Council Roundup: Honeycutt Greenway Decision Delayed

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A decision on the Honeycutt Greenway Trail has been delayed again.

But the clock is ticking. Councilors have until their next meeting to award the construction contract to Rifenburg Construction, Inc. Otherwise, the bidding process will start over.

The total project will cost about $2.95 million.

The 5.6 mile trail would connect to the East Fork Mine Creek Trail at Longstreet Drive and would connect the 60-mile South Shore Trail and the Dr. Annie L. Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park.

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A portion of the Walnut Creek greenway.

The point of discussion was the intersection of Honeycutt and Durant roads, where the trail would transition to an unpaved walking trail. The unpaved portion would be the South Shore Trail and nature preserve connector.

It would run through lands managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC).

Part of the money for the project would come from the Crabtree Creek Greenway Lindsay to Umstead project. The city would have to reallocate another $637,000.

Councilor Randy Stagner said he didn’t like that the city was defunding projects to pay for other projects and suggested removing the construction of the unpaved portion of the trail from the project for the time being.

The unpaved portion is estimated to cost about $220,000.

Stagner said that the unpaved portion could then be prioritized with other greenway projects.

Senior Greenway Planner Vic Lebsock said that even with the funding, the Crabtree project isn’t viable.

Councilor Bonner Gaylord said the city is always going to have to move funds around. The unpaved portion amounts to less than 8 percent of the project, he said.

“It makes sense to me as is,” he said.

While Gaylord said he’d used the unpaved portion of the trail, Stagner wasn’t convinced most people would, especially if they were biking.

The unpaved portion would only be used for foot traffic.

Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin suggested holding off for another two weeks. During that time Parks and Recreation staff can compile a list of Greenway priority projects.

Councilor Eugene Weeks said he was even more confused than when the conversation started, but that he wanted to see the project move forward in its entirety. He voted against the delay.

Cell Tower Will be Constructed in Oakwood
Councilors approved a special use permit that would allow a 150-foot cell phone tower to be constructed in the Oakwood neighborhood.

The tower will be located at 910 Brookside Drive, next to Oakwood Cemetery. The portion that the tower will be constructed on is owned by the Raleigh Cemetery Association and is leased to the city as part of Oakwood Park.

Along with the tower, a 320-square-foot fenced area will house the structure along with any equipment. The horseshoe pits will be moved to another part of the park.

SouthLight Funding Approved
After nearly a year of community debate and delay, Councilors approved funding for an affordable housing community in South Raleigh.

SouthLight plans to build a 16-bedroom affordable housing complex for people suffering from substance abuse disorders or mental illness.

The total request is $450,000. SouthLight requested the same amount from Wake County.

The complex will be located on the SouthLight property on Garner and Newcombe roads. Typically, affordable housing projects would not be permitted in this part of Raleigh based on the city’s Scatter Site Housing Policy. But, Councilors allowed the exception because SouthLight owns the property and the complex will work in conjunction with the treatment center located next door.

Garbage Rules to Change
Residents will soon have less time to bring in their garbage cans after Councilors unanimously approved changes to collection rules.

Today, residents can put their trash cans out as early as noon the day before their designated pickup day. It must be removed by 7 p.m. the day after pickup.

The rule seems to have exacerbated the already-existing problem of residents leaving their carts out for days at a time.

Districts with a high-number of rental properties — Southwest and Southeast Raleigh in particular — have the largest number of offenders.

The council approved drafting the following changes:

•    Changing the time the containers can be placed outside to sundown the night before.
•    Changing time they must be brought in to sunup the day after pickup.
•    Increasing education for placement and removal of solid waste containers from the curb.
•    Change the violation recipient from the tenant to the owner of the property.
•    Attached dwelling projects (like townhouses) with more than five units must have private collection.
•    Amending the Solid Waste Collection Design Manual to include changes.

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