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Posted 1/10/05
Aubrey's Notebook:
Last Chance To Question Wetland Development In Town Branch Watershed
Third Reading, Final Approval Of Aspen Ridge Planned Zoning District January 18

The Fayetteville City Council is to take up the Aspen Ridge development project on its third reading at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 18, 2005, on the second floor of City Hall on Mountain Street.

The council heard the first reading and voted to suspend the rule requiring readings at three separate meetings and passed the item on second reading but a majority voted to delay the third reading from the Jan. 4 meeting until Jan. 18 to allow time for further study.

The main concern that a representative of the Town Branch Neighborhood Association raised was that the five buildings, streets and sidewalks on the southeastern portion of the site between 11th and 6th streets and west of Hill Avenue would reduce the ability of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River to overflow and thus increase the danger of flooding downstream.

Another was that the southwestern exit from the site along an as-yet-unbuilt portion of Brooks Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street would bring traffic out to South Duncan Avenue only a block south of the 11th Street exit. People in the neighborhood had hoped that negotiation involving the city, the developer and officials of Pinnacle Foods would result in the Brooks extension running to 15th Street.

Little time is allotted for the public to speak at Council meetings, so it is important that the neighbors attend the Jan. 18 meeting and bring up questions they may have about other details of the project.

At subdivision committee and Planning Commission meetings where the project plans were approved and passed along to the council, the planners and commissioners also had little time to allow comment and pointed out that the neighbors would have the chance to speak before the council.

The fact is that, as the crush of new development grows, less and less attention is given before approval, with the planning staff expected to provide recommendations so that neither the commission nor the council will have to spend time learning the details or implications of the projects.


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Aubrey James Shepherd
Fayetteville, AR © 2003, 2004, 2005

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