FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFM) — Plans to add homes and businesses in Fayetteville have some residents upset. They say they’re afraid it will ruin the natural beauty of Markham Hill.
Homeowners have been walking the trails of Markham Hill for decades, something they fear will change if the area is developed.
“I think it’s wonderful that more families are coming here because it’s a great place to live but I don’t think we need to destroy an existing green space for them to have a place to live," homeowner Theresa Delaplaine said.
Green signs that read 'Save Markham Hill' are scattered around the neighborhood.
“The multi-development aspect of that does not appeal and doesn’t fit with the rest of the residential area and would cause destruction of the natural habitat," Tamara Trzeciak said.
Last week, the Fayetteville Planning Commission approved phase one of the projects by developer Specialized Real Estate Group to build 26 single-family units near the intersection of Markham Road and Cross Avenue.
“These homes will fit seamlessly into this neighborhood. Markham hill has had homes built on it for over 100 years and so this is really continuing that tradition," said Sara King, Specialized Real Estate Group Communications Manager.
Other phases of the project include retail space and expansion of the Pratt Place Inn.
The developer says they plan to create a conservation community in Northwest Arkansas.
“The Markham Hill property that specialized real estate group owns is 144 acres and of that 70 acres will not be developed at all. It will be preserved as open space," King said.
Homeowners remain unconvinced though.
“There’s a lot of history here at Markham Hill that involves a lot of conservation and it was their intention to preserve the woods and the property," Katie Simon of Fayetteville said.
Homeowners say despite the project moving forward, they will continue to fight.
Phase one of the project is still pending before the city council, which meets Tuesday (Jan. 21) at 5:30 p.m. with Markham Hill on the agenda. Construction is expected to begin this year and new single-family homes ready in sometime in 2021.