Council preview: Pine straw rules up for a vote

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Read the full agenda below.

City council could pass new rules governing the use of pine straw near rental properties on Tuesday. The rules would prohibit using pine straw as ground cover within 10 feet of rental properties.

If council adopts the new regulation this week it would go into effect in one year.

The new rules will not apply to owner-occupied homes, because of what a fire department official called property and constitutional issues.

According to the Law and Public Safety Committee minutes, the Raleigh Fire Department plans to bring up the risks of pine straw with the state Building Code Council, which could regulate pine straw near private homes.

Smoking in city parks

Two years ago the city asked the General Assembly for the ability to legislate smoking in parks. That law became a reality at the beginning of this year. The Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board now wants council permission to study tobacco use in parks and develop recommendations on what to do with smokers in city parks.

Union Station

The proposal to create a new transit center on the western side of downtown will go before the full council this week after it was introduced during a special meeting last week.

Raleigh Union Station would serve city and Triangle Transit busses, Amtrak and eventually light rail. Council will get its first real crack at discussing the idea this week.

Human services grants

The city received almost $1.7 million in grant requests this year. The volunteer commission tasked with evaluating the proposals recommends spending $500,000 on non-profit organizations serving Raleigh residents for the next fiscal year.

Every year the city funds a number of grants. Despite to dismal budget outlook for the next year, Mayor Charles Meeker recently told the Raleigh Public Record that he hopes to continue funding the programs.

Read the commission’s recommendations below. City council will consider the grants in the coming months as it works to craft a balanced budget for the next year.

BMW bikes for the RPD

The Raleigh Police Department wants council approval to lease nine BMW motorcycles from Sparta Commercial Services Inc. The 36-month lease would cost $185,000. The agenda says the funds are already budgeted by the police department.

West Morgan Street project

The cost of the ongoing Morgan Street roundabout and two-way conversion could go up by more than 50 percent if council approves the increase this week. The new total for the project will be more than $1.7 million.

The $634,000 increase would cover replacing the sanitary sewer lines around Ashe Avenue, modifying traffic signals in the area and “unanticipated work associated with the sanitary sewer and storm drainage,” according to the agenda.

Sidewalks

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission has a set of sidewalk priorities to present to council this week. The top five sidewalk projects are:

  • Wake Forest Road/Falls of Neuse Road, from Hardimont Road to Bland Road/Pacific Drive
  • Wade Avenue, from Hobson Court to Annapolis Drive
  • Hillsborough Street, from Beryl Road to east of Royal Street
  • Lake Boone Trail, from I-440 to Dixie Trail
  • Poole Road, from Sunnybrook Road to Old Poole Road

City Council Agenda May 4 2010

Grant Recommendations

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