Late November Earliest Date for UDO Public Hearing

A new city zoning code is coming, but not as soon as expected.

The earliest a public hearing for the new zoning code could be scheduled is late November. Raleigh City Councilors originally planned to have the new code passed by the end of the year, but the new timetable pushes final passage back to early next year.

Christine Darges, with the Planning Department, updated the Council Tuesday on the status of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) review process as part of a request last month to postpone the public hearing.

The hearing was supposed to be held in July, but the advisory group working on the code asked for more time to answer some lingering questions before presenting the draft to the public.

Darges said that the group continues to move forward and meet regularly with key stakeholders including Wake Up Wake County, the Technical Review Committee and the Home Builders Association.

“We're still committed to remaining open to any neighborhood groups who wish to come into the city to ask questions,” said Darges, adding that they are still receiving comments online, and through email and letters.

Staff will continue to go through the UDO line-by-line. They anticipate completing the process by mid-August, along with the meetings, internal audit and comments. From there, major issues will be addressed and changed.

Councilor Thomas Crowder expressed concerns about how specific ordinances, such as those regulating pawn shops, will merge into the UDO if some of those special ordinances don't exist in the new code.

Mayor Charles Meeker asked the Planning Department staff to make a list of 15 or 20 ordinances that would be affected.

Darges said additional funding would not be necessary if they were to extend their contract with the consulting firm for this added review.

Housing and Transportation Bonds Added to October Ballot
After a public hearing that consisted of only two speakers, the Councilors approved a referendum for $56 million in housing and transportation bonds to be placed on the Oct. 11 ballot. The bond would not exceed $40 million for transportation and $16 million for housing.

Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation Chair Todd Jones told the Council the bonds will help create a healthy and affordable housing environment, which will stimulate economic growth.

Kevin Campell, director for building industry relations for Habitat for Humanity, said the organization is in the process of building eight new homes and renovating 10 in the city. With the help of the bond funding, Habitat has been able to help residents buy their first homes.

Sidewalks Condemned for Repair
In order to repair sidewalks on seven Raleigh streets, the city council voted 7 to 1 to condemn them and move forward with the project. John Odom voted against it. City Manager Russell Allen said that it was necessary to take this step or risk losing the grants that fund the project.

The city received grants from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization with 80 percent of those funds coming from the federal government and the rest from the city.

The areas on Lake Boone Trail between I-440 and Dixie Trail came under fire from residents who called it a waste of taxpayer money. Residents also previously expressed concerns about safety and damage to trees.

The sidewalks in front of the following homes will be condemned:

1002 Lake Boone Trail
1000 Lake Boone Trail
3338 Lake Boone Trail
3324 Lane Boone Trail
3320 Lake Boone Trail
3316 Lake Boone Trail
3328 Lake Boone Trail
3312 Lake Boone Trail
3204 Lake Boone Trail
1901 Ridge Road
1900 Ridge Road
1905 Highland Place
1900 Highland Place
1901 Chase Court
1900 Chase Court
4308 Falls of Neuse Road
4400 Falls of Neuse Road
4203 Wake Forest Road
4209 Wake Forest Road
4205 Wake Forest Road
3108 Calvary Drive
3115 Calvary Drive
4409 Capital Boulevard
4413 Capital Boulevard
4500 Capital Boulevard
3316 Wade Avenue
1100 Dogwood Lane

Council Chooses Designer for Remote Operations Facilities
The City Council approved a designer for the remote operations facilities, which will replace outdated facilities, improve service to growing parts of the city, reduce the amount of time crews spend on the road, reduce fossil fuels and greenhouse gases and open up valuable real estate in downtown Raleigh.

The downtown facility will be located east of Capital Boulevard and north of the Interstate 440. The city will negotiate a contract with Williard Ferm Architects for the design of the site.

The northeast facility will be located on a 19-acre parcel at the intersection of Burwell and Spottswood streets. The council approved a contract with Jacobs Engineering Group totaling $151,200 for engineering services.

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