Fayetteville city officials are exploring the possibility of acquiring the North Elk Avenue property that was once the home of Sir’s Fabrics, a store that had served the community as well as much of the Southeast since 1948 until it was destroyed by fire just over a year ago.
During the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s May work session, officials discussed the idea of acquiring the property and asked that an appraisal be done on the lot located at 110 Elk Ave. N. The asking price on the property is $150,000, officials said, noting that the county tax card has it valued at $79,300. They also noted that a considerable amount of drainage work has been done to the large lot since the fire.
“The Sir’s property, being right there off the square, would represent a really good opportunity for us,” said Alderman Jeff Alder, adding that he believes it is worth the board’s consideration. “There are a lot of different things that could be done with that property, and with it being that close to the square, it could be used for something really good for us.”
“I’m okay with this,” said Alderman Danny Bryant. “I think it’s prime property for the city if retail is not going to build on it.”
Noting that it could be used as green space, a park area, or a combination of those, Mayor Michael Whisenant agreed, as he asked that an appraisal be done. Officials indicated that they would like to receive the appraisal in time for the board’s June work session. The city is also expected to reach out to the property’s owners prior to that meeting.
Officials discussed a draft ordinance for mobile food vendors, or food trucks, that are increasing in prevalence here in Fayetteville as well as across the region.
The city code doesn’t currently address or regulate mobile food vending, but officials have expressed concern, saying opportunities for such vendors should be provided and that regulations are needed to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
A draft ordinance presented to the board in the work session is a more streamlined version of an ordinance previously eyed by the board, and it will likely change more as it is considered in committee. In addition to food trucks, the proposed ordinance would also apply to such vendors as canteen trucks and ice cream trucks.
According to discussion, mobile food vendors, including those operating on private property, currently acquire “portable food stand” permits from the city, and if the current municipal code were to be amended with something like the proposed ordinance, they would transition to the mobile food vendor permit.
“I think they’re going to continue operating pretty much as they are already,” said City Attorney John Hill, noting that the permits would be renewed on an annual basis. In instances of special events – such as Host of Christmas Past, Slawburger Festival, Downtown Fayetteville Cruzin’ or a Food Truck Rally – the organization planning the event would apply for a special event permit which would allow for food trucks and the like, according to discussion.
“I would suggest some fine tuning,” said the mayor, adding that while the draft ordinance is a good start, additional input should be gathered as the proposed ordinance continues to be refined.
Recorded work sessions
In other discussion, the board has asked that Fayetteville Public Utilities record future work sessions of the board for viewing on the utilities system’s Channel 6 and on its website. That is expected to begin with the board’s June work session.
The objective is to increase transparency, officials have said. Recording the meetings will require the board to meet in the auditorium of the municipal building as opposed to its multi-purpose room due to the sound system available there.
What won’t be recorded will be reports given by the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board, officials said, citing the confidential nature of information pertaining to prospects. Those reports, given by the FLCIDB’s executive director, will be made prior to the camera being turned on.