City council sessions on June 2 — 1 p.m. for its regular session and 7 p.m. for its public hearings session
City 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. Let’s start with the consent agenda.
Consent Agenda Items
4.2 Emergency Solutions Grant. Less than one month after approval of the five year consolidated plan, the city’s housing and neighborhoods department has been quite busy. This grant is an allocation of funding to three different organizations whose aim is to reduce homelessness in the area. The funding will go to emergency shelters, a rapid rehousing program, and homelessness prevention activities. Single homeless women without children are a target area for these three programs.
6.1 Professional Services — Clearscapes, P.A. As the Raleigh Union Station project has gotten underway in the past few weeks, a noticeable amount of items concerning it have appeared on the agenda. This item is a contract for construction administration services to Clearscapes, P.A., which is an architecture firm in Raleigh. Some of the contract requirements for Clearscapes include overseeing submitted contractor documents and third-party inspections. Steven Schuster, planning commission chairman, is a principal in the firm.
9.1 Construction Management — Raleigh Union Station. Another Raleigh Union Station item here. In the process of coming up with the initial design for Raleigh Union Station, numerous items were debated due to lack of funding. Now, with the city sustainability fund, many of the items are back on the table. They include a civic plaza rain garden, LED lighting upgrade, micro louvre glazing, solar powered big belly trash compactors, two touch screen educational kiosks, and a way finding map for the sight impaired. All for a total of $523,533.
Report and Recommendation of the City Manager
- Town and Country Road Traffic Calming. This item has been making its way through the city municipal build for two months now. An initial public hearing for this traffic calming project showed enough opposition to send it to committee, then back to council, then to the people for more input. With that input, staff is recommending using horizontal streetscape modifications to the section of street in question and to have the addition of one speed hump. Council has the option to either approve, deny, or hold the case.
- Google Fiber Update. On May 20, 2014, the city entered into an agreement with Google to allow them to provide their fiber based services from city-owned parcels. 10 sites were selected, including a site on New Bern Road, the North Hills Park, and a parcel on Wade Avenue. In the three cases, different city departments had control of them — community development, parks, recreation, and cultural resources, and utilities respectively. The next step in the process is individual site licenses and agreements. Then it will be up to Google as to when to start construction.
Report and Recommendation of the Law and Public Safety Committee
- Internet Home Rental Services. At this past week’s law and public safety committee meeting, staff gave a presentation outlining possible regulations to these Internet home rental services. Councilors Maiorano and Baldwin recommended approval of a “use by right” limited use zoning situation with a two-bedroom renting maximum and have sent it to city council. Here, the council can either approve the recommendation, deny it, or defer it to another session.
Matters Scheduled for Public Hearings
- Rezoning Z-28-14 — South Person Street. This rezoning case concerns a church constructed in 1923. The applicant, Phuc Tran, had renovated the church considerably after buying the property and now wants it rezoned so he can turn it into a restaurant. Many conditions have been applied to this case and a valid statutory petition has been filed. The local citizens advisory council voted twice in unanimous denial of the case.