‘Wild West-Style Parking’?

‘Wild West-Style Parking’?

Planning Commission looks at FHS needs


At least 40 parking spaces have been secured for Fayetteville High School students for the remainder of the school year.

The Planning Commission on Nov. 13 approved two permits requesting off-site parking for FHS students at privately owned lots. Both sites have hosted parking for a number of years, and the items were approved 7-0. Commissioners Matt Johnson and Porter Winston were absent.

The two lots are both on the east side of Buchanan Avenue across from the high school. The one at 404 S. Buchanan Ave. is owned by Vance Arnold and has 15 spots for students. A gravel lot at 324 S. Buchanan Ave. is owned by Richard Grubbs and has space for about 25 student vehicles.

Fayetteville High School has about 1,000 parking spots for 150 employees and 2,000 students, according to city documents.

The city in August mailed letters to about 50 property owners near the high school telling them nonresidential parking in a residential area requires a permit from the Planning Commission. Staff had received complaints about off-site parking for high school students, prompting the letters.

Grubbs told commissioners he’s done what he can to help out the students. He said he installed a retaining wall twice at his property, and he has the students sign agreements saying they will be respectful and not litter or loiter.

It seems the School District is relying on off-site parking, Grubbs said. He said he hopes for a solution soon.

“I don’t live in Fayetteville, I don’t have any kids in Fayetteville, but I do know it’s a huge concern,” he said.

Each permit will expire at the end of the school year. After then, the property owners would have to reapply for parking to continue, Senior Planner Jonathan Curth said.

At that point, the city’s development requirements for parking lots would kick in. A gravel portion of Arnold’s lot and paving and lighting requirements for Grubbs’ lot would need to be looked at, Curth said.

Chairman Matt Hoffman said he was glad to see progress being made. Parking appeared to be an oversight in the planning process for the school, he said.

“It is a situation that does need to be rectified by the School District, and not surrounding neighbors with Wild West-style parking lots and drainage all over the place,” Hoffman said.

Two other permit requests for off-site parking near the high school have come through the commission. The first one, at 328 S. Duncan Ave., was denied in September with a 5-3 vote. Commissioners said allowing parking there congested an alley on the property, which other residences used as the sole access point.

The commission last month granted a permit for parking at 823 and 833 W. Stone St. by a 7-0 vote. The city hadn’t received any complaints about parking at the property.



In Other Action

Fayetteville’s Planning Commission met Nov. 13 and approved:

• Expanding a permit for music and off-site parking at JJ’s Beer Garden & Brewing Co., 3615 N. Steele Blvd. Performances will be allowed Thursday or Friday nights, with low-volume sound system performances from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

• Amending the planned zoning district at The Links, 3600 W. Player Lane, to accommodate 122 more apartments.

• Allowing the three curb cuts at the former IGA building, soon to be Ozark Natural Foods, near North College Avenue and Lafayette Street.

Categories: In The News