A development of commercial and townhouses is coming to the land across 85 from the Fayetteville Lowe’s following a rezoning approval at Thursday night’s city council meeting.
The rezoning will see the roughly 35-acre plot split into 14.3 acres fronting 85 as commercial and 21.4 acres behind that becoming residential for up to 68 townhouses. The townhouses will be made of either masonry or hardie plank with rear-entry garages and likely starting in the $250,000 price range.
Councilman Rich Hoffman saw the biggest drawback on the project as a lack of a concrete assurance that the town houses will happen. Currently, the developers say they cannot work on the residential side until they have the capital from the commercial portion.
“We don’t need more commercial without townhomes,” Hoffman said. “We desperately need townhomes in the price range that you’re talking about., and that’s the only thing that makes me really interested in this project to be perfectly honest with you.”
The Planning & Zoning Commission had recommended denying the request because it does not fit with the city’s land use plan that calls for medium density on the plot. Hoffman, who was on the land use plan steering committee, acknowledged that it should have been reconsidered during the process.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you, we screwed up on this piece of property,” he said, noting that the property had seen no action in 20-plus years zoned for single family residential. “If somebody was going to build it for a residential construction, they would’ve already done it.”
The decision is part of preparing for a future Fayetteville with shifting demographics. Hoffman, who has lived in the city since 1979, said that the “dream” has changed since he moved in as prospective residents wanted three to five acre lots.
“Fifteen years ago, if you had said apartments, someone would’ve taken you out on the courthouse lawn and shot you,” he said. “The people that are moving here today don’t want that.
“We don’t have places for the people who want to move here right now that will make this city better than it is, because they don’t want what we want. We have to look at it differently. We have to look at it progressively.”
Council unanimously approved the rezoning request.