City councilors continued to muscle through a few remaining issues on the proposed 2030 Comprehensive Plan Tuesday. They will meet again on September 8th to act on a few remaining issues.
Councilors voted unanimously to take Shaw University out of the downtown Central Business District, known in the acronym soup of planning as the CBD. Council also voted, this time 5 to 3, to take a strip along West Morgan Street out of the CBD and define it as a “special study area.”
Speaking of the area along Morgan Street from Boylan to Hillsborough, Thomas Crowder (District D) said, “All these apartments in the area, one is historic, we have Raleigh’s oldest home, the Joel Lane house. I’m calling for the area from Snow to Cameron to Ashe to Pullen as a special study area, and to expedite a plan in the next 6-8 months.”
Responding to a question over missed development opportunities if the area is put on hiatus, Crowder said, “I don’t see those apartments being torn down anytime soon.”
“Yeah, those apartments were just renovated,” said Mayor Charles Meeker.
“I think we should leave staff proposal as it is,” said Philip Isley (District E).
“I think it would be hugely burdensome. I’m not gonna be here for the next 3 months,” Isley said, saying he wants to see the plan approved before he leaves.
Isley, James West (District C) and Mary-Ann Bladwin (At-large) voted against making the West Morgan area a special study area.
Council voted unanimously to amend the Future Land Use Map, or FLUM, to keep the CDB boundary on Boylan Street. Councilors decided to make the area between Boylan and St. Mary’s streets a transition district between downtown and the single-family home neighborhood to the west.
Councilors voted unanimously on a piece of property on Lead Mine and Millbrook, keeping the area low-density instead of the proposed medium-density. Nearby, there is an area of town-homes designated medium-density, right near Shelly Lake. “The only reason they put higher density near the park was to keep this zoning out,” said Nancy McFarlane (District A).
Russ Stephenson (At-large) said he was concerned about the plan’s park proposals, saying: “On January 14 (we) asked staff if this would replace 2004 park plan, the staff said yes, this park element will replace the 2004 park plan. That was still the case December 1, then came current draft, and some language added said it will not replace this element.”
“The comp plan will take precedence,” said Planning Director Mich Silver.
“So the comp plan will supercede?” asked councilman Koopman.
“The right word is guidance, it does not replace the plan” said Silver, referring to the 2004 park plan.
Councilors also revisited an area around Triangle Town Center. The change included moving an area of regional retail mixed use to the west to accommodate a proposed rail station.
After planning for a year the plan has taken on a language of its own.
“What you’re looking at is an area named ‘Becky’ right?” Councilman Stephenson said with a laugh, talking about an area in Triangle Town Center.
“Yes, yes that’s right,” said Bowers.
“We’re talking about the pink?” said Meeker.
“Yeah, the sort-of lavender color,” clarified Crowder.
“All in favor?”