Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Council OKs Money For Arts Festival

Council OKs Money For Arts Festival; Delays Development Decisions

Last updated Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:11 AM CDT in News

By Dan Craft
The Morning News

FAYETTEVILLE - The City Council approved $35,000 to help pay for the annual Fayetteville Arts Festival. Organizers said the festival wouldn't happen without the money.

"So the city council sees nothing wrong with TAKING money from the taxpayers to fund this boondoggle arts fest. Perhaps the city of Fayetteville should look at getting the city council under control."

"Taxpayers are more concerned about storm water drainage then the MISUSE of taxpayers funds".

The council delayed action on three large development proposals.

Council members had additional questions about Hill Place, a 288-unit student housing complex; Bridgedale Plaza, a mixed-use development including a self-storage facility; and the Forest Hills mixed-use plan that incorporates a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

Neighbors questioned whether Hill Place, off Sixth Street in south-central Fayetteville, had adequately addressed drainage and stormwater concerns.

Developers of the project, on the site of the aborted Aspen Ridge proposal, "have done their best to put a Band-Aid on the hemorrhage that was Aspen Ridge, but there are still issues," said neighborhood resident Jennifer Creole.

The 27-acre site would be marketed to University of Arkansas students from the nearby campus, said Todd Jacobs, the project designer.

Bridgedale Plaza is proposed as a mixed-use development off Huntsville Road in southeast Fayetteville. The 16-acre site would combine commercial space, duplexes, houses and a storage facility.

Planners supported all aspects of the project except the storage, said Jeremy Pate, long-range planner.

Neighbors have been divided about the project.

Forest Hills, on appeal after being denied by the Planning Commission, envisions a mix of townhomes, duplexes, homes, commercial space and a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on 80 acres off Wedington Drive.

Officials wanted more information on how the big-box store could be located in a mixed-use area without affecting neighborhood connectivity.

All three issues will be considered again at the next council meeting June 3.

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