City Council Agenda Preview

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agendapreviewCity council agendas follow a very traditional format. First, there is the consent agenda, for routine items that can be approved in just one motion. Second, there’s the report and recommendation of the planning commission, where public hearings are set for rezoning cases. There’s the report and recommendation for the city manager, and then for city departments. Finally, the committees — public works or law and public safety for instance — make their reports.

These agenda previews will highlight the most important, engaging, and interesting items that we feel the public needs to know about. This week has a special edition — the city council work session. In work sessions, councilors hear updates about significant items. They are a chance for staff to receive feedback from councilors in order to move forward with a project.

Work Session Items

1. Wake Transit Investment Strategy Update
The Wake County Transit Strategy involves numerous organizations throughout the county whose representatives formed a committee. After meetings with the public, a report was published that frames for citizens and public officials what the current needs are for transit and what  changes need to be made to meet them. In the work session, city staff will provide councilors with an update and generate strategies for  moving forward.

Consent Agenda Items

7.1 Kaplan Drive Traffic Calming
On June 5, 2012, the neighborhood traffic calming project for Kaplan Drive, between the streets of Kent Road and Melbourne. This item is a “bid” item, where companies bid to complete the project and list their contracting costs. In this case, Browe Construction, the lowest apparent bidder. Approval of this item — at a contracted cost of $653,108 — will give the green light for a city contract with Browe and allow the project to proceed.

Special Items

1. Buffaloe-New Hope Small Area Plan
This item, a vision for the area surrounding the intersection of Buffaloe Road and New Hope Road, was presented to council on May 5. At that meeting, Councilor Odom asked for a neighborhood resident of the area to share her concerns with the plan to the other councilors. Staff was then instructed to meet the resident and incorporate feedback. Revisions to the plan including a section on improving walkability. It is recommended for approval.

2. Retail Task Force
This item is also the result of a discussion at the May 5 city council meeting. At that meeting, Councilor Baldwin suggested developing a retail task force. The task force would research available retail opportunities in downtown and to consider any changes needed to address challenges for consumers.

Report and Recommendation of the City Manager

1. Dix Park Acquisition Financing Options
In a memo from the city’s chief financial officer Perry E. James to city manager Ruffin Hall, James outlines three strategies for financing the $52 million cost of the Dix Park property. Option three, a 10-year direct bank loan/installment would allow the sale of the property to be closed by the end of July 2015, months before the other two options. Staff is recommending that course of action and that a public hearing be set June 2, 2015.

Dix Park

James Borden

Raleigh’s skyline as seen from Dix Park

Report and Recommendation of the Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board

1. Private Use of Park Space
In 2013, citizens increasingly complained about private businesses, such as car detailers, dog trainers and fitness “boot camps” using the parks and greenway systems for profit. This new policy prohibits commercial activity on the parks and greenway systems unless authorized by the parks, recreation, and cultural resources director. If authorized, the vendor would have to pay a fee and have insurance.

Report and Recommendation of the Comprehensive Planning Committee

1. Z-34-14 Rezoning Case
This item was referred to the comprehensive planning committee after a public hearing on May 5. While the planning commission had voted to recommend approval of the case, the citizens advisory council vote was 3-9 against. In the comprehensive planning committee, the applicant agreed to three new conditions, including that all exterior lighting be used as full cutoff lighting. Councilors will vote here to approve or disapprove the case.

The red dot signifies the land which would be rezoned.

The red dot signifies the land which would be rezoned.

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