Saturday, July 21, 2007

West Fayetteville growth annoys some

The Fayetteville public hearings menu frequently includes much business concerning west Fayetteville. From Wedington Avenue four-laning to the city limit along west Highway 16 towards Lake Wedington to Planned Zoning Districts like Woodstock development, the region has begun to explode in terms of growth. Woodstock and the Lindsey development at the NE corner of Rupple and Wedington are moving along in the approval process with objections from Cross Keys Property Owners Association at a recent subdivision committee meeting according the the NWA Times, in a July 13 article. Fieldstone POA president expressed a displeasure at the prospect of "a new Dickson Street." The project includes 100,000 sf of commercial space and 382 residences along Wedington from 46th St. to Broyles Avenue, near the construction site of the new wastewater treatment facility built just to the south of the proposed development, according to the Morning News in a July 21 front-page article. The Lindsey development including a golf course and, I assume, the patented Lindsey fountain certain to contain a green coloring for the water, will include 604 apartment units, and a community park.

New businesses recently welcomed to the area are Hunan Manor and their wonderful new dish, Crab Rangoon (offered to expand the menu for the new building). The building is certainly a nice addition to the west side of 540 along Wedington. Over the past few years, Harps has opened a store, Penguin Ed's, at the interesection of Double Springs and Wedington after the Boar's Nest, owned by proprietors of Willy D's on Dickson, Picasso's, and Taco Bell across from Sonic on Colorado. Banks have found their way en masse to the area, with Bank of the Ozarks located near the Arkansas National Bank and the Arvest Bank. Bank of Fayetteville has a branch and Metropolitan National Bank on the SE corner of Rupple and Wedington seems poise to open very soon. Ozarks Electirc seems to be planning an expansion on their lot, asking for approval of a rezoning of 44.36 acres from RA/RO to I-1, Heavy Commercial/Light Industrial status. New streets in some of the new subdivisions are bizarre at best, with an area along Meadowlands named after Englis-language poets such as Tennyson, Wordsworth, and Keats. Just to the west of that development is a subdivision with golf-themed names for its streets, though the closest golf courses are in Farmington and along Deane Solomon, but Lindsey's development hopes to remedy that problem. Mulligan, Flagstick, and Wedge are some of those street names.

The northwest quadrant is certainly experiencing its share of growth near the Deane Solomon course to all sides. Sam's Club is to be relocated this fall to Garland Ave./Highway 112 across from Fayetteville Auto Park and talk of building a new high school for Fayetteville school district would certainly stamp that part of the city as the champion of growth in the city limit and all of Sam's tax revenues will be for the Fayetteville schools, unlike the area of the NWA Mall. Construction from the Mall of an improved Van Asche cutting all the way to 112 from Gregg Ave. is certainly going to open the flood gates of growth in the area.

The vicinity near Clabber Creek has a new trail section and plenty of its own growing pains as developers try to open heretofore dead-end streets for use by their new developments, thus bringing much despised high traffic counts to the neighborhood. The new Owl Creek elementary caused a fire-storm of opposition by community elementary school proponents in Fayetteville, and the possible relocation of the high school to the NW quadrant of the city has heated the same opposition. The city chimed in that it would like to see the high school to remain near the UA campus. School boards are free of city constraint, however, so not much can be done by the city council.

As growth seems to slow down statistically, not much evidence of that is to be found in west Fayetteville, though there are still many unsold new structures in the area and new starts on residential construction are certainly slowed. The Rupple Row development across from the Boys and Girls Club seems to be progressing steadily. The development from the west side of Rupple Road to the north of Wedington to the end of Patrick St. has only a few new constructions behind Plum Tree Ave. homes.

West Fayetteville is set to explode within ten years and no one will recognize the place. I hope we can do a better job of managing the sprawl than cities of the past who experienced similar growing pains . New connections to Farmington from Wedington to Highway 62 will change the complexion of the are particularly if Mountain Ranch development ever gets fully off the ground. I hope we're all happy with the result, but past anecdotes of this sort of change are rarely all good.


Blogger Dustin Weber said...

Perhaps you can help me figure out what the new development is on Rupple road directly north of Boys & Girls club?

There's been a lot of truck traffic recently on Rupple Road and a major amount of dirt work. What's this project going to be and where can I find more information about it?

Also, how far off is a Rupple Road to 6th street expansion in 'reality'?

Dustin Weber

11:33 AM  

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