Citing a need to get its hands around earlier annexations, the Fayetteville City Council denied an annexation application for 22 acres at the intersection of Helen Sams Pkwy and South Jeff Davis Dr.

Currently, the property is zoned for Single Family Residential and includes a 2,133 square foot dwelling and a 1,197 square foot barn. The conceptual site plan calls for a 46-lot subdivision with a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet at a density of no more than 1.75 units per acre.

The application has been in the pipeline for some time, but it was delayed by the city’s annexation request moratorium. The annexation application was filed in July 2018, and the applicant elected to revise their zoning request the next month. In the interim, the City put its annexation moratorium in place on August 16, 2018, and it lasted until March 21, 2019.

Councilmember Kathaleen Brewer asked why not look at already-available property.

“We need to first fill up what we have in the city before we annex anymore,” she said.

Donovan Gossett, with the applicant Gossett Group Development and property owner Donna Scott, explained why they were seeking annexation into the city rather than developing on land already in Fayetteville.

“The reason for this is it’s surrounded by the city already, and the water and sewer is within 50 feet of the property,” he said.

Councilmember Rich Hoffman expressed hesitation at approving a new annexation application with a number of already-approved annexations in the pipeline.

“While I see your point that city limits are on a couple sides of your property, I really have a deep concern about over-taxing our infrastructure with regards to water, sewer, roads, etc.” he said. “In recent months we have approved a 129-unit subdivision south of town, a 225-unit mixed-use project in downtown, and a 270-unit complex at Grady and Beauregard, so honestly, personally with that in mind, I would have to vote against the annexation.”

Councilmember Paul Oddo agreed.

“I would be hesitant to approve any further annexation until we can assimilate what we do have,” he said.

The annexation application was denied unanimously.

There is no set time frame before the developers can apply again, but Mayor Ed Johnson advised against re-applying until the city has a better idea what burdens will be faced from the build out of already approved annexations, a process that could take years.

“The Council has looked at the annexation process, and that’s one of the reasons why we did the moratorium, so we could get a handle on not only annexation but also our ability to handle infrastructure,” he said. “I’m personally not sure that we want to make this big of a leap right now until we see what is already in the city that is potentially ready for development.”