City Council sessions on July 5 — 1 p.m. regular session, 7 p.m. regular 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
- Federal Transit Administration Grant: The City expects to receive a grant of $581,597 from the FTA for the “Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities.” The City will be required to provide $53,053 in matching funds and the moneys will be distributed roughly as follows: The Arc of the Triangle, $162,751 Federal award; Center for Volunteer Caregiving, $43,758 Federal award; Alliance of Disability Advocates, $110,004 Federal award; and GoRaleigh, $212,212 Federal award.
- BikeSafe Coordinator Grant: Staff is requesting permission to move ahead with a grant application for $5,000 for the BikeSafe motorcycle safety program to fund quarterly meetings and out-of-state travel to conferences. No City matching funds will be required.
- Pullen Arts Center Improvements Contract Amendment: In June 2015, Council authorized a $65,000 contract with local architectural firm Clearscapes for a feasibility study on Pullen Arts Center Improvements project; in June 2016 Clearscapes presented the results of that study to Council. Staff is now asking for a contract amendment in the amount of $557,500 in order to allow Clearscapes to proceed with the full design phase. The original budget for the entire project, including construction, was $6,000,000.
- On-Site Lubrication Services: Staff is seeking permission to extend a contract signed with Ferguson’s Truck and Tractor Company in August 2015 for on-site lubrication services for the City’s refuse vehicles. The original contract was for $111,672, the one-year extension is for $119,000.
- Recycling Material Processing: Staff is seeking a one-year contract extension with Sonoco Recycling, LLC, which has been handling the City’s recycled materials since 2006. The base rate per ton of material will increase, but the pricing scheme is a little complicated and we don’t want to misinterpret it. You can read a full account of the new contract here if you’re interested.
- Town of Clayton and Johnston County Interlocal Wastewater Agreement: The City is seeking to renew for 10 years an interlocal agreement with the above entities; the initial 10-year agreement, set to expire in February 2017, was set for automatic renewal upon the completion/expansion of the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility from 60 MGD to 75 MGD. This expansion was expected to be complete in FY2012; the economic downturn pushed that completion date back to FY2018. The City is looking to renew the agreement anyway.
- Indian Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Contract Amendment: In October 2009, the City signed a contract with Bannister and Glover Properties, to shut down the Indian Creek plant. The ICOWWTP (that’s the City’s abbreviation: wouldn’t ICWTP be easier?) was removed from service due to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological opinion regarding the impact of the Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plan on the Dwarf Wedgemussel which is present in Swift Creek. The Dwarf is an endangered species of freshwater mussel. The contract with Bannister & Glover is being modified because B&G desires to sell the development to an LLC that traces back to a company by the name of Riverstone Communities. Per its website: “Riverstone Communities is a private company founded in 1998 that owns and operates over 70 manufactured housing communities throughout the United States. Our properties include both all-ages communities and age restricted (55+) communities. We also own RV resort properties. We are always seeking new investment opportunities.”
- Biosolids Hauling Contract: Staff is seeking approval of a two-year, $800,000 contract agreement with Always Trucking, Inc. for the “hauling of Class A lime stabilized biosolids generated at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility.” If you’re curious, “biosolids are formed by the addition of limekiln dust and raising the temperature and pH to safe levels. These biosolids are then transported to various private farms throughout eastern North Carolina for agricultural uses for crop production.”
- Sludge Composting Contract: Staff is seeking approval of a two-year, $2.6 million contract (with an option to renew for three additional one-year terms) with McGill Environmental Systems of NC, Inc. for “the hauling and composting of sludge generated at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility.” According to the Agenda, “This sludge is in the form of dewatered primary sludge cake, and the material is hauled to a permitted composting facility, processed, and distributed as compost to farmers and soil blenders.” Yummy. McGill was the only company to submit a bid for this work.
- Oak City Sessions Contract: Staff is seeking approval of a one-year, $53,380 contract (with an option to renew for two additional years) with Deep South Entertainment for the production of the Oak City Sessions music show. The show will air on the City’s public television station, RTN 11. Here’s how the City describes this $53k+/year endeavor: “Oak City Sessions, a new monthly music series focusing on popular local musicians and their original music premieres tonight on Raleigh Television Network channel 11. Produced by the City of Raleigh, the series is designed to help inform the world about Raleigh’s prolific and creative local music scene.”
Consent Agenda: Streets & Traffic
- Pullen Road Extension: Staff is asking Council to schedule a Public Hearing for this road extension project. Per the agenda, the project “is being pursued in a public/private partnership with North Carolina State University and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh.” The improvements will ” result in the construction of a new street, approximately 52 feet wide measured from back-of-curb to back-of-curb, and will consist of asphalt paving, a sidewalk, a multiuse path, medians, a roundabout, bicycle lanes, landscaping and lighting.”
- Encroachment Request: Multiple Locations: MCNC has requested to install 33,300 feet of underground fiber optic cable and 38 hand holes to access existing conduit on Poole Road, Carya Drive, Garner Road, Cross Link Road and Seabrook Road.
- Stone’s Warehouse Encroachment Request: One of the existing buildings on the Stone’s Warehouse site encroaches eight inches into the City right of way; the developer, at the behest of its title insurance company, is now asking that this encroachment be authorized.
- Petition Annexation: The owners of 3000 Club Drive are seeking to be annexed into the City of Raleigh; a Public Hearing will be held to determine approval of this request.
- Channelization — Comfort Court at Atlantic Avenue and Maybrook Crossing Drive at New Hope Road: If you’ve never heard the term channelization before, you’re not alone. Wikipedia (sorry) defines it as “an engineering concept which employs the use of secondary roads to separate certain flows of traffic from the main traffic lanes.” What that translates to here is a recommendation that “Comfort Court at Atlantic Avenue and Maybrook Crossing Drive at New Hope Road be channelized to an exclusive left-only and exclusive right-only turn lanes.”
- West Aycock Street No Parking Zone: Staff is recommending that a “No Parking Anytime Zone” be established on the north side of the 700 Block of West Aycock Street. This recommendation came about due to a request from a homeowner, who said that could not see around parked cars at the intersection of Scales Street. Staff did an analysis of the intersection and found this assertion to be true.
- 2600 Hillsborough Street Temporary Bus Zone: Due to the Hillsborough Street revitilzation project, the bus zone at the SE corner of Hillsborough and Brooks has been temporarily removed. To make up for this, GoRaleigh & GoTriangle have requested the removal of five metered spaces to provide for a temporary bus zone.
- 2400 Hillsborough Street Valet Zone: Two blocks down, a much fancier request has been issued by the proprietor of the new H-Street Kitchen (set to open near the end of this month!) to establish a valet zone in front of the establishment. Although it is often difficult to find on-street parking, we were told that all of those NC State surface lots are free and open to the public after 5 p.m.
Consent Agenda: Miscellaneous
- National Water Supply Alliance Membership: Staff is seeking to join this lobbying group that was established “with a purpose to share information, collaborate to promote collective objectives and to provide a point of contact for members of Congress and the United States Army Corps of Engineers leadership on common [water supply] issues.” No dues will be required at this time, but if you’re curious as to why such an organization is necessary, here’s what staff said about it: “Other authorized purposes within USACE reservoirs, including hydropower, navigation, and low flow augmentation each has existing national lobbies. This disparity in interest awareness often leads to misunderstanding or lower prioritization of water supply issues, and water supply users are often subjected to inconsistent and conflicting policies and practices as a result of the disparity in interests.”
- Transit Amenities Text Change: Staff is seeking permission to begin drafting a text change to the City’s Unified Development Ordinance that would have the following impacts:
- Establish eligibility for site plans to provide transit amenities based on frontage along existing or proposed transit routes.
- Establish thresholds for site plans to require provisions for easements, pads, benches, and shelters relative to the amount of site traffic generated.
- Provide a basis for placement of these amenities relative to site design and other existing transit infrastructure.
Planning Commission Report
Last Tuesday, the Planning Commission heard two site plan cases and two requests for waivers for rezoning cases. The site plan cases don’t require Council approval and won’t be presented at the July 5 Council meeting. One was for a new building at the Leith Rolls-Royce & Maserati dealership, and the other, which we’ll cover later this week, was for the Charter Square North Tower.
- Z-7-14 Waiver: In June 2015, Council approved rezoning a parcel of land in North Raleigh at the intersection of Litchford Road and Dixie Forest Road to Neighborhood Mixed Use. The developer is now requesting a waiver on the two-year waiting period for new rezoning cases: they will seek to rezone the property to commercial mixed-use.
- Z-16-14 Waiver: Z-16-14 would have rezoned a three-acre parcel in southwest Raleigh on Varsity Drive near Avent Ferry Road to allow for the creation of a four- or five-story apartment building consisting of 180 units. The case was denied by Council in April 2015; the developer is now seeking a waiver of the two-year waiting period. The original case sought to rezone the property to “Residential Mixed Use-5 stories-Urban Limited-Conditional Use with Special Residential Parking Overlay District (RX-5-UL-CU w/ SRPOD)” The new case will toss one more acronym into the mix: “GR,” short for Green.
City Manager’s Report
- Destination Dix Festival: Council will receive an update on this free event scheduled for Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Big Field at Dorothea Dix Park. The presentation “will highlight scheduled festival activities and features, share information on transportation and parking and provide resources for additional information.”
Parks, Recreation & Greenway Advisory Board
- Request for Renaming of Lee Street Park: The Board is recommending renaming the Lee Street Park to the “Junious N. Sorrell Park.” According to the agenda, “Mr. Sorrell has been a volunteer and an advocate for well over 30 years.” Sorrell helped make sure the .3 acre park, opened in 1982, received a fountain, benches, fences and children’s play equipment.
- Annual Work Plan: The Board will present its annual work plan, a summary of which can be viewed here.
- Schematic Design — Sierra/Lineberry Drive Park: The Board is recommending approval of the schematic design for the Sierra/Lineberry Drive Park, a design that received unanimous approval from the Southwest Citizens Advisory Council.
Requests and Petitions of Citizens
Note: Three of the speakers tonight will be addressing issues previously raised by PACT, the Police Accountability Taskforce. Before we summarize their petitions, here is a portion of the City Manager’s response to their previous requests.
“To that end, we propose two approaches in response to the group’s recommendations. First, staff is continuing to review several concepts listed in the PACT memorandum for additional consideration:
- Police Oversight Board and approval requirements from the NC General Assembly;
- Training related to non-bias policing and crisis intervention;
- Utilizing written consent forms when conducting searches;
- Communicating to citizens the right to refuse a search;
- Evaluating other law enforcement agencies’ procedures for filing complaints;
- Continuing the City’s efforts to implement body worn cameras; • Conducting annual reviews of bias data on all officers to ensure equity;
- Elevating the current RPD Internship Program to recruit and retain officers of color;
- Continuing to foster community relations through enhanced community policing practices. Second, staff plans to reach out to members of PACT to review our response through a face to face discussion. A meeting to go over these concepts and the City’s response will give both parties an opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the issues we all face.
Now, let’s move onto the Citizen Petitions.
- Rolanda Byrd, representing PACT, would like to discuss a lack of police accountability.
- Wanda Hunter would like to request a public hearing for community engagement.
- Tara Romano would like to discuss efforts to increase accountability and transparency in the Raleigh Police Department.
- Leslie Woods, Raleigh Raw, is petitioning to use an authentic, antique beer-garden-style table in their authorized outdoor seating area at 7 West Hargett Street.
- Steven Drotts would like to petition the City to provide a temporary permit for private cafe outdoor dining on the designated area previously permitted to Zpizza. Drotts had originally been scheduled to speak at the previous Council meeting.
- Annexation — 2409 Gresham Lake Road: A hearing to consider annexing the aforementioned property into City limits.
- Rezoning Case Z-7-16: This case would allow a Christian pregnancy center to open up next door to an abortion clinic on Jones Franklin Road. Although the Public Hearing for this case began at the previous Council meeting, an error in the letter sent to property owners meant Council decided to hold the hearing open in case additional people wished to speak on this controversial case.
- Rezoning Case Z-9-16: This case would allow for a new office building on a piece of land at 5932 Sandy Forks Road that is currently zoned to allow only for residential development.
- Text Change CP-1-16: This omnibus text change amendment will make a number of updates to the City’s Unified Development Ordinance. You can view those changes here, but be forewarned: the document is 24 pages long.
- Text Change TC-8-16: This much more concise text change will “modify the Construction Surety, Acceptance and Warranty provisions for development-related improvements to reallocate a period the required construction period to allow for more time for infrastructure completion.”
- Text Change TC-9-16: This text change, initiated at the behest of local residents, will create a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District in order to maintain the existing character of the North Ridge South Neighborhood.
- Text Change TC-10-16: This minor but crucial text change will modify the existing language from saying that the maximum height of a building in the Oberlin Village Neighborhood is “25 feet or two stories” so that it reads “25 feet and two stories.” This change is the result of a number of people violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the existing code.