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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/STACY RYBURN Mayor Lioneld Jordan (left) looks on Tuesday as council member Justin Tennant reviews a rezoning request for about 24 acres at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hanshew Road in Fayetteville. The council left the item on its first reading.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A development incorporating its rustic surroundings could go in along a stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Kessler Mountain, the property's rezoning applicants said Tuesday.

The City Council left on its first reading a request to rezone about 24 acres southwest of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hanshew Road to an urban thoroughfare district. Three council members -- Sarah Marsh, Matthew Petty and John La Tour -- weren't present Tuesday.

The wooded acreage slopes up from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the elevations of Kessler Mountain. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar own the whole 31-acre parcel. About 8½ acres of the total, mostly on the southern end of the property boundary, would be dedicated as a tree preservation area.

About 7½ acres in the center of the property would be used for a luxury recreational vehicle resort. The Planning Commission in February approved a use permit for the resort, billed as a high-end experience in a rustic setting.

Any development would go primarily on the northern property boundary line along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Tom Joseph with Griffin Commercial Real Estate said the idea is to keep as much of a natural setting as possible within a commercial development.

"Our vision is not to get fast food. We want to do sit-down, thematic, natural restaurants," he said. "There would be a pond developed up front. People would come if they're riding their bikes or hiking. It blends in."

Next meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. June 5

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

Other items

Fayetteville’s City Council also approved:

• Accepting a $15,000 donation from Benjamin and Jane Hunt Meade to the Yvonne Richardson Community Center Summer Fun4Kids Program.

• Razing a dilapidated house at 1946 N. College Ave., near the former Gypsy and Dart Room building.

Source: Staff report

Joanna Person-Michener, who lives near the property, asked the council questions about preserving the natural area within the rezoned portion.

"On Hoot Owl Lane we actually get to hear hoot owls," she said.

City Attorney Kit Williams said any development plans for a specific site will have to come before the Planning Commission and the public will have an opportunity to comment then. An ordinance change the council adopted last month makes it so developers can't clear out trees before a site plan is approved.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan recommended leaving the item on its first reading so more council members and the public could weigh in during another meeting.

"I've got to admit I've got a few questions about the urban forestry there," he said.

NW News on 05/16/2018

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Print Headline: Council considers rezoning wooded area

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