Tunes To Come?

Tunes To Come?

City, venue to hash out music request


Representatives of a planned venue south of downtown Fayetteville, planning commissioners and city staff will work over the next few weeks to fine-tune a request for outdoor, amplified music.

The Planning Commission voted 8-0 at a July 8 meeting to table a permit request for Prairie Street Live at 509 W. Prairie St. The permit would allow outdoor music up to three times a week. Possible hours vary depending on the day.

Jason Wright with Modus Studio, representing owner April Lee and her family, said the business team agreed with planning staff to table the item until Aug. 12 to further work out the proposal. In the meantime, planning staff and business representatives will try to nail down a plan for sound, customer and parking management, he said.

“The one thing we want to make sure we do as a design team and ownership team is move forward with a plan that works for as many people as possible, especially those who live in the neighborhood,” Wright said.

As requested, outdoor music would end at 8:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. on Thursday or 11 p.m. Friday. For Saturday, the business proposes a 1 p.m to 6 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. window. Sunday’s proposed hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The application also asks for up to 12 concerts each year tied to events such as Bikes, Blues & BBQ and Razorback football games.

Two residents spoke July 8 citing concerns over potential noise. Natasha Nelson, who lives west of the property, said the business held a sound test for neighbors. The sound was extremely loud with speakers facing east, she said. Douglas Howard, who owns a rental property in the area, said the permit should be provisional based on the satisfaction of the neighbors.

Commissioners asked to have a tour scheduled to hear music played at the site. Sound decibels can be measured, but the impact from the sound and how it resonates through the neighborhood is less quantifiable, Commissioner Porter Winston said.

“I’m excited about the project, I think it’s a great project,” he said. “But infill is tricky, sound is tricky. That’s how I want to approach this — with all of us being on the ground and working with the applicant to figure out what’s going to work, what could work, taking our time with it. I think time spent on the front of this is probably better than time after it.”

Lee has said the idea is to bring a park-like, family friendly atmosphere to a growing part of town. Frisco Trail runs immediately west, and the spot lies within the southern boundary of the arts corridor voters approved in April.

In other business, the commission unanimously forwarded to the City Council an update of the trails plan. The update includes several changes as recommended by the Active Transportation Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the council’s Transportation Committee. The plan is regularly updated as the city grows.

About a handful of residents spoke against development of the proposed Sublett Creek trail running through part of the Brooks-Hummel nature preserve west of Evelyn Hills Shopping Center. Trails coordinator Matt Mihalevich said the trail has been in the city’s plans since 2003, but its inclusion in the bond program likely attracted attention.

The nearly 14-acre conservation area is under an easement to protect it from development. The city owns the land, and the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association oversees the easement.

The plan proposes building Sublett Creek trail as a connection for bicycles and pedestrians from Poplar Street and College Avenue east to Mission Boulevard and Old Wire Road. Assistant City Attorney Blake Pennington said the easement specifies any trail at the property be compatible with a city nature park.


Other items

Fayetteville’s Planning Commission approved or forwarded to the City Council:

• A permit allowing construction of a parking lot at 965 S. Razorback Road to serve a future seven-story student housing complex.

• Rezoning about 3 acres at Rupple Road and Faith Street for an additional phase of the Sloanbrooke subdivision.

• Rezoning less than an acre at Huntsville Road and Sherman Avenue for residential small business development.

• Rezoning about 11 acres east of Sain Street from Front Street for mixed-use development.

— Source: Staff report

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