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News for October 21, 2021

Arkansas City Council Tables Proposed Campground For Bicyclists Over Bathroom Concerns

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On Tuesday, the Springdale City Council tabled the approval of a camping area for bicyclists and asked for more information from the developer, a report said.

Council members shared residents’ concerns that there are no bathrooms planned for the development.

The Planning Commission recently (October 5) rejected a plan submitted by Zach Brothers for a primitive camping area close to Fitzgerald Mountain trails. Brothers appealed the decision to the city council.

A council vote of 5-3 was taken to consider Brothers appeal. The council then decided to put the issue for further consideration, asking for additional details from Brothers. The council will be considering the camp during its next meeting on Monday.

Jeff Watson, Kevin Flores, Brian Powell, Mike Lawson, and Amelia Williams (Brothers’ sister-in-law) voted to hear the appeal.

Brothers of Brothers Rentals owns 6 acres at 1851 Bitter Lane, about a quarter-mile to the north of the mountain’s parking lot and trailhead along Dodd Avenue.

Brothers has plans for three primitive camping sites with six parking spaces and two parking spaces for recreational vehicles (RVs) of 30 feet or less in Fitzgerald Mountain Camp. The parking spaces won’t come with hookups.

The campsite’s use will also be limited to 20 guests at the same time.

Brothers had planned initially to have no toilets for the campsite, suggesting campers could utilize the restrooms at Bayyari Park, a quarter-mile from the trail. He also thought about the possibility of an “outhouse” with a portable toilet. Brothers also planned that campers “pack it out” of the campsite, as they’d be expected to dispose of the trash.

Brothers claimed that bicyclists and campers who frequented “primitive” campgrounds were familiar with the procedure.

Chad Wolf, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, stated that the bathroom facilities at the park were unlocked all night except during cold temperatures. The department locks and closes the bathrooms in parks across the city and is heating the buildings to keep the fixtures and pipes from freezing.

Janet Hayley, a resident of Dodd Avenue in Springdale city (Arkansas), also talked about her new septic tank, which her family spent several thousand dollars on to construct last year as per the city’s requirement. Permitting the campground to run without bathroom facilities was unjust, she said.

“His business will bring in dollars for him, but the city of Springdale will pay for the power, the water, the toilet paper, and someone to clean the bathrooms,” Ramona Latham, another Dodd resident, added.

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

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