City Council sessions on May 3 — 1 p.m. regular session, 7 p.m. evening session
The City Council Agenda Preview is intended as an in-depth look at what’s coming up for discussion in the next Council session.
While the framework of this series is, naturally, the City Council Agenda, available here, additional information and background is often included as a way of providing better context on the issues while leaving out some of the more technical details found in the agenda.
The format follows the agenda items in the order in which they will be presented to Council, although we group the items from the Consent Agenda section in a slightly different way.
The consent agenda is a set of routine items that can be approved by a roll-call vote at the beginning of a meeting.
Consent Agenda: Contracts & Finance
- Affordable Housing Funding: The City of Raleigh runs something called the Joint Venture Rental Program, which “provides low-interest loans to developers of affordable multifamily housing in order to build or purchase and rehabilitate privately owned and managed rental units.” Since its inception in 1988, it has provided funding for more than 2,000 affordable units. Staff is recommending funding two affordable projects, although this would be dependent on the developers receiving federal tax credits in August. The first recommended project is Booker Park North, a 72-unit affordable senior living complex at 2001 Booker Drive from DHIC Inc.. They are requesting $2.2 million. Next up is Amber Spring at 2000 Spring Forest Road, a 45-unit senior living complex from Evergreen Construction. They are requesting $525,000.
- Bond Funding for Affordable Housing: Lots of affordable housing on the agenda for Council this week! Staff probably read the interview we did with Councilor Baldwin a few weeks back where she talked about the need for action on this subject and decided she was right. Moving on: this item would provide $2,800,000 in bond funding to DHIC Inc. for the rehabilitation of the 298-unit Capital Towers development located near North Hills, and $1,100,000 in bond funding to Steel Properties for the rehabilitation of the 229-unit Raleigh North and Millbank Court development at 1500 Raleigh Boulevard. For those of you who are really bad at math, that’s a total of $3.9 million in bond funding to be spent on the maintenance of existing affordable housing.
- Limited Obligation Bond Reissue: Essentially, the City is going to reissue some 2009 bonds that funded things like the South Street Parking Deck and One Exchange Plaza. The important thing here is that “the transaction will not result in any additional debt burden as it entails only the reissue of existing bonds.”
- Homeland Security Grant: The North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Eight received a $65,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. It will fund training for a swift water rescue class and a boat operator class. No matching funds from the City are required.
- Spring 2016 Stormwater Drainage Projects: Staff is requesting authorization of $358,500 in City funding for four stormwater improvement projects at private properties.
- GoPass Contract – Wake Technical Community College: This one’s a little complicated. Wake Tech is currently funding a City bus route called 40x that provides service to their main campus on Highway 401 at an annual cost of $350,000. Although this is, in all other respects, a normal route, Wake Tech students can ride it for free. However, GoRaleigh recently built a park and ride lot in Garner, and utilizes the 40x route to service this lot. In return for this, GoRaleigh will credit Wake Tech 42 percent of the annual cost of the route, $164,107. This money will go toward a GoPass program for Wake Tech, allowing its students to ride the transit system for free. Other area colleges, such as Meredith and NC State, already have this arrangement in place.
- Multifamily and City Property Solid Waste Collection: The City’s current contract with Waste Industries to service apartments and City properties expires at the end of June. A request for proposals was put out for a new contract; although three companies attended the mandatory pre-bid meeting, Waste Industries was the only attendee to submit a proposal. Staff is requesting authorization of a 3-year contract at $140,000 per year; a per annum described as being “significantly below market rates.”
- Janitorial Services Contract: Staff is requesting authorization of the second amendment to what was originally a $3,613,154 contract with Environmental Service Systems from August 2015. Among other things, this $139,369 amendment will cover work at the new Central Communications Center on Westinghouse Boulevard. The first amendment was in the amount of $40,525.
- Code Enforcement Software Contract: Staff is recommending a two-year renewal of a contract with Soft Design for the use of its various code enforcement software products. Apparently, they maintain something called a “complaint database.” This is something we may have to look into. The two-year contract, which will begin in June, is not to exceed $202,200.
- Stone’s Warehouse Contract Change: In January 2015, City Council authorized the sale and redevelopment of the Stone’s Warehouse property in Southeast Raleigh to Transfer Company LLC. Transfer is made up of a number of local developers including Matt Flynn, Will Jeffers and Jason Queen. Steve Schuster, the founder of local architectural firm Clearscapes and the chairman of the City’s Planning Commission, is involved as well. We reported on some of the specifics of the redevelopment in early March. This contract amendment will allow Transfer to switch their designated contractor from Clancy & Theys to C.T. Wilson. In the agenda packet for this item, several reasons are listed for this proposed switch, but they are all related to the good and long-standing relationship Wilson has with both the developers and the financiers; nothing is said about Clancy & Theys. Kind of like when someone breaks up with you not because there’s anything *wrong* with you, it’s just, they’ve found someone better. The heart wants what the heart wants.
- Budgeting Software Contract: The software currently utilized by the City to manage budgeting and other concerns will be discontinued; staff is asking Council to authorize negotiations to begin with Infonin Solutions, which will oversee implementation of the new software, Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, at an annual cost of $95,000.
- Development Services Office Rehab: Staff is requesting authorization of $147,500 budget transfer for “space reconfiguration and office alteration” at the office of Development Services on the fifth floor of One Exchange Plaza.
- Equipment Failures: Public Works is requesting a budget transfer of $435,000 to cover the costs of unplanned equipment failure repairs at the City’s wastewater treatment plants over the next year. It’s unclear how much is budgeted for planned equipment failures.
- Hillsborough Street Contract Award: After bidding and re-bidding (they didn’t get enough responses the first time around) Phase II of the Hillsborough Street Revitalization Project, the City now has a low bidder they’d like to award the contract to: Pipeline Utilities Inc., which priced the job at $14,243,243.
- Mitchell Mill Road Widening: This less prolific and slightly less expensive road project had a low bid of $11,950,000 from Rifenburg Construction.
Consent Agenda: Streets and Traffic
- Annexation Petitions: Staff is requesting approval of annexation petitions for two properties: 6.97 acres at 12000 Leesville Road/Leesville Grove and 45.95 acres at 6701 Fox Road/Foxwood Apartments.
- Plummer T. Hall House Preservation Easements: Due to an upcoming relocation of this historic structure, the historic preservation easements will have to be reestablished.
- Street Closing Request: Manchester Drive at Rampart Street: Lewis Woodard is petitioning the City to close a 4,400 square-foot right of way known as Manchester Drive at Rampart Street. Council is being asked to schedule a Public Hearing for this request on June 7.
- Encroachment Request: Multiple Locations: Celito Clec, LLC is looking to install 5,086 feet of underground conduit and twenty-five underground vaults in the public right-of-ways on the following streets: North West Street, West Jones Street, North Harrington Street, West Martin Street, South West Street, and West Davie Street.
- Two-Hour Parking Zone Extension: The City is looking to extend a parking zone an additional 31 feet to include a section of 600 Glenwood Avenue that used to have a driveway.
- Kidd Road No Parking Zone: It is recommended that a no-parking Zone be established on the south side of Kidd Road for the Wake County Emergency Management Services station.
- Morning Edge Drive No Parking Zone Removal: The Village at Harrington Grove Homeowners Association petitioned to have a 65-foot no-parking zone removed as it was no longer deemed necessary.
- West Jones Street Valet Zone Removal: A valet zone on West Jones near the intersection with Glenwood that had been designated for the former 518 West Italian Cafe is no longer necessary, as the space will soon be occupied by Google.
- South Wilmington Street Valet Zone Removal: A valet zone at 400 South Wilmington for the Capital Club is no longer necessary because the club relocated to the Wells Fargo building.
Planning Commission Report
- TC-7-15: This text change will legalize short-term rental services, such as Airbnb, within the City of Raleigh. Although the practice is currently against the law, there are at present more than 300 listings in Raleigh on the Airbnb. For a full write-up on this, read our piece from last week. Staff recommends a Public Hearing date of June 7 for this case.
- TC-4-16: This text change will reduce by half the parking requirements for hotels built within the downtown overlay district. Staff recommends a Public Hearing date of June 7 for this case.
- Z-6-16: This rezoning case would allow for the development of a grocery-anchored shopping center at 9501 Leesville Road. Staff recommends a Public Hearing date of June 7 for this case.
- Z-39-15: Trailwood Drive: A Public Hearing was held for this case on April 5; action was deferred in order to allow the applicant to submit additional conditions. The conditions were received April 11 and staff recommends Council take action on the case. The rezoning would allow for a 78-unit apartment complex on the 1800 block of Trailwood Drive. Council will now have to vote on whether to approve this request.
- Facade Grant Update: At the April 5 Council meeting, an update of the City’s facade grant program was discussed that would allow for the funding of murals and other types of exterior improvements. Councilors asked staff to look into the specifics of how this would work.
City Manager’s Report
- 2030 Comprehensive Plan Progress Report: Council will receive as information an update on its actions related to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. According to the report, in 2015, the City completed 33 action items, approved 47 rezonings, and adopted 13 text changes to the Unified Development Ordinance.
- Downtown City Campus Master Planning: Staff is requesting that Council authorize a request for proposals process for finding a consultant to work on plans to potentially consolidate city services into an area around Nash Square, where City Hall is currently located.
- Northridge South: Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District: In order to establish an overlay district, neighbors in Northbridge South must first get Council to authorize City staff to initiate a text change that would incorporate the North Ridge South neighborhood built characteristics and regulations into the UDO.
- Downtown Municipal Service District: In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, staff is recommending that the City continue its deal with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to manage the Downtown MSD in the form of a four-year contract.
- Hillsborough Street Municipal Service District: Staff is recommending that the current service provider for the Hillsborough MSD, the Hillsborough Street Community Services Corporation, be given a four-year contract to continue on.
Historic Development Commission Report
- The Commission is recommending that Council authorize two Historic Landmark designation requests for the Anna Riddick House at 1028 Cowper Drive and the Horton-Beckham-Bretsch House, 11 South Blount Street alongside a boundary extension for the Wilmont Apartments at 3200 Hillsborough.
Parks, Recreation & Greenways Report
- At its April 19 work session, Councilors got an update on a new user fee policy for the parks system; Council is now being asked to approve the user fees and charges policy.
Retail Task Force Report
- In May 2015, Council established a Retail Task Force in order to “determine expectations of the City; to identify challenges and barriers to market entry; identify challenges and barriers for retail operations; and to determine existing advantages for retail in Raleigh.” A total of six meetings of this task force have been held, and Council will receive a summary of what’s been discussed.
Growth & Natural Resources Committee Report
- Z-34-13: A Public Hearing on this case was opened at the April 5 City Council meeting. Councilors sent the case the Growth & Natural Resources Committee for further review. After two appearances before the committee, its members voted to recommend that Council deny approval of the project, which would allow for a higher-density townhome development on a piece of land at 6117 Hillsborough. For our most recent write-up in the ongoing saga of Z-34, check here.
- Z-3-13: A Public Hearing was already opened for this hotly contested rezoning case for a workforce housing apartment complex on Forestville Road. Like Z-34, this case was sent to GNR for further analysis. The committee sent it back to Council without a recommendation; members talked about wanting more time to review it, but the developer is on a timeline related to federal tax credits.
Requests and Petitions of Citizens
We will list these exactly as they appear on the agenda.
- Virginia Tally, Voter Education Coalition, Raleigh – Wake Citizens Association, Wake Missionary Baptist Association, and Southgate Community Outreach, would like to speak in support of funding in the amount of $250,000 for Advance Community Health located in Southeast Raleigh.
- Billy Trott, Raleigh Tennis Association, would like to present information on the need for new tennis courts in Raleigh and propose a partnership to help build more tennis courts and request that an issue be added to the next parks bond to build a new 30-court staffed facility.
- Dona Osakwe would like to talk about police practices in her neighborhood.
- Akiba Byrd, NC Fair Share CDC, would like to talk about police accountability and police behavior in Raleigh.
- Barbara Smalley-McMahan would like to talk about police practices in her neighborhood.
- Terrene Perry, representing Justice Served/PACT, would like to discuss an oversight review board, police intervention and de-escalation attempts and equity of policeman.
- Manzoor Cheema, representing Muslims for Social Justice, would like to express concerns about the death of Akiel Denkins and request a community oversight for law enforcement.
- Authorize Demolition of Unfit Property: A hearing to adopt an ordinance that will allow for the demolition of an unfit property at 507 Montague Lane.
- Authorize Lien: A hearing to adopt a resolution confirming a lien against a property at 6913 Glendower Road.
- City-Owned Property Sale: A hearing to consider the sale of 14 City-owned lots on Oakwood Avenue, Idlewild Avenue, East Jones Street, East Lane Street, and Seawell Avenue to Evergeen Construction, RD Construction Company and Habitat for Humanity of Wake County via private sale with the requirement that the property will be used for creation of affordable home ownership opportunities.
- Belvin Drive Right-of-way: A hearing to authorize the closure of a right of way on Belvin Drive.
- North Harrington Street Alley: A hearing to authorize the closure of a right of way on North Harrington Street.
- Sylvia Dean Street: A hearing to authorize the closure of a right of way on Sylvia Dean Street.
- I-40 Bridges Pedestrian Refit: Council is being asked to authorize bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Trailwood Drive, starting near Lineberry Drive and ending near Main Campus Drive to include installation of sidewalks, curbs, gutters, bike lanes, metal rails, and fencing along both sides of the roadway for approximately 1495 linear feet.
- John’s Pointe Subdivision Paving Assessment: Council is being asked to authorize a resolution confirming the cost for completion of deficient punch list items/developer required improvements to the public streets in John’s Pointe Subdivision Phases One and Three.
- Wade Avenue Sidewalk Assessment: A hearing to consider improvements to the sidewalk on Wade Avenue from west of Westridge to Faircloth Street.
- Z-27D-14: Tied into the Citywide remapping rezoning case from last year, this case deals with the recommended remapping of a total of 19 properties throughout the city.
- Z-43-15: This case would rezone an 18.2 acre site on the south side of Tryon Road near the intersection with Dover Farm Road from R-1 to R-10, which would allow for higher-density residential development. According to the zoning application, the property could be developed with a maximum of 109 residential units.
- Z-4-16: This case would rezone a .36 acre parcel of land on Oberlin Road near Wade Avenue and across from the Oberlin Court development to allow for office and residential development. It is currently only zoned for residential use.
- Outdoor Amplified Entertainment Permit: The Merrimon-Wynne House: This hearing will be held because the applicant is seeking the renewal of an amplified entertainment special use permit to allow amplification to occur between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 1 p.m. and 11 p.m., Friday through Sunday, for a permit duration of 24 months.