Dix Debate Nears Compromise

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Editor’s Note: This story is one of our new weekly roundups looking at state legislation that affects the Raleigh area. 

The effects of crossover are still being felt as legislation seems to pile up on the assembly floor. Two bills in particular got some attention this past week, both with significant implications for the future of Wake County’s landscape.

Red Route Gets Green Light
A bill looking to remove restrictions for a study of a southeast extension of N.C. 540, the so-called “Red Route,” has passed both the House and Senate. The route in question would run through various parks and recreation areas in Garner, and it would also conflict with the town’s comprehensive growth plan. Representatives Paul Stam and Nelson Dollar were primary sponsors of the bill. It passed unanimously in the House and passed in the Senate at 33 to 17, with Wake County Republicans Tamara Barringer and Neal Hunt voting “yea” and local Democrats Dan Blue and Josh Stein voting “no” along with Republican Chad Barefoot. The legislation will allow the North Carolina Department of Transportation to study the controversial route. It also removes three turnpike projects planned for other parts of the state.

Text of the bill’s third reading in the House.

Dix Debate Gets Another Year
The Dorothea Dix deal could be revived in a deal touted last week by the governor. The compromise gives the state and the City of Raleigh a year to work out a new lease to create a park on the Dix land bordering downtown.

The Department of Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services will evaluate the property and report back on the value along with office space needs. Gov. Pat McCrory and Mayor Nancy McFarlane met last Thursday for a press conference where both said they hoped to reach a compromise. The legislation making its way through the Senate calls for melding of destination park and adequate mental health facilities while still being financially prudent.

Read the bill’s current version.

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