Rolling Hills rezoning proposal taken off Fayetteville council agenda

Posted: March 3, 2018 at 1:08 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/STACY RYBURN A sign from a group pushing to maintain the character of Rolling Hills Drive and its surrounding neighborhoods in Fayetteville is seen Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. City officials hosted a discussion about the area with neighbors at Rolling Hills Baptist Church.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A controversial rezoning will be pulled from the City Council's agenda Tuesday.

The rezoning of about 20 acres east of Rolling Hills Drive will be sent to the Planning Commission because of a deficiency in the application, according to a news release from the city.


The Planning Commission will discuss how Rolling Hills Drive is classified in the city’s 2030 plan.

When: 5:30 p.m. March 12

Where: Room 219, City Hall, 113 W. Mountain St.

Source: Staff Report

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Development Services Director Garner Stoll said the applicant didn't address in the paperwork the proposed zoning's compatibility with surrounding zoning and land uses. The item will be pulled from the agenda and sent back to the Planning Commission once the applicant has provided the information, he said.

No public comment or other action about this matter will occur at Tuesday's council meeting.

"That's been the practice for years," he said. "It's just something that hasn't been caught."

Stoll said department heads will examine applications closer to ensure all necessary information is filled out. No issues were found in applications pertaining to other council agenda items coming up Tuesday.

Future applications will be subject to the change in the practice, Stoll said.

Several residents have spoken out against the rezoning proposal near Butterfield Trail Elementary School and the inclusion of an expanded and extended Rolling Hills Drive on the city's overall street plan.

The rezoning proposal would allow a slightly higher density of homes than the current zoning does.

Inclusion of an extended Rolling Hills Drive to Crossover Road and its classification on the city's 2030 plan is a separate issue.

The city held a heated public gathering Feb. 22 addressing several issues associated with the plans. City Attorney Kit Williams said questions that came up during the meeting about why fields were left blank on the application prompted Mayor Lioneld Jordan to examine how city code relates to planning documents.

A section of the code written nearly 50 years ago says an applicant has to identify the piece of land he wants to rezone, what type of rezoning he wants and how the proposed changes would not conflict with the surrounding land use, Williams said. Planning documents can change with the staff over the years, but the city code sets the rules, he said.

The applicant can address the compatibility issue with a sentence on the application or somewhere in the letter to the city, Williams said.

The appeal period for rezonings expires after 30 days, Williams said. That means the appeal period for a previous rezoning the council approved in July for another 10 acres on the same wooded area of land has expired.

Williams said he plans to submit a revision of the city code dealing with requirements for planning documents to the City Council soon.

NW News on 03/03/2018