NECAC MINUTES: Thursday, 13 March 2014
(The February meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather.)
- Department Reports
- Parks and Recreation Report: Jud Dunleavy, Marsh Creek Parks and Recreation Community Center Assistant Director, highlighted: Marsh Creek Community Day, 26 March, with skate board demo; Getting additional lights in parking lot; Registration for summer camps with youth programs. Also, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services has a series of open houses to receive input on its system plan drafts; March 24th is the closest one, at Green Road Community Center, from 6.30pm.
- Police Report: Officer George Porter, Crime Prevention Officer, Lieutenant DD Knuckles, and Barbara Schmidt, greenways volunteer, all were in attendance.
Greenways: Greenway is 117 miles; reports from the greenways include two cases of indecent exposure, spray painting, someone carrying a weapon. Greenway Volunteers only report back; the core has been husband-and-wife teams.
Three tips for safety along greenways:
- Know where your marker is/are.
- Have your cell phone with you to call 911.
- Do not hesitate to call without being a volunteer.
School bus zones (from January meeting): This is not a matter for RPD: if you have issues please contact WCPSS: Mr. Curtis, (919) 870-4247, Transportation.
Pawn shop application (former Perkins at Appliance and Capital Blvd): Information collected about Picasso Pawn; packet put together; have not received update. Can send comments via to Officer Porter George.Porter@raleighnc.gov.
Other: Cobblestone area break-in of cars: Citizens are leaving doors unlocked; citizens are leaving valuables in their cars laptops, jewelry, phones, cash, etc. Lock doors, remove valuable, call police about suspicious activities.
Additional officers to keep up with growth: Lieutenant Knuckles responded that the police force has had a steady headcount which has not changed for years despite the growth; we do not increase manpower though we continue to grow; for a city this size we need about 200 more officers. Officer Porter can get information from Sgt. Goodwin compares stats on where city should be.
Changes would have to come from City Council. Paul Brant advises group action: email your council representative (John.Odom@raleighnc.gov) with concerns, or present a citizen petition to City Council; pay attention to the budget opportunity to help RPD get additional assistance. Participant noted that additional city-wide Council representatives are Mary Ann Baldwin (chairs Public Safety); and Russ Stephenson.
- Housing and Neighborhood Preservation: Neighborhood Preservation will no longer be giving reports. Planning is not sending anyone from that department going forward
- Community Services: Kevin Smith, City of Raleigh Community Liaison, had no report
The group approved the minutes from the January NECAC meeting.
There is currently no acting secretary for the NE CAC. Volunteers are requested.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission: Amy Simes gave an update on the BPAC. City Council appoints 9 citizens to offer advice on pedestrian, sidewalk, and bicycle issues. A planning retreat in February discussed projects: Art to Art Corridor from Art Museum to downtown marking certain streets; pavement marking project cover bike lanes up to 27 miles (none in our area); identify sidewalk gaps less than 50 feet whereby the city can do in house (property owners will not be assessed); working with Greenway Advisory Board about road signage to help people identify access to greenway and park.
- Z-6-14 / Raleigh Beach Road Rezoning case: Attorney Andrew Petesch; in attendance with developers, Halle Building Group, and Peter Cnossen, engineer, spoke about the zoning proposal. Raleigh Beach Road comes off New Bern Avenue, between intersections with New Hope Road and Rogers Roads.
Rezoning request: From existing R4 and I1 zones to RX5, residential mixed-use development of up to 5 stories.
Proposed development: Apartment buildings on the south portion and townhouses, on the northern portion of the tract. Apartments: “three-four”, or three stories, with an occasional “basement” apartment in the back if the topography allows it; generally 24 apartments per building; many amenities; total of approximately 370, 1-3 bedroom dwellings; will continue to be owned by the Halle group; rent approximately $1/sqft. Examples of other properties they have done include Pecan Grove and Village Summit. Townhouses: possibly 220 in number, though they intend to sell and only build and manage the apartments. Prices will be market driven, but guessing approximately $225-300,000.
There was much discussion about the height of the buildings; RX5 allows 5 stories. Developers said in order to allow for the 3-4 split (therefore technically 4 stories in some limited cases), they thought they needed RX5 zoning (62ft height maximum). They will ask and bring answer at the next meeting; they are willing to reduce to RX3 (50ft height maximum) IF they are able to continue with their 3-4 split plan under that zoning.
Consistency: The City’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Map predict this tract as mixed use with urban with transit corridor running through it. Rezoning request for residential is consistent with that designation.
Traffic: Southall Road will be connected through the tract; this is a City priority and one ANY future developers must do to develop the tract. (ie, this is not the developers’ decision, non-negotiable.)
Traffic speed and related concerns were discussed; calming approaches (round-abouts, speed humps, etc) must come from city approval. The City had said it is premature to ask for calming, as no traffic study was required as part of this application. Mr Cnossen will mention speeding issues to the City of Raleigh transportation department.
Residents wanted to know if traffic study will be done before the next meeting.
Vegetative Buffers: Requirements for tree conservation plan and vegetative buffer depending on height. A 50 foot buffer is required next to residential each additional foot in height over 40’ would require an additional linear foot of buffer.
Environmental Impact Study: No EIS was required as part of this rezoning request.
Other: The UDO process is new to everyone, including the developers’ team.It was mentioned that the City of Raleigh Planning Staff report is the crucial “take” on the case. The CAC can insist to have the report a week in advance, giving it time to review before the vote, AND ask for commitment from the developers’ team not to go to the Planning Commission until after the CAC vote.
Also, don’t expect anything less than what is written into the application (ie, if the proposal is for RX5, expect 62′ in height; it may be less).
It was suggested that interested parties regularly check the City’s website for rezoning case for updates to the case (Z-6-14), as any updates/additions to the application package will be added to the website but without notice.
CAC Vote: Vote will take place at the next meeting, 10 April. (There was discussion on postponing the vote further, in order for citizens to have more information and time to digest it; however, further delays may push the vote to AFTER the proposal goes to the City’s Planning Commission, which would make it basically an irrelevant vote.) Only people who live/own property within the NE CAC and are present at the meeting can vote. The CAC vote is NON-BINDING but is presented to the City Council to show the community’s opinion.
- Adjournment: Because of the interest–and long discussion–in the rezoning case, the meeting was adjourned without finishing the agenda.