlotte, N.C.-based developer, wants to rezone the property as RMF-24 — the standard zoning for apartment complexes. Campus Crest plans to build less than 24 units per acre.
Fayetteville planning staff is not supportive of an RMF-24 zoning. However, multiuse development and multifamily housing could work here, officials say.
“It is staff’s opinion that the RMF-24 zoning district in this area would permit a development form that would be contrary to the city’s adopted land-use planning objectives and principles of City Plan 2025,” wrote Dara Sanders, a city planner, in her opinion to the commission.
In short, the city’s master plan wants development that’s more pedestrian-friendly.



Sale-barn vs student apartments vs National Cemetery

Washington County Auction Barn or 500 rooms for students next to Fayettevill National Cemetery for U.S. veterans

The Downtown General zoning district allows for the same uses as RMF-24 but is more likely to result in the types of traditional town planning building forms the city planners would like to see.
“Before public comment, we want it to be known that we are good with downtown general,” Dave Jorgensen, of Jorgensen and Associates, design firm for the project, told the commission during its agenda session Thursday.
“Though naturally, we have to work out a bunch of details, and we’ll do that,” he added.
Campus Crest met with Ward 1 residents in early April to answer questions and introduce the project.
Critiques included questions about whether Fayetteville needs more apartments. Residents at the Ward 1 meeting said, no, citing issues like increased traffic that come with concentrations of college students.
"I just don't think that this property is conducive to the neighborhood," said Michele Raine, a resident in the area, speaking during the April Ward 1 meeting.
Another resident, Scott Hill, said he’s not opposed to student housing or apartments, but said he is “opposed to the way they are built in Fayetteville.”
Hill urged developers to build student communities much like the Cotton District in Starkville, Miss., a leafy neighborhood where apartment buildings edge up next to narrow streets that are usually filled with bikes and pedestrians.
At A Glance
Zoning Designations
Downtown General
Permitted Uses: Single, double and three-family dwellings, offices, studios, eating establishments, neighborhood shopping locations and government facilities.
Density: No set density
Building Height: 56 feet
Permitted Uses: Single, double and multifamily dwellings.
Density: 24 units/acre
Building Height: 60 feet
Source: Staff Report
Meeting Information
Fayetteville Planning
When: 5:30 p.m., Tuesday
Where: Room 212, City Hall, 113 W. Mountain St.

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