Important Updates for October 1, 2014

Hello everyone we have several important  updates regarding the rezoning of Dunn and Falls of Neuse.

Update 1:  Additional Protest Petition Filed

Yesterday we filed an additional protest petition with the City Clerk’s office.  The reason for filing the petition is that the original protest petitions were filed back in January.  Considering that so many months have gone by, we wanted to ensure that those petitions could not be challenged.  We received verification today that the petition has been validated.  As a consequence, the rezoning request can be defeated with just three out of eight votes on City Council.

Update 2:  This Month’s CAC Meeting

Tomorrow, October 2, there will be another CAC meeting at the Anne Gordon Center at Millbrook Exchange Park at 1901 Spring Forest Road.  The meeting will start at 7pm.  We will be presenting two resolutions for those attending the CAC to vote on.  These resolutions are as follows:

RESOLUTION 1:  PROTECT THE URBAN WATERSHED

Currently in section 9.1.9 of the UDO there is a provision requiring that lots greater than two acres in size must preserve 40% of the land as trees.  This requirement is considered to be best practice for protecting watersheds throughout the country.  An excellent resource on the subject of forestation for watersheds in metropolitan areas is the Urban Watershed Forestry Manual:

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/watershed/pdf/Urban%20Watershed%20Forestry%20Manual%20Part%201.pdf

For example, on page 29, the manual states, “A numerical target for forest cover should be defined first for the entire community, and then for each individual watershed within the community. American Forests recommends 40% cover for most metropolitan areas, and a number of communities have already adopted this as a goal.”  More information is also in appendix F.  Raleigh has adopted this standard in the UDO.

Section 9.1.9 is an important provision to ensure that lots are not covered with large asphalt parking lots.  The huge Lifetime Fitness is also in the watershed and it must also comply with this section of the UDO.  However, we have learned that some in the development community would like to eliminate or weaken this requirement.  Consequently, we will introduce the following resolution at the CAC meeting:

  • Resolution:  The North Raleigh CAC advises Raleigh City Council to keep and maintain section 9.1.9A of the UDO to preserve trees as described in said section for all watersheds including the Urban watershed for all lots greater than 2 acres in size.

 

RESOLUTION 2: REMOVE DESIGNATION OF NEIGHBORHOOD MIXED USE FROM COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

Currently the 2030 Comprehensive Plan designates the land at Dunn and Falls of Neuse as Neighborhood Mixed Use.  The 2030 Comprehensive Plan is a vision and policy document to guide Raleigh’s future development.  The Comprehensive Plan was originally created during a period of time when our communities were being built.  As a consequence the vision for our area was crafted by people who did not and do not live here.  This year the City will be updating the Comprehensive Plan and we would like to provide our input into that process.

The attempt to rezone Dunn and Falls of Neuse has demonstrated to us how important the correct vision is to preserving and protecting our neighborhoods.  Do we want a strip mall that will turn our residential streets of Dunn and Whittington into plaza entrances?  We argue that this should not happen and that the area should remain residential in character.  One important step that we can take as a community is to express this vision repeatedly to City Council and to memorialize our vision in the Comprehensive Plan.  Therefore, we will introduce a resolution to remove the designation of Neighborhood Mixed Use to ensure that the land at Dunn and Falls of Neuse remains in the Falls River Planned Development District and that no more than 3000 sq feet of retail space per floor be allowed for any single retail establishment.  This requirement is how the land is currently zoned and has been zoned for many years.  Therefore, we will introduce the following resolution:

  • Resolution:  The North Raleigh CAC advises Raleigh City Council to remove in its entirety the designation of Neighborhood Mixed Use from the Future Land Use Map in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan for all land located at Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads.

With these resolutions we hope to take important steps to permanently protect our neighborhoods beyond this one particular rezoning case.

 

Update 3: Rezoning Case Moves to the Planning Commission

The next step for the rezoning of Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads will be for the case to go to the Planning Commission on Tuesday Oct 7 at 9am.  This public meeting will be held in City Council Chambers located on the second floor of 222 W Hargett Street.  We will be there to present our case to the Planning Commission to reject the rezoning request.  Given that the meeting is early in the morning of a weekday when people are trying to get their children to school and have jobs to go to, it will obviously be difficult to attend.  Obviously a show of unity and strength in numbers is important and we do ask that any who can attend please consider doing so.  The Planning Commission’s recommendation regarding the case will be sent to City Council where the final decision will be made.  We will, of course, provide additional information as this entire process moves forward.

We have posted helpful parking information on our website at http://protectfalls.com.  Questions can always be directed to us at norchoa@gmail.com.  We understand that the public will be allowed to comment during this meeting.

We continue to ask everyone to write to the Planning Commission to ask them to reject this rezoning request.  Here are the emails for the Planning Commission members:

ericmbraun@me.com,
buxton.jb@gmail.com,
flem1943@bellsouth.net,
mafluhrer@fluhrerreed.com,
eesterling@gmail.com,
jjl@millridgeco.com,
sschuster@clearscapes.com,
rlswink825@gmail.com,
adam.terando@gmail.com,
lwhitsett@williamsmullen.com

Thank you all for all of your support.

The North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners

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