Council Roundup: One Day, One Neighborhood, Two Road Races

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May 11 is going to be a busy one for a neighborhood around Spruce Tree Way near Falls of Neuse Road.

RunRaleigh Races will hold a race at 9 a.m. that day. The race is one of two on the same day in the same area, a conflict that exposes a gray area in the city’s race policy, which attempts to avoid such duplication.

In this case, Assistant City Manager Dan Howe said one race uses a commercial street and a greenway, the other uses residential streets in a different direction. The start and end points of each race are about a half-mile apart.

The incident is another on a list of reasons Councilors lately have discussed changing policies around road races. A new special events office has been proposed to coordinate races. Meanwhile, Councilors are looking at other ways to balance the residents’ concerns about race impact with the goals of those organizing the events.

Howe said there have been concerns from both May 11 race organizers that one might cannibalize the other; one is a 5k and the other is a 10k.

“We think these two races can happen at the same time, without any logistical impact,” Howe said.

Still, he added, logistics don’t address the concerns from organizers about how participation might be affected.

A relatively unknown law in the city code actually prohibits two events from happening at the same time. The city has been allowing this to happen for years, without any adverse effects. Howe said that his staff will come back with a report on repealing that part of the code and replacing it with a more comprehensive policy.

Wilmington Retreat Agenda Released
City Manager Ruffin Hall presented Councilors with the agenda for next week’s City Council retreat.

Councilors agreed to have the retreat in Wilmington Jan. 30 and 31 after some debate about whether councilors should travel out of town or stay local. The retreat was pared down to two full days in order to save money and reduce Council members’ time away from family and their jobs.

Last year, Councilors went to Zebulon for the retreat, but opted to head out of town this year at Hall’s recommendation.

Only a handful of the city’s high-ranking staff will be attending the retreat, but Hall said that support staff will be constantly updated throughout the meeting so that they can join the conversation if necessary.

The retreat will focus on future growth, strategic planning and creating working expectations between Councilors and the city manager.

Councilors will be required to make a five- to seven-minute presentation about what they believe about the future of Raleigh. The exercise is based on National Public Radio’s This I Believe essay format.

Another exercise will have Councilors draw on a map what they’d like to see — or not see — in Raleigh in 10 to 15 years.

Public Input Process for Raleigh Historic District Guidelines
The public input process for the Raleigh Historic District design guidelines could get underway in about a month and a meeting facilitator will be hired to guide the conversation.

The process will consist of two or three public meetings that will address three key issues:

  • Do the Design Guidelines for Raleigh Historic Districts adequately reflect the community’s standards for historic preservation design review?
  • Should the committee structure of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission be revisited?
  • How can new residents be made aware that they live in a Raleigh Historic District and what that means for them?

The design guidelines are under review in the city attorney’s office, but that review will be put on hold in case changes are made after the public process.

While the public process can get underway fairly quickly, changes to the structure could take more time.

A resident has requested that Councilors deny a Certificate of Appropriateness for this project at 516 Euclid St. in the Oakwood neighborhood

Karen Tam / Raleigh Public Record

A resident has requested that Councilors deny a Certificate of Appropriateness for this project at 516 Euclid St. in the Oakwood neighborhood

The dialogue is the result of an ongoing debate within historic districts about contemporary versus complementary development.

A project on Euclid Street in the Oakwood neighborhood was appealed to the Board of Adjustment after some neighbors complained that the modern look and design of the house wasn’t complementary to the historic neighborhood.

The case will be heard Feb. 10.

Councilor Requests Dog Waste Pickup Stations
After receiving a number of emails from concerned residents, Councilor Thomas Crowder requested that funding be made available for additional dog cleanup stations in city parks.

The stations, found scattered throughout Raleigh’s park system, provide bags to collect dog waste along with a small trash can.

Crowder said additional stations could help alleviate recent concerns about unleashed dogs in city parks.

“I think if we provided these stations that would be a big help to some of these objections,” he said.

Next week, the Public Works Committee will discuss a possible dogs ban in certain parts of Raleigh’s park system, included ball fields and playgrounds. Leashed dogs would still be allowed through most park areas and on greenways.

The Public Works Committee will meet at 5 p.m. Jan. 28.

Rezoning Public Hearing Set
The rezoning public hearing for a piece of property on Bland Road will be held Feb. 4.

The property will be rezoned for commercial use because the owners who wish to sell the land believe they will make a bigger profit if the property is used for commercial rather than residential.

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