A CLOSER LOOK: Fayetteville officials aim for more affordable housing developments

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A proposed amendment could lead to the creation of more affordable homes in a popular Fayetteville area, Fayetteville officials say.

The proposed amendment would change Chapter 161.29 of the City Code. The change would reduce the minimum width of duplexes from 80 feet to 40 feet and the minimum width of triplexes and fourplexes from 90 feet to 40 feet, according to Garner Stoll, Fayetteville’s Development Services director.

The change would only apply to developments within the Neighborhood Conservation Zone. Stoll said the largest district in that zone is the area around Walker Park in South Fayetteville. He said the district in the Rupple Road area also fall in that zone.

“Right now to do a duplex, triplex or fourplex, you have to have an 80 [or 90] foot width for your lot. Your units are larger and you have to spend more money on your land,” Stoll said. “We’re trying to make it possible for the developer to build smaller, more affordable units.”

The Neighborhood Conservation Zone is designed to reflect traditional neighborhood development patterns, Stoll said.

“Developers will use [the minimum width change] to build smaller apartments rather than a big single family home. They’ll develop a smaller duplex rather than rezoning the property,” Stoll said. “I suspect they’ll be attractive to first-time renters.”

The change could lead to greater city infill, which Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams described as the development of more homes within the city instead of on its outskirts.

“The city council wants to avoid what is called urban sprawl, which is having neighborhoods on the edge town,” Williams said. “It’s part of our 2030 long range plan to have more infill and less urban sprawl.”

The change will not create maximum width restrictions. Currently, there is no maximum limit, Stoll said.

The City Council meets Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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