We in North Raleigh have been following closely the rezoning case on Hillsborough Street for a seven story high rise. Raleigh’s Comprehensive Plan is very clear that the maximum number of stories of any building within a Neighborhood Mixed Use area should be 5. The residents and homeowners in that area voted at the Wade CAC 5 to 1 against seven stories and unanimously in favor of five stories as prescribed by the Comprehensive Plan. It was stated during today’s Council meeting that the Comprehensive Plan is “only a guide.” We are extremely concerned that the Comprehensive Plan’s guidance developed after years of input from citizens was not followed.
Following the Comprehensive Plan is extremely important and pertinent to rezoning not only on Hillsborough but also at Dunn and Falls of Neuse. The Comprehensive Plan is clear about the scale and intensity of development within Neighborhood Mixed Use areas. If the Comprehensive Plan is ignored, then that is a serious cause of concern for the more than 3400 who have signed our petition against rezoning and for the 522 who attended and participated in the City sanctioned CAC process and voted against rezoning at Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads.
Today City Council took up the Hillsborough Street rezoning case. This is how they voted:
Mary-Ann Baldwin: in favor of rezoning
Wayne Maiorano: in favor of rezoning
John Odom: in favor of rezoning
Bonner Gaylord: in favor of rezoning
Eugene Weeks: in favor of rezoning
Nancy McFarlaine: against rezoning
Russ Stephenson: against rezoning
Thomas Crowder: against rezoning
IMPORTANTLY: Today’s City Council vote was 5 to 3 in favor of rezoning – in other words a simple majority. Because the vote was a simple majority, City Council will hold a second vote in two weeks to affirm today’s vote. If the vote is not affirmed – that is one or more Councilor who voted for the rezoning – changes their vote, then the rezoning will fail.
We are, therefore, taking steps to arrange a meeting with our Councilor, Mr. John Odom, to discuss today’s vote. We need to understand the rationale for today’s vote and how that rationale will affect us regarding the rezoning at Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads. We very much need a transparent conversation about the role, if any, of the Comprehensive Plan in rezoning and development. To his credit, Mr. Odom is looking forward to meeting with us. As Mr. Odom expressed during today’s meeting he has gone back and forth on this issue several times. Clearly the issue is not cut-and-dried. Consequently, we are in the process of arranging a meeting location and time. As soon as these are firm, we will send another notice.
So, please stay tuned.
North Raleigh Citizens Vote in Record Numbers to Oppose Publix Development; Developer’s Call for a Boycott Questioned
Since the 1970s Raleigh has sought citizen input on virtually every rezoning for a development project by way of a formal vote. For forty years the expectation has been that developers will present their proposals to citizens through one of the City’s nineteen Citizens Advisory Councils (CACs) and that citizens will provide feedback through a formal vote.
Beginning last November Morgan Property Group has held public meetings and distributed thousands of flyers designed by a professional campaign advisor to inform area residents about its plans to build a shopping plaza at Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads. As expected Morgan and its attorneys also made formal presentations at three separate CAC meetings to North Raleigh citizens – one more than the traditional two meetings.
On Thursday, June 5, a record number of people participated in what would become a historic CAC meeting. Nearly 600 people attended the event at Durant Road Middle School. Parents came with their children; senior citizens and young professionals all joined as a community to speak their voice.
The results of that vote were 23 in favor of rezoning and 522 against rezoning.
Remarkably, about an hour prior to the vote, the developer issued a statement to reporters indicating that they had advised their supporters to boycott the meeting. A survey of the developer’s website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page revealed no such announcement. Several members of the community who had signed up to be on the developer’s email distribution list received no notice whatsoever about avoiding the meeting or boycotting the vote. Numerous social media sites such as Facebook groups for specific neighborhoods and Next Door which would normally have had considerable chatter about such an announcement were silent. In fact, 23 supporters did show up to vote and not a single one mentioned receiving any notification from the developer to boycott the meeting.
We allow readers to draw their own conclusions about this unprecedented move.
The fact remains that an unprecedented 522 citizens – 95.8% of the total vote – in North Raleigh came forward to let City Council and Government know that they do not want this particular development for a destination shopping center. Yet, the community is far from hostile to development and welcomes a small, walkable, neighborhood oriented center as envisioned in Raleigh’s Comprehensive Plan.
“We feel it is in everyone’s interest that this process not become a circus,” said Trey Morgan, President of Morgan Property Group. “It is unfortunate that a small and highly vocal group of activists has created a hostile environment, that impedes what should be a reasonable give and take between us and the community. In the interest of civility, we have advised our supporters to stay home and not attend tonight’s CAC meeting, because we have no desire to pit neighbors against one another. It is our hope this process can come back into order at the Planning and City Commission meetings that are upcoming.”
Media Contact: Trey Morgan, President, Morgan Property Group
Here is the small group of vocal activists and the “hostile circus” from last night.
At last night’s Citizens Advisory Council well over Five Hundred citizens came and expressed their opinions about the proposed rezoning at Dunn and Falls of Neuse roads. Here are the results of the vote that was taken:
For Rezoning: 23
Against Rezoning: 522
We have two very important rezoning announcements. We encourage you to email this announcement to your neighbors, friends, family, and post it to your Facebook timeline should you have a Facebook account.
First, next Tuesday, June 3 at 7PM City Council will be conducting a public hearing on zoning case Z-2-14 for a proposed seven story building on Hillsborough Street. Our neighbors on Hillsborough Street are supporting us in our rezoning case and, consequently, we will be present at that public hearing to support them.
If it is at all possible, please come to this City Council meeting at 222 W. Hargett Street on the second floor in City Council Chambers.
We also ask that you take a moment to email City Council and simply inform them you oppose Z-2-14. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Let us show our neighbors that we stand together to oppose these out of scale rezonings that harm neighborhoods!
Second, a week from Thursday, June 5 at 7PM will be our chance to vote on the rezoning at Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads. This meeting will be closer to home at the Durant Middle School. We expect that there will be some presentations followed by a vote around 8PM. Please plan to arrive by 7:30PM at the latest. Please note that you must be present to vote. If you have children, we have been informed by the meeting Chairman that you should feel free to bring them with you.
Note that the vote is NOT by household. Each person counts as a vote and anyone 18 or older can vote. The results of this vote will go to City Council and will be a major factor in their decision to either rezone or not rezone.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or visit our website at http://www.protectfalls.com.
A VOTE IS EXPECTED FOR THE REZONING OF DUNN AND FALLS OF NEUSE AT THE NEXT CAC MEETING.
THE MEETING WILL BE HELD THE FIRST THURSDAY OF JUNE (JUNE 5) AT 7:00 PM AT DURANT MIDDLE SCHOOL.
WE ARE EXPECTING SUPPORTERS OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT TO BE IN ATTENDANCE. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT AS MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE OPPOSED TO THIS REZONING PROPOSAL BE IN ATTENDANCE AS POSSIBLE. AS A REMINDER, HERE IS THE TYPE OF DEVELOPMENT THAT WE ARE HOPING TO STOP.
This evening a packed house at Raleigh City Council supported the presentation of “Unintended Consequences: Neighborhoods and the Impact of Raleigh’s UDO and Comprehensive Plan.” This position paper is the work of the residents of several neighborhoods from throughout Raleigh to press the case for needed changes in the newly adopted Unified Development Ordinance (aka UDO). In short, the UDO is broken and the City needs to take another look at it and fix it.
To learn more, please download a copy of the “Unintended Consequences” and join with us to protect and preserve Raleigh’s great neighborhoods. To download, simply click this picture or click here.