In a speedy meeting Thursday night, the Fayetteville City Council set about applying the brakes, temporarily, to annexations and some development. In three separate agenda items, Council approved moratoriums on annexation requests, Planned Community District Zoning, and Highway Corridor Overlay District development.
Director of Community Development Jahnee Prince presented the three moratorium proposals, all approved unanimously by the present council members.
Citing a need for time for continued discussions to streamline the process, there will be a 90-day moratorium on annexation requests from the city.
“As we know, annexations have been a delicate issue between the City of Fayetteville and Fayette County,” Prince said. “The city and county have begun discussions that will make the process go a little smoother.”
The annexation issued had been bubbling up lately, and recently came to a head. At their August 9 meeting, the County Board of Commissioners was set to oppose a pair of annexation requests from the city.
The first request would have annexed 101 acres on Callaway Road and Holt Road to develop 123 single-family lots. The second was for 20 acres on Helen Sams Pkway and South Jeff Davis Drive for 46 single-family lots.
The City of Fayetteville rescinded those requests, and City Manager Ray Gibson said they are working with the county on a solution to their differences, one that he said hopefully won’t take the full 90 days to reach.
Popular recently among developers for its flexibility in mixed-use developments, Planned Community District (PCD) zoning applications will be put on hold while staff works on a permanent plan.
As part of staff’s continued work rewriting all city ordinances pertaining to developing land, the plan is to bring a brand new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) before Council some time next year. While staff works through that process, Prince asked for, and received, a six-month moratorium on all PCD zoning applications.
“The UDO is likely to be significantly different from our current code, and we want to make sure that all of the development proposals that are coming forward now are consistent with the new code and comprehensive plan,” she said.
The third moratorium is an extension of one put in place in early July. Now, all zoning actions and site development plans within the city’s Highway Corridor Overlay District will be on hold until October 5. It’s all about ensuring the city has controls in place to encourage the desired types of development in the overlay district, which includes State Highways 85, 54, 92, 314, and Jimmie Mayfield.
At their July 24 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission tabled proposed amendments to zoning for the district for further review. Extending the city’s moratorium will allow time for both P&Z and staff to continue discussions on the best way to move forward.
“We’re doing this because we are working on some changes to our code,” said Prince. “Immediate changes, not longterm changes, ones that we can put in place right now to make sure that in our commercial districts we’re getting the type of development that we want to see.”