Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2005 entry on old Website offers story and photos with slideshow of area proposed for development as Riverwalk Phase I

The absurdity of building a conventional housing subdivision with slab foundations, curb-and-guttered streets and such on this wetland is so obvious that the plan before the Fayetteville Planning Commission should be totally revised to deal with reality.
So many problems were brought up during two subdivision-committee meetings in July that the plan had been drawn up by people who had never walked the land.
The Corps of Engineers may not call this jurisdictional wetland. I have not read a report on that subject from the corps.
However, the corps will tell anyone who asks that the city can make its own stronger rules for wetland protection.
It is time for Fayetteville to make its own provisions for wetland protection as part of protecting the Beaver Lake watershed and the Lake Tenkiller watershed.
The city needs a full-time wetland delineator to see that the watershed is protected to the maximum possible and to document every bit of seasonal wetland in the city and make that information available to all in order to allow developers from purchasing wetland with the expectation of building in ways that would reduce the pollution-prevention and stormwater-management value of the existing land.
In fact, every person appointed to the planning commission and everyone working for the planning department and the engineering department in a professional capacity ought to be trained to recognize and understand wetland and its significance.
When the budget improves to the point of being able to HIRE new employees, the first hire should be a wetland delineator with a background in biology and stream ecology and a decade of experience in dealing with seasonal wetland in an area of karst geology such as Northwest Arkansas.

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