City council sessions on July 7 –1pm for its regular session and 7pm for its public hearings session.
City council agendas follow a very traditional format. First, there is the consent agenda, for routine items that can be approved in just one motion. Second, there’s the report and recommendation of the planning commission, where public hearings are set for rezoning cases. There’s the report and recommendation for the city manager, and then for city departments. Finally, the committees—public works or law and public safety for instance—make their reports.
These agenda previews will highlight the most important, engaging, and interesting items that we feel the public needs to know about. This week has a special edition—the city council work session. In work sessions, councilors hear updates about significant items. They are a chance for staff to receive feedback from councilors in order to move forward with a project.
Consent Agenda Items
- Dorothea Dix Park Property Transition. This title encompasses seven items that are occurring before city purchases Dix Park. They include a budget amendment of $431,559, a maintenance plan for the park, the hiring of an engineering firm to do a site evaluation, and a one-year lease agreement with the Capital Area Soccer League for around 60 acres of the Dix property. The maneuvering shows that the city is projected to close on the purchase of the property by in either July or August.
- Home Rental Services. This item continues to get a great deal of discussion from councilors and the vocal contingent of Airbnb hosts in the community. Previous discussions have focused on an allowed capped number of rooms for rental in residential districts, while allowing for an additional rooms for rent beyond the cap with a special use permit. The item had been in the law and public safety committee for months, with it being voted out to enable further discussion from the entire council.
Report and Recommendation of the City Manager
- Relocation of Rex Senior Healthcare. When the sale of Stone’s Warehouse was initially proposed and voted on, there was no plan to relocate Rex Senior Healthcare, which provided needed services within the community. Numerous individuals showed up to advocate for a nearby relocation at a public hearings session, wherein councilor Weeks told the crowd that he was working on a plan. This item proposes to move Rex Senior Healthcare to a new site on Rock Quarry Road.
- Sale of Stone’s Warehouse. The item of Stone’s Warehouse had been heard in the budget and economic development committee months ago. Three developers made pitches, all seeking to turn the warehouse into a dynamic property with multiple uses for the city of Raleigh. Transfer Development, LLC, won the bid with their proposal to have a mix of uses on the property that included townhomes and commercial space. A public hearing will be scheduled here so that citizens can add their input to the conversation.
Public Hearings at 2pm or later
- Z-1-15 West Hargett Street. This is a public hearing to rezone a 2.5 acre property to downtown mixed use with a 20-story height cap. Staff found it to be inconsistent with the comprehensive plan but consistent with the future land use map. The central citizens advisory committee voted 1-17 against the proposed rezoning and the planning commission had had considerable discussion about the case, hearing it four times in their regular sessions and once in the committee of the whole.
- Z-28-14 South Person Street. This item has been up before council for the last two sessions. At the initial public hearing, neighborhood residents were divided as to whether the rezoning would allow for some vibrancy within the community or that the sale of alcohol would damage the community in the long run. Phuc Tran, the applicant, is challenging the validity of the valid statutory protest petition and wants to turn the former Seventh Day Adventist Church into a restaurant.
Public Hearings at 7pm
- Z-27-14 City-wide Remapping of UDO Rezoning Districts. When the city council adopted the 2030 comprehensive plan, they called for increased density in Raleigh. It was a departure from the urban sprawl of years past and focused on building up rather than building out.The planning commission has been hearing rezoning cases since the adoption of the comprehensive plan for developers who want to speed up the process. This case is the only public hearing scheduled for the evening session and it is an important one. Here, citizens will be allowed to share their input on whether they want increased density in their communities.
The remapping, if it goes through, will affect 41,000 acres of property in the city of Raleigh. It will transform the old zoning codes into mixed-use districts, which oftentimes allow for much more density and the associated impacts that has on the community. This is a chance for citizens to express their opinions on this potential change. After closing the public hearing, councilors will have the option of voting to approve, deny, or hold the item.