Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Barbara Moorman shares thoughts on the future of the long proposed Southpass project with readers of the NW Arkansas list

NW Arkansas list --

Tonight the City Council will consider a "thank you" message to Chambers Bank for the soccer fields and water tank parcels.

I believe the entire approved plan for the 800 acres of "Southpass" may still be legally allowable.

I've seen the graphix version of what was/is planned. It's colorful. It's available from the city. The megalomania that underpins it is frightening.

I think that if the Planning Department, Council, and Mayor don't wipe the slate clean now while they have a chance, and if the soccer fields go in and the PZD or similar zoning stays on the books, many people will have regrets over increased traffic congestion, higher taxes, skimping on true community and neighborhood parks around town, lost potential in general. (To say nothing of harm to wetlands, plant communities, birds and other animals who live there now.)

Some in the city would like Fayetteville to appear "green". The one thing I'm absolutely sure of is that attracting traffic from all over this region to a site that right now is relatively rural, is not a "green" move. Right now the City's trying to get its "green" label from a Big Green organization touting native habitat. If the city were truly inclined toward green-ness it would see that the habitat is there right now and, unless the city makes some preemptive move now, speculators and the sports and tourist industries will be able to diminish or destroy it.

Even when, as now, the economic climate may not be conducive to real estate speculation, there is always the temptation for the city to embark on money-making projects that prove in the long term to have been foolish or counter-productive, especially when natural features are lost.

I hope the city will put present plans on hold and rezone much of that area for natural habitat maintenance/restoration before anyone is allowed to move in with development of any kind.

Barbara Moorman

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