Residential input sought on Cobblestone zoning

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Oak Brook subdivision residents filled Fayetteville City Hall in Jan. 2015 to oppose the rezoning of a six-acre undeveloped tract of land adjacent to their neighborhood. (Staff Photo by Danny Harrison)

City of Fayetteville leaders are asking residents of an east side neighborhood for input on whether or not the city should revert the zoning of a six-acre tract of land that was meant to be developed last year as a condominium community.

Mesa Capital Partners early last year was granted a rezoning but has done nothing with the property, which is located along Cobblestone Boulevard behind the BP gas station that fronts Hwy. 54 east. According to city ordinances, rezonings that go unused are subject to being reversed after a one-year time period. The idea is to minimize what is known as “prospective rezoning,” which essentially means having a property rezoned solely to increase its resale value.

As it turns out, Mesa Capital Partners, which at one point had threatened to sue the City of Fayetteville if a rezoning request was denied, indeed sold the property without making any sort of improvements to it except to have it rezoned.

According to city hall staff, the property was sold in June of this year to Memphis, Tennessee-based Fogelan Properties. A letter dated Oct. 12 from Senior Vice President Kevin Jackson told city leaders they “will not be pursuing the previous owner’s development plans,” but he said they would prefer the city leave the property zoned RMF-15 (Multi-Family Residential) as it is now.

City hall staffers have told Fayetteville City Council members they should make their decision carefully, because they don’t have to revert the zoning to its previous C-3 (Highway Commercial) designation, and if they did it could open the door to some rather intense uses, including grocery stores with loading docks and dumpsters in the back, which could be bothersome to neighbors, and especially to the ones living in Oak Brook.

City Manager Ray Gibson suggested that Oak Brook residents weigh in by signing petitions to indicate their wishes before the Dec. 1 meeting.

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About

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.


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