City Council in their regular session Tuesday heard information about the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, a transportation improvement program and plans to renovate the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
Ken Bowers, the project director for the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, gave a progress report to councilors that included a summary of rezoning cases that were either approved or denied.
“Last year, there were twenty-three zoning cases, twenty that were approved and three that were denied,” Bowers said.
Four cases inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan were approved by council. Three of those four cases were designated “moderate density residential” under the Future Land Use map and one — Z-27-13 — resulted in an amendment to the Future Land Use map.
There were five text changes proposed in 2014, with four initiated by staff and one initiated through a citizen petition. Three of the text changes were approved, with the other two pending a decision.
The report was sent to the Planning Commission for further recommendation.
Todd Delk, a senior planning engineer for the city, presented an update for the transportation improvement program for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The update to the transportation improvement program is the first since phasing out the “Equity Formula,” which had been prioritizing the state’s transportation funds since 1989. The new formula, according to a city memo, will “create a data-driven, transparent process that maximizes travel and economic benefits with limited transportation funding.”
“On some cases, we lucked out and got new projects,” Delk said.
The data-driven process focused on highlighting projects that would reduce congestion and improve travel time between areas. Five new bridge projects were approved, including the Pullen Road Bridge at Western Boulevard and the Capital Boulevard Bridge at Crabtree Creek.
“We also see some multimodal projects coming along,” Delk said.
The projects defunded under the new formula were the widening of Glenwood Avenue and a grade separation between Blue Ridge Road, Hillsborough Street, and the North Carolina railroad.
Jim Lavery from the Performing Arts Center updated city council about the plans to renovate the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
The main plans include an attempt to brighten the features of the building by adding LED lights. Other mentioned renovations included “cleaning up the look” of the interior of the building, bringing the lobby to one level, and having a new memorial wall, which will memorialize fallen soldiers from the area who fought in one of the U.S. wars.
Councilor Crowder asked about the lifesaving adjustments being made to the building, including the installation of an elevator. It was said that the new lifesaving adjustments will mostly include fire safety devices, such as sprinklers.
Councilor Baldwin asked about external signage to let drivers know what events are going on in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. It was said that money had been allotted for such a sign.
All items were approved on the consent agenda and public hearings were set for five Planning Commission items.