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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy City of Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE -- A planned recreational vehicle resort north of Kessler Mountain will provide an amenity the city lacks, the project's founders say.

The Planning Commission on Monday voted 7-0 to approve a use permit allowing recreational vehicles and camping on about 7½ acres of a 30-acre plot at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hanshew Road. The permit sets in motion further steps needed to establish The Reserve at Mount Kessler.

Next meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 26

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

Business partners Larry Cole and Marc and Theresa Newman said the resort will serve as a high-end experience in a rustic setting. Information provided to city planners indicates the resort would have 99 lots for recreational vehicles, complete with access to electricity, water and sewer, Internet, a dining area, fire pit and room for parking.

Water features and native landscaping also would adorn the site. The resort will consist primarily of back-in and pull-through recreational vehicle spaces. A clubhouse will include an indoor meeting area and spa-like restrooms. A pavilion would adjoin. Resort-goers also could play shuffleboard, bocce ball, horseshoes and volleyball and would be in close proximity to walking and biking trails, including the Razorback Greenway.

The entire lot is owned by J.B. and Michelle Duggar. The resort planners said the next step for them will be to submit a detailed development plan to the city. The current owners will seek to rezone the entire 30-acre parcel to open it up for development. After those steps, the resort planners can purchase their section of the property from the Duggars.

A few neighbors cited concerns about access on narrow Hanshew Road when the item first came up on Jan. 22. The project's representatives clarified access to the property would come exclusively from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard by extending South Camellia Lane.

Commissioners also asked the project's planners to revise areas for tree preservation and clarify some development goals. Marc Newman told the commission the new plan includes an expanded tree easement. About 9 acres would be reserved for tree canopy, according to the plans. A second access point for emergency vehicles also was added east of the public entrance from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

In other business, the commission forwarded 7-0 a rezoning request for about 17 acres in the 2900 block of Mount Comfort Road. The request was to rezone from primarily single-family zoning to a higher-density mix of residential and agricultural zoning.

Pending proprietor Bart Bauer said he hopes to put about 40 houses on the site. About 7 acres on the southern end of the parcel would remain free from development to accommodate the floodplain.

Five neighbors spoke about the rezoning, mostly to ask questions. Kim Peters said she wanted to know more about access to the homes, and in particular, how the development would affect her neighborhood on Sauter Lane.

"We've been spoiled there for 16 years," she said. "We knew the development would come one day, and it's here now."

Former Planning Commissioner Janet Selby, who lives on Mount Comfort Road, also spoke, saying morning traffic there already backs up to near Rupple Road. The only way to head north onto Interstate 49 is from a left lane, she said.

"The infrastructure cannot handle that, if it's 10 units per acre for the whole thing," Selby said. "It simply cannot. There needs to be a solution for that before all of this development takes place."

The commission closed out with a discussion of potential changes to the city's ordinance on accessory dwelling units. No action was taken and the item was tabled until the next meeting.

Commissioners Leslie Belden and Zara Niederman were not in attendance Monday.

NW News on 02/13/2018

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