Breaking News!!! Senator John Alexander will vote NO on bill to repeal protest petitions

We are having an impact!  I just received the following note from Senator John Alexander:


Thank you for sharing your concerns with me about HB 201. I will be voting “no” today on HB 201.

Thanks again.
Senator John M. Alexander, Jr.


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July 1, 2015

Just days before our July 4th celebration members of the Commerce Committee of the North Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly to repeal homeowner’s right to file a rezoning protest petition.  The measure is expected to go before the full North Carolina Senate today.

In a stunning turn of events, North Carolina Senators bowed to the power and influence of the North Carolina Home Builders Association and approved a measure that will take away a nearly 100 year old right of North Carolinians to effectively challenge rezoning of land directly adjacent to home owners.  For 100 years home owners concerned about a rezoning could compel City councils to adopt rezoning only if three-fourths of the council members agreed.  To put this into perspective, Raleigh has 7 Councilors and the Mayor for a total of 8 votes.  With a protest petition 6 votes are needed to pass a rezoning.  Without a protest petition only 5 votes are needed.  This difference of 1 vote is what Senators are taking away.

However, this 1 vote can make all the difference.  It can be enough to compel a developer to change a project to mitigate the harm that could come to adjacent home owners and entire neighborhoods.  Protest petitions do not stop rezonings.  They only raise the bar for approval by requiring an additional vote.  When it comes to building next door to homes and neighborhoods, shouldn’t the bar be set just a little bit higher as it has for the past 100 years?

If the measure passes the full Senate today, it will then go to Governor McCrory for his signature.  If Governor McCrory signs this egregious bill that stomps on the rights of every single homeowner in the state, it will become law and an important right first established three generations ago will be history.

Please pass this press release on to all of your friends, family, and neighbors.  Post this link to your Facebook pages and all of your other social media such as Twitter.  Let’s get the word out about what is happening:

You can contact the legislators with these email addresses.  But honestly, most of them are not listening.  They have aligned themselves with the Homebuilders Association.

All House Members:
All Senate Members:

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As we approach July 4 one of our most important rights – the right to challenge a rezoning of property adjacent to our homes is quickly being taken away by the North Carolina legislature.

The protest petition right allows you and your neighbors to require 3/4 of City Council rather than a simple majority to vote for rezoning before a rezoning change passes.  This right to require a supermajority vote has existed for nearly 100 years.  Now, after intense lobbying by the North Carolina Home Builders Association, that right is about to be taken away.

A built called simply H201 passed the NC House several weeks ago.  Yesterday that bill passed overwhelmingly the Commerce Committee in the NC Senate.  Today that bill goes to the Senate floor.  The consensus of opinion is that this legislature will take this right away and that Governor McCrory will sign it.

Legislators from both parties support this bill. Republicans and Democrats both support taking this long held right away.  This is a clear example of money and influence buying votes.  There is no good reason to take away a right to protect our homes and neighborhoods.

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By the time you read this the Commerce Committee in the NC Senate will likely have begun considering repealing the right of every homeowner in the state to file a protest petition against rezoning actions. Every homeowner has had this right for nearly 100 years. And this legislature is poised to take it away.

Please write now to all the legislators at:

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City Council Hearing For Remapping

The City Council hearing for the remapping of about 30,000 city properties will be held July 7 at 7pm in City Council Chambers on the second floor of 222 W. Hargett Street.

Parking is pretty straight forward. In this picture, the municipal building where the Council chambers are located is circled in red. Circled in purple are two parking garages. The parking garage adjacent to the municipal building has 476 spaces. The other garage two blocks away has 900 spaces.

We will be at this hearing to support sensible rezoning and to support City Council’s May 12 decision to NOT rezone for large scale retail development at Dunn and Falls of Neuse roads.  Please join us!  We need your support!

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For Immediate Release: 45 North Raleigh Homeowners File Valid Statutory Protest Petition Against Raleigh’s UDO Remapping

For Immediate Release: 45 North Raleigh Homeowners File Valid Statutory Protest Petition Against Raleigh’s UDO Remapping

From: The North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners (NORCHOA)
June 26, 2015
This week 45 North Raleigh homeowners filed a Valid Statutory Protest Petition (VSPP) against the City of Raleigh’s proposed remapping of properties at the intersection of Dunn and Falls of Neuse roads.
On May 12, 2015 the Raleigh City Council voted 8-0 in favor of a motion to deny rezoning of parcels at Dunn and Falls of Neuse roads to a commercial zoning district.  The reasons for the denial included that the proposed rezoning was inconsistent with Raleigh’s Comprehensive Plan, was not in the public interest, was inappropriate development within a watershed protection area, and generated too much traffic for the local road infrastructure.
Despite this determination, the Raleigh Planning Department has notably continued to recommend for the remapping of the same parcels to the same commercial zoning district that was denied on May 12.  Homeowners adjacent to the proposed remapping site along with thousands of neighbors opposed this remapping and are amazed that the City refuses to recognize the outcome of May 12.  As a consequence, 45 homeowners adjacent to the remapping site have signed and submitted a Valid Statutory Protest Petition against the proposed remapping.  The VSPP will require a supermajority vote for the remapping to pass.
In addition to taking this action, NORCHOA is exploring other possible actions.  Homeowners want to understand why the Planning Department has continued to press for remapping despite the May 12 decision to not rezone the property.  NORCHOA wants to understand why City Council has not, itself, taken a position regarding the remapping despite its own vote on May 12.  Among the many questions being asked is, “what are the relationships between Councilors and Staff with developers and their attorneys?”  Larger questions about the City’s remapping include why was the public never informed that it has the right to file VSPPs against the remapping?  Why has it taken the City nearly six months to provide NORCHOA with information about filing VSPPs against the remapping?  Why was the right to file VSPPs not included on the information cards that were sent to tens of thousands of citizens months ago when the remapping process began?  Why has the City still not provided the public details about how to file VSPPs with less than two weeks until the remapping public hearing and the filing deadline?
More than a year ago North Raleigh residents along with residents from several other Raleigh neighborhoods brought their concerns about the UDO to City Council.  To date, none of those concerns have been addressed.  With the remapping hearing less than two weeks away, Raleigh is poised for a once-in-a-lifetime rezoning of tens of thousands of properties and opening the doors to development of unprecedented size and intensity within and directly adjacent to neighborhoods.  The filing of a Valid Statutory Protest Petition against this remapping will, hopefully, protect one corner of the City.  Regrettably, many other corners and neighborhoods will remain at significant risk.
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Hello Everyone,

On July 7 at 7pm City Council will hold a public hearing in City Council Chambers at 222 W. Hargett Street. On the agenda for that hearing is Z-27-14, the rezoning case for the citywide remapping of UDO zoning districts. Why is this important?

Two properties on Dunn Road totaling 4 acres (about 1/3 of what was previously up for rezoning) are proposed to be remapped as part of Z-27-14. The City Council will be considering to remap these properties to the SAME zoning district that was proposed for the rezoning that was denied last month on May 12.

Even though the two parcels’ total acreage is only 4 acres, we are well aware that the same size grocery store can be built that was proposed for the rezoning. Attached to this email is a picture of an Earth Fare grocery store that sits on exactly 4 acres in Morrisville. Other possibilities include a pharmacy, a gas station, a fast food restaurant. We oppose the remapping of these properties to the same zoning district that was just denied on May 12. We continue to support development that is consistent with the surrounding homes and residential area.

Those of us who were most active in stopping the rezoning have met with Councilors Russ Stephenson, Kay Crowder, John Odom, Bonner Gaylord, and Wayne Maiorano. Councilors Stephenson and Crowder support us. Councilor Gaylord might support us. Councilors Odom might support us but our concern is that he is leaning heavily to remapping. We do not know if Councilor Maiorano might support us or not but we feel that he is very much leaning towards remapping. For a variety of reasons we do not expect any support from Mary-Ann Baldwin. Regarding Mayor McFarlane and Councilor Weeks, we haven’t had an opportunity to meet with them yet.

For many weeks I have refrained from asking for your help again. I had hoped that our Councilors would all see the hypocrisy of voting for remapping to the same zoning district that was denied for rezoning just one month ago. Sadly, this has not happened.

Consequently, I am very reluctantly writing to ask, if you can, to please attend the City Council hearing on July 7. On May 12 we demonstrated our unity against rezoning. On July 7, let us repeat that demonstration.

I, of course, realize that July 7 is the height of the summer vacation season. My wife and I had vacation plans ourselves but were able to change our plans to later in the year. Nevertheless, I will fully understand if you cannot do the same.

It greatly saddens me that the majority of this City Council is failing to represent us, the citizens of Raleigh.

David Cox

Please be sure to check our website at I have not yet updated the website with this announcement. But I will do so by the end of the day.

Here is the Earth Fare in Morrisville:

earth fare1

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