Commission OKs plan for senior-targeted residences in west Fayetteville

A drawing shows a preliminary plan for a subdivision southwest of Owl Creek school in Fayetteville. (Courtesy/Fayetteville)
A drawing shows a preliminary plan for a subdivision southwest of Owl Creek school in Fayetteville. (Courtesy/Fayetteville)

FAYETTEVILLE -- A residential development targeting residents 55 and older on the west side of town gained Planning Commission approval Monday despite concerns from neighbors over potential flooding issues.

Commissioners approved 8-0 a preliminary plan for a 54-lot residential development on 35 acres southwest of Owl Creek school on Rupple Road. Most of the property lies within a floodplain with a protected stream running through. The Sloanbrooke subdivision also lies to the southwest of the property.

The plan shows residential lots surrounding a circular loop of a street stemming from Rupple Road. A 12-foot-wide trail is proposed north of the lots. An additional lot would feature a detention pond and clubhouse.

Three neighbors in Sloanbrooke spoke to the commission expressing concerns over potential flooding issues. Robert Kaelin said he worried developing the property would result in water pushing south. Christopher Whitson said any additional displacement of water could push the boundary of the flood area into his and his neighbors' properties.

Mark Marquess with Riverwood Homes said the property considered Monday was never part of the Sloanbrooke subdivision. He said the property is under contract as a separate parcel. The Sloanbrooke development dedicated 20 acres to the city to use for a trail from Rupple Road to Broyles Avenue, he said. The property considered for Monday's discussion has had extensive flooding studies done, he said.

Marquess described the intended development as targeting residents 55 and older with lawn care and maintenance provided. Homes would have fire sprinklers installed, said Justin Jorgensen with Jorgensen and Associates, the engineering firm on the project.

Commissioners decided the plan met city requirements and therefore it needed to be approved. Jimm Garlock asked questions about developments within the floodplain. Josh Boccaccio, staff engineer, said the city has additional requirements such as building above floodplain elevation and water quality standards. Additional Army Corps of Engineer requirements also would apply if any wetlands are found on the property, he said.

Also on Monday's agenda were a pair of separate permit applications for short-term rentals. One of them, at the northwest corner of Fifth Street and Locust Avenue, was for a six-unit apartment building and was submitted by StayNWA. The complex lies north of Walgreens on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The other request was for several residences on half an acre on Gregg Avenue west of the Fay Jones woods downtown. The request came from Mallory Kurtz.

Both requests were to use the properties as Type II short-term rentals, which are those not occupied by a permanent resident. No more than 10% of dwellings within a multifamily property can be used as a short-term rental. However, properties within a horizontal property regime are exempt from that restriction. Both properties were exempted from the 10% cap because of that.

The requests marked the first two applications to come to the Planning Commission since the City Council adopted regulations for short-term rentals in April 2021. The deadline for property owners to apply for a permit without a hearing before the Planning Commission expired in May.

Commissioners approved both permits 7-0. No one from the public spoke.

Commissioner Sarah Sparkman was absent from Monday's meeting. Joseph Holcomb left before the short-term rental discussions.

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Commission action

Fayetteville’s Planning Commission met Monday and approved:

• Allowing a future Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas chiropractic center at the northeast corner of Millennium Drive and Joyce Boulevard to have 85 parking spaces rather than the allowed maximum of 47.

• A preliminary plan for 69 residential lots on 51 acres on Dead Horse Mountain Road, west of Stonebridge Meadows golf course.

Source: Fayetteville


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