Buck Jones Street Project Approved Despite Opposition

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Plans for improvements to Buck Jones Road are moving forward despite concerns from some area residents.

Raleigh City Council members this week approved plans for street improvements on Buck Jones Road that include adding sidewalks and expanding the road to three lanes with bike lanes on both sides of the street. The project will also consolidate and improve transit stops and create two roundabouts to help with traffic control.

Area resident Phyllis Nunn said she was concerned about losing the large, old oak trees on her property as a result of the street widening and the money the city is asking her and other residents to pay for the planned street improvements.

“My lot is 100-feet wide and they’re asking $32 a foot, which is not a small piece of change,” Nunn said.

Neighbor Jane Pfister echoed Nunn’s concern about the potential loss of trees and suggested the bicycle lanes were unnecessary. She said removing plans for bike lanes might save some trees.

“The bicycle lanes would start and end on this project. It doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t connect to anything,” Pfister said. “I don’t see the need for the bicycle lanes.”

Project staff said while different options were considered, the planned bike lanes were most consistent with the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

The estimated completion date for the Buck Jones Road improvement project is December 2015.

Funding for the $10.4-million project is included on the 2013 transportation bond. Raleigh residents will have the chance to vote on the $75-million transportation bond Oct. 8.

Proposals Sought for Sale and Development of Stone Warehouse
A piece of property once planned as an affordable housing community is now up for grabs.

Councilors this week voted to solicit proposals for the sale and development of Stone’s Warehouse property located at the intersection of East and Davie Streets.

The city purchased the property in 2001 and earlier this year approved a lease with Vann Joines and the Landmark Group to rezone and redevelop it into an affordable housing community geared toward artists and entrepreneurs.

Although the project received affordable housing funds from the city, the developer was unable to acquire the state tax credits needed to build the controversial 49-unit housing project.

The contract between Vann Joines, the Landmark Group and the city was terminated and the property will now go out for bid.

Two Rezoning Cases Sent to Comprehensive Planning Committee
Councilors voted to send two rezoning cases to the Comprehensive Planning Committee for further discussion.

The rezoning of a 34-acre property on Lake Boone Trail between Blue Ridge Road and the I-440 Beltline and the rezoning of a half-acre property on Oberlin Road will be discussed at the Oct. 9 Comprehensive Planning Committee meeting.

Sending rezoning cases to the Comprehensive Planning Committee before holding a public hearing is part of the new rezoning process under the new Unified Development Ordinance. This allows the applicant to make changes and add any necessary conditions before the public hearing occurs.

Public Hearing Scheduled on Traffic Calming
Residents will have the opportunity to make their voices heard about several planned traffic calming projects at the Nov. 5 City Council meeting.

Councilors authorized the Public Works Department to seek public input on the design aspect of seven traffic-calming projects that are scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2014.

The streets involved in the traffic calming project are:

– Delany Drive from Milburnie Road to Glascock Street
– Carlton Drive from Fox Road to Bentley Circle
– North King Charles Road – south from the traffic circle to Milburnie Road
– Cardinal Grove Boulevard – north from the Cardinal Grove Homeowners Association to Kyle Drive
– Cranbrook Road from Shelley Road to Six Forks Road
– Bennett Street from Glascock Street to Dennis Avenue
– Whitehall Avenue from Brockton Drive to East Millbrook Road

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