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Fayetteville's failures now an excuse for adding taxes

I just received a postcard from Fayetteville outlining the city's proposal for "avoiding future drainage issues" and for "sustainable funding for stormwater management."

The argument goes something like this: When a building is built and a driveway is constructed, rainwater that would normally be absorbed into the ground is shed by the roof of the building and driveway and creates drainage problems.

Unstated in this reasoned argument is the very direct role played by the City Council in creating the problem. City management is aggressively pursuing a policy of increased density of housing and hard surfaces within the city limits. They refer to it as infill. Simply drive around our city and one will immediately see row after row of apartment buildings and parking lots. Acres of hard surface with no possibility of water absorption.

Building lots for houses of 3,000 square feet and up are commonly ¼ acre or less in size. This leaves room for only a tiny green space. Setbacks and clearances are reduced. Housing developments are packed into areas once appreciated for the wildlife and nature it provided. Approvals are given for the destruction of large old-growth trees which are then replaced by 8-foot-tall twigs.

The City Council is eliminating green space inside the city limits with its infill strategy while also increasing taxes because of the loss of green space resulting from its own infill strategy.

In spite of the recent approval by voters of the city's Drainage Improvement Plan, which will cost taxpayers $15.8 million, the city is immediately coming back for another bite out of our wallets. A new fee/tax will be assessed on all property owners. The size of the tax will be determined by the size of your home. For example, a 1,500-square-foot home will cost you over $60 a year. With over 20,000 homes, hundreds of commercial buildings and apartments, Fayetteville will collect over $3 million in new taxes every single year.

It's time for this money grab and social engineering scheme to end. To the City Council: Stop the compaction of housing and get out of our pockets. This is neither the Fayetteville I once knew nor the one I want it to become.

Dick Vertz


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