City council sessions on June 16 — 11:30 a.m. for its work session and 1 p.m. for its regular 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. 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
- Affordable Housing Plan Update. There are two items in the budget and economic development committee that this update will hope to address — a revision of the scattered site housing policy and an updated affordable housing policy. The goal for this work session is to provide the mayor and councilors with preliminary policy ideas.
Consent Agenda Items
- Dix Property Acquisition Financing. The process of turning Dix Park from a historic mental hospital to a large park is moving quickly. Councilors had been provided with three options by the city’s chief financial officer on how to fund it and councilors decided to go with the bank loan option, which is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable option out of the three. After a bid process, Bank of America was selected, providing an interest rate of 2.18% over ten years.
- 7.6 License Agreement — Google Fiber. The process of bringing Google Fiber to Raleigh has been a discussed topic within the past few weeks. After the city’s chief information officer made a presentation to councilors in the last city council regular session, the discussion turned to when the Google fiber huts would be made and in what time frame. The North Hills Park location is the first of the huts to undergo the licensing agreement, which will bring in an annual revenue of $4,576.
- 7.11 Contract Services — Off-Street Parking Decks Safety Patrol — Downtown Raleigh Alliance. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has many functions within downtown Raleigh — organizing events and giving councilors its opinion on policy initiatives included. One of its roles is to provide “safety ambassadors” who patrol the parking decks and associated stairwells. The cost to keep it running is $469,315 and it covers eight parking decks and six surface lots.
- Home Rental Services. At the last city council regular session, councilors spent a long amount of time discussing the future of home rental services in Raleigh. These services are short term stays, similar to hotels, rented out by “hosts” to travelers visiting or newly relocating to the city. Staff was directed to draft a text change to reflect the policy councilors wanted and it will be presented at this city council regular session.
Matters Scheduled for Public Hearing
- Rezoning Z-28-14 — South Person Street. This public hearing was held open on June 2 after it was stated the applicant intended to bring forth new conditions — including a limit on hours of operation. The public hearing itself had been split between those in support of the applicant and those against the rezoning. The apprehensiveness to the rezoning concerned the fact that the sale of alcohol would be allowed in the establishment.
- Hillsborough Street Municipal Service District Expansion. While this item is the last item in the entire agenda and came with no auxiliary notes, it received a great deal of talk in the law and public safety committee, where citizens were concerned about the expansion of a district that they felt they didn’t need. The consensus came to adding come properties between Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village and some properties along Morgan Street to the municipal service district. This is the public hearing, after which councilors will make a decision.