City councilors unanimously agreed Tuesday to do away with the alternate day watering restrictions that have been in place since the 2007-08 drought.
Since then, Raleigh residents have only been permitted to water their lawns on even or odd numbered days, depending on their house number. Though Raleigh remains in a slight drought condition, public works staff said lifting the restriction wouldn't pose any threat to the water supply.
Public Utilities Director John Carman said residents should still be encouraged to continue to use water efficiently.
“We have a very environmentally conscious population,” he said.
The change was suggested as a revenue generator by Councilor John Odom.
City Manager Russell Allen said he could not estimate how much revenue would be generated. Tiered water rates provide a financial incentive to conserve, he said.
“We don’t know how much revenue it would generate, but we would think that it would probably generate some,” Allen said.
Councilor Thomas Crowder said while he approves of the change, he doesn't see it as way to increase water revenues.
“I think it's more of a convenience issue,” he said, adding he thinks residents will continue to conserve water.
How the city determines water rates will be discussed in next week's Budget and Economic Development meeting. The committee will meet Tuesday at 11 a.m. in City Hall room 305.
Creedmoor Road to Get Sidewalks
North Raleigh residents will be able to stroll from Strickland Road to Crabtree Valley Mall after the city installs more than three miles of new sidewalks. The project will fill in the gaps on both sides of Creedmoor Road between Glenwood Avenue and Strickland Road.
The project will cost about $1.5 million with $1.2 million, which comes from federal sources. The city kicks in the remaining $300,000.
The sidewalks are scheduled to be completed next summer.
Council UDO Discussions Take Place in Committee
As the Planning Commission moves through the Unified Development Ordinance, the complete rewrite of the city’s zoning code, city councilors will begin looking at specific issues in the Comprehensive Planning Committee.
Committee members will begin looking at the UDO's adequate facilities requirement, which would provide minimum standards for streets, public utilities, stormwater and emergency response in areas that are severely lacking. Today, developers foot the bill for making sure that these standards are met. But, the UDO would require the city take part in this expense.
More discussion is needed, however, because the UDO does not outline what these minimum standards are or outline for how they will be paid.
The committee will also look at using bonuses or incentives to implement comprehensive plan policies, particularly as it relates to affordable housing.
Possible incentives are increasing height or density limits and tiered impact fees.
Planning staff will also provide case studies to determine how the UDO would affect future development by looking at how a particular project would have evolved had it been done under the UDO. Staff could also provide sample maps and examples of how the regulations would be applied today.
The Comprehensive Planning Committee will meet on May 9 at 5 p.m. at City Hall in room 305.