NECAC MINUTES: Thursday, 9 Jan 2014
The first 2014 meeting of the Northeast Citizens Advisory Council (NECAC) was held on Thursday, 9 January, 2014, at the Marsh Creek Community Center, 3050 New Hope Road, Raleigh. Chair Michi Vojta called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm and welcomed all present.
- Department Reports
- Parks and Recreation Report: Heather O’Brien, Marsh Creek Parks and Recreation Community Center Director, provided a flyer with information about upcoming activities as well as reported on activities at the Center and throughout the City (snow day activities for school students, lacrosse, baseball).
- Police Report: Lieutenant Dana Knuckles reported that there were no updates on the break-ins discussed at the last meeting (Cardinal Hills/Kyle Drive area), and she asked if there were more comments about the application to open a pawn shop (2657 Appliance Ct, former Perkins on Capital Blvd). She shared flyers of the WATCH FOR ME NC campaign to reduce pedestrian / biking fatalities. Michael Ballen, Raleigh Police Community Policing Programs Coordinator, and Barbara Schmidt, greenways volunteer, were also present. There was much discussion about the safety of school buses stopping at intersections, greenways and safety on them (call boxes, mile markers, cell phone coverage, etc). Lt Knuckles agreed to check into the school bus issue and let us know.
NOTE: Heather’s information included a notice about the upcoming Greenway Advisory Board meeting on the third Thursday of the month (5.30pm, Jaycee Park).
- Housing and Neighborhood Preservation: Dudley Winslow, City of Raleigh Inspector, Housing &
Neighborhood Preservation, and Tony Gupton, Housing Inspections Supervisor, shared information about bulk load and other pickup (no longer limited to once a quarter), and discussed the NEW issue of permits and surveys required when a fence installed. (Again, this is new, with the UDO, so please take note.)
This was seen as an important change that directly affects almost all citizens but is not publicized; Paul and Keith suggested that such changes be advertised in water bill mailings, at local hardware stores, etc; the City needs to make people aware.
- Community Services: Kevin Smith, City of Raleigh Community Liaison, had no report.
- Minutes: The group approved the minutes from the 12 December 2013 NECAC meeting.
There is currently no acting secretary for the NE CAC. Volunteers are requested.
- City News
Eric Hodge of the Raleigh Planning Department, gave a presentation about the new UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) which went into effect back in September 2013. Specifically he addressed the “legacy districts”, which are areas that are zoned into districts that are not in the new UDO. Some highlights:
- This mostly affects non-residential areas. This does not affect R2, R4, R6, or even R10 areas (# designating the number of dwellings per acre, so R6 is 6 houses to the acre.)
- “Citywide rezoning does not allow for the City to impose conditions.–aka, the only conditions will be ones that the potential developers elect to implement.
- One slide in particular read that the process should “BE SENSITIVE TO CONTEXT. AVOID JARRING
TRANSITIONS IN HEIGHT, USE, OR INTENSITY.”
- The entire city’s legacy districts will be reviewed and presented, and ultimately approved by the City Council (when the Council is happy with it), as one unit (not region by region but all as one corrected map).
- The entire process will take about 2 years, quite possibly more.
- Neighborhood Reports: Paul Brant discussed the request for a Small Area Study for the New Hope and Buffalo
Road intersection. Michele McIntosh spoke at the City Council meeting Tuesday night (7 January 2014) on behalf of
the Northeast CAC. City Councilor John Odom (District B, our area) had seen the request prior to the meeting, and he,
Mayor McFarlane, and the Council sounded supportive. Some points:
- Define the area: Michele presented 1mi and 2mi radii as potential areas for study. (Paul suggested 1mi.)
- What does a small area plan cover? We should read up on older ones so that we have an idea what we can accomplish with one–significant areas to protect, ideas to implement, etc–and what we want/expected to accomplish with this one.
- Discuss walkability and issues of traffic congestion.
- Residential / local businesses vs big box development.
- 24/7 businesses, especially next to residential areas.
The Planning Department is not sure a Small Area Plan is appropriate, but it is willing to consider it. it needs the group to generate a list of “wants” so that it can analyze that, determine how much it will take time/staff wise and how much it will cost, or if the UDO will address our issues (and therefore we would not need the study).
Eric reported that Kenneth Bowers is happy to meet with us at the next CAC meeting or in a separate meeting, whichever we choose. Once the City adopts a Small Area Plan, it becomes part of the Comprehensive Plan.
The group discussed whether it would like a separate meeting outside the CAC, or to discuss this at the next CAC meeting or the one in March.
It was suggested that we discuss with Mr Bowers at the next CAC meeting, that folks brush up on other SAPs to see what one can generate, and that all the HOAs and groups affiliated with the NECAC be made aware so they can be discussing this and present at the meeting.
- Adjournment: As the meeting was adjourned around 9:10pm, Erika Rosenberger was presented her plaque (that was not available at the last meeting).