Affordable Housing Development Coming to S. Person Street

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A new contemporary style of affordable housing development could be coming to downtown Raleigh.

Planning Commission members this week approved plans to divide a half-acre property on the northwest corner of South Person and East Lenoir Streets into 10 townhome lots and one open-space lot.

Person_Lenoir

The townhomes are being developed by DHIC, a nonprofit organization that develops affordable housing.

Gregg Warren, president of DHIC, said they wanted to create a new housing design that also fit the historical character of the area.

“We intentionally wanted to do a contemporary, crisp new design that really has not been developed previously in Raleigh,” Warren said, “and we knew that this would probably not be the easiest path to take.”

Developers requested several alternatives to what the code requires:

  • A narrower protective yard was requested on the west side of the property to maintain the existing driveway on the neighboring residential property.
  • DHIC also asked for narrower sidewalks, to allow developers to provide a six-foot planting strip along East Lenoir and South Person Streets.
  • Developers requested an alternate to the required space between buildings.

Some Commissioners questioned the space between buildings and how it will affect privacy. Developers said the windows on the affected side of the buildings will be offset and plantings will be used to maintain privacy.

Commissioner Steven Schuster pointed out that living in close proximity is common in historic districts.

“I think it is very sensitive to the historic district that it is a part of,” Schuster said.

Housing Development for Homeless Vets Approved
Several local homeless veterans could soon have a new place to live.

Commissioners this week also approved plans for the second phase of the Sunnybrook Road development that provides apartments for homeless veterans in Raleigh. The new 10-unit development is located on the east side of Sunnybrook Road between Falstaff and Poole roads in east Raleigh.

sunnybrook_vet_housing_site

Planning Commission / City of Raleigh

Jess Brandes, housing developer at CASA, a nonprofit affordable housing agency, said the new apartments were fully leased up way ahead of time.

The Sunnybrook Road development is fully funded by the City of Raleigh, Wake County and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Rock Quarry Road Rezoning Deferred
Plans to rezone property on Rock Quarry Road will have to wait two more weeks.

Commissioners deferred a request to rezone an 8-acre property on Rock Quarry Road, just east of Barwell and Pearl roads.

If approved, the proposed rezoning will allow for more intense development and up to 4,000 square feet of retail space.

Commissioner John Buxton supports the higher-density development.

“I am excited about this place as a residential spot because you can walk to school, you can walk to church, you can even walk to retail depending on how much you like to walk,” Buxton said. “I could support higher densities here easily.”

The Rock Quarry Road corridor is designated as a transit emphasis corridor. This designation sparked a great deal of discussion about the need for a transit easement on the property and the case’s designation as a general use case, as opposed to a conditional use case.

A conditional use designation would allow Commissioners to make providing a transit easement a condition of approval. General use does not.

Commissioner Mitch Fluhrer voiced his apprehension.

“I am excited about the brave new world of this general use,” Fluhrer said, “but now that it’s here I am a little bit scared about going forward and not having some way to get a transit easement.”

Commissioner Eric Braun felt the general use designation was the right one.

“I think the city is growing and it’s going to keep growing and I think it’s a good time, in my opinion, to take a stand that there are some cases that should be general use,” Braun said. “This is a case that strikes me that is appropriate for general use.”

Deputy City Attorney Ira Botvinick said a rule change might be needed that would enable Commissioners to require transit easements in certain situations.

“At the end of the day the question is, do we have the right rule? If we don’t have the right rule then you should recommend changing the rule,” he said.

Schuster agreed.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to hold this applicant or any applicant hostage if we don’t have the right rule,” he said. “Let’s change the rule.”

3 thoughts on “Affordable Housing Development Coming to S. Person Street

  1. Why are we building more ‘affordable housing’ this close to downtown?

    this means low value real estate in what should be a ‘high-value’ piece of property.

  2. which also means developers who might normally build ‘high-value’ property adjacent to this property will now avoid it because of the ‘low-rent’ crap built here. the City needs to not concentrate ‘low-end’ around the City’s core, especially in light of the exciting growth downtown is experiencing. Build some of this is North Raleigh or force the County to take their fair share and put it in Cary, Fuquay, etc.

  3. So with the removal of affordable housing in these areas because NOW everyone wants to live in the downtown area to to get to these festivals that take up poor little Fayetteville Street that was NOTHING but a pitiful mall, restaurants where you can BARELY get down the sidewalk because of “patio seating” with 2 disgruntled fussing kids and a dog big as a miniature pony, ride down the streets in a MOBILE BAR, or duck ROAD RACES every other weekend….tell us where are we supposed to put affordable housing? In my neighborhood right now, there is a brand new luxury apartment building with rent for a 1 bedroom starting over $1,000 per month in front of studio apartments with no stove, a dorm size refrigerator, and a shower stall at $435 per month. Look at Glenwood South where it seems every year a new high rise condo is being built. Tell me exactly where do you want this affordable housing to be? Is it “out of sight, out of mind?” What does that accomplish? I will tell you. NOTHING. And why should I have to move to Cary where there is barely bus service, or out further when people like me were here BEFORE everyone thought of returning to downtown. Since you have cars, maybe you should to Cary and Zebulon, and the suburbs. I have been searching for decent affordable housing for myself for two years on a fixed income. I paid my taxes, I worked hard. I became disabled. And these programs that I paid for can not help me because I am under 55 and disabled. Do you know what is like to search, call, visit apartment communities and told “No, we don’t accept section 8.” Or “No, We have nothing available.” I have spent more than $100 dollars in application fees only to be turned down for no availability. So again….I ask this question. Where do you think affordable housing should go and think really hard before you answer this question. There are people who just want a decent, affordable, safe, clean place to call home….not to take away from what you have going on.