Monday, October 31, 2016

Action Alert: Stormwater Ordinance at City Council Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov 1, Public Hearing at 7 PM in Raleigh City Council Chambers
Subject: TC-2-16, residential stormwater exemptions and limits

  • Did you know that the City of Raleigh currently does not have an ordinance regulating the control of drainage water from new construction in older residential lots? 
  • Did you know that there is no limit at this time to the amount of impervious surface allowed in infill construction?

This is why so many older neighborhoods, and existing homes, are being affected by new drainage problems, why our creeks are showing red clay runoff, and why so much vegetation can be replaced by concrete. This has been an expensive problem for many unsuspecting homeowners.

A Text Change to the Unified Development Ordinance is ready to be presented to the City Council this Tuesday at a public hearing. Ordinance TC-2-16 is based on the recommendations of the Stormwater Management Advisory Commission, who began their work in 2013 at the recommendation of the City Council. This year the recommendations on impervious surface limits for infill construction have been reviewed in the Planning Commission, who recommended this text-change, and discussed at "stakeholder" meetings between residents and the builders, facilitated by the Stormwater Division.

There are a few details that either perspective would like adjusted, but the urgency of getting code in place to protect all homeowners NOW is foremost.

The updated text of the change can be found here,

What you can do:

  • Please write the City Council today and say YES to TC-2-16. 
  • Plan to attend the public hearing tomorrow and show your support for regulations. 
  • Consider telling your story at the hearing if you have been affected by this problem. 
If you intend to present, the City will need 12 copies of your pictures to pass to the Council and officials. Comments must be concise and take less than 3 minutes. Do not be repetitive to others comments. 

If you cannot attend, but have a story to share, please write the council today so that they may consider your viewpoint in their deliberations. Be concise, and share a picture if you can. 

Click here to write your City Council

YES to TC-2-16 now!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ALERT: Presentation on Neighborhood Conservation Overlays

You are invited to attend the
Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council Meeting.

 Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Meetings are open to everyone and are
held in the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex 
City Council Chamber Rm. 201, 222 W. Hargett St., downtown Raleigh. 
Free parking at night on street or in municipal deck.

At this meeting City Planning Staff Members will present information about overlay protections that the City of Raleigh offers to preserve neighborhood character. These overlays are the NCOD (Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District) and the HOD (Historic Overlay District). 
 If you can't be there - you can watch the videotape later on:

I. Welcome, CAC Introductions and Key Updates 7:00
II. Approval of July 20, 2016 RCAC Meeting Minutes 
III. Chair Announcements : Carole Meyre 
IV. Wake-Up Wake County – Anne Franklin 
V. NCOD & HOD Presentation – Bynum Walters & Tania Tully 7:20-8:20 p.m.
Old Business 8:10 – 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Short-Term Rentals

As noted in this article in the News & Observer, the proposal for allowing short-term residential rentals is headed to the Raleigh City Council on June 7.

For more information:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Glenwood Gridlock committee needs your voice

Raleigh’s need for growth and development must be balanced with keeping our neighborhoods vibrant and our roads navigable.  This, however, is not going to happen by itself.
Right now you can add your voice to those living in the neighborhoods bordering Glen Eden and Country Club Hills who believe they have no choice but to respond to concerns of size and scale proposed by Grubb Ventures for Glenwood Place development on Glenwood Avenue. 
The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) will become effective on February 14, 2016.  In the UDO the City has zoned commercial properties throughout Raleigh with the intent that sustainable growth could occur if the limits of the UDO were not arbitrarily changed.  Consistent with earlier land use plans, most all of Glenwood Place was zoned OX-5 (a small part is OX-7).  The OX-5 zoning district limits buildings to five stories.  In its zoning petition, Grubb Ventures wants to rezone the property to allow 3 buildings of up to 12 stories. It also plans up to 800 apartments, a hotel with up to 250 rooms, up to 787,600 square feet of new office space and a maximum of 140,000 square feet of retail space.  (Refer to our Glenwood Gridlock Facebook page for more information.) 

The only access to Glenwood Place is Glenwood Avenue.  But drive around just a little and you will see that even small shopping centers have multiple entrances; for instance Glenwood Village can be entered and left from Oberlin Road, Glenwood Avenue or Lake Boone Trail.  And not only will the proposed expansion of Glenwood Place cause more and longer gridlock on Glenwood, it will push frustrated motorists looking for shortcuts into our neighborhoods, ultimately disrupting safety and property values. For this reason we believe that the proposed rezoning is just too much for a property so close to the Beltline.  If you agree that City Council should uphold, and Glenwood Place should respect, the building height limitations, we ask You to sign our Glenwood Gridlock petition on and help us reach 300 signatures. 
Anyone who cares about this issue can sign the petition, so consider sharing this email with your family and friends. 

Bike Plan -- last chance to comment

Please read and comment to make the plan better - and biking safer! 
Comment on BikeRaleigh Plan
The BikeRaleigh Plan Update to the existing bike plan, adopted in 2009, incorporates lessons learned in Raleigh and nationally in the last five years. The plan lays out a strategy for the next five to 10 years to improve the health, safety and transportation options for Raleighites.
Now that the draft is finished the project team needs to make sure it hits the right targets. Does the plan include the right types of bike infrastructure? Identify the correct mix of priority projects? Establish the right long-term vision to meet Raleighs needs?
The last day the team can accept comments is January 31.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Please Write Mayor Today 10-19-15

Dear Neighbor:

The issue of connecting Country Club Hills to the Glenwood Place development is an issue that could affect any neighborhood bordering a new development.
Present zoning rules require a development to connect its streets with the streets of an adjoining neighborhood.  Currently, only City Planning staff can make an exception to this rule.  Text Change 8-15 would allow the City Council, our elected officials, the discretion to also make an exception to this rule.  This change will authorize the City Council to be involved in making decisions whether to require "connectivity," an authority it does not now have.  Without the passage of Text Change 8-15, the City Council will not be able to change a decision by City Planning staff regarding "connectivity."
Over two months ago Text Change 8-15 received unanimous support from City Council, was then referred to the Planning Commission, which approved it, and sent it back to Council for a final decision.  Two weeks ago the discussion broke down and now City Council is split over whether to adopt Text Change 8-15.
If you want City Council to have the possibility to make a decision regarding connectivity, or more plainly, if you want City Council to have any control over a potential cut-through into any  neighborhood then you need to contact Mayor McFarlane today, ahead of tomorrow’s vote at 12:45 (Tuesday, October 20th) and ask her to support the Text Change as she appears to be the deciding vote.  If you personally know other Councilors please ask them to support the Text Change too.
Please email Mayor McFarlane today with this message:  Mayor McFarlane, Out of concern for neighborhoods and the issues that affect and make each unique, please vote yes to adopt Text Change 8-15 into the UDO to give City Council discretion concerning connectivity between a neighborhood and a new development.  

Thank you and please share this information with your neighbors.  Also, things may soon speed up and you will receive more emails.

From Country Club Hills Committee for a Sustainable Neighborhood

Monday, June 8, 2015

Action Alert: Protest Petition | NCGA

Dear Neighbors:

The Senate Commerce Committee will meet tomorrow, Tuesday June , at 11:00 a.m. in Room 423 of the Legislative Office Building.  The agenda for the meeting has not been announced.  Because House Bill 201 (discussed below) could come up at the meeting, please stop what you are doing and communicate with the committee members.  Let them know we oppose the bill and want our protest petition rights preserved.

Thank you. If everyone who receives this message writes to the committee, we might stop this hateful legislation.

Tom Miller

. . .

House Bill 201, the bill that would repeal our right to file a zoning protest petition, has been assigned to the Senate Commerce Committee.  The bill could come up for consideration in the committee as early as Thursday, June 4.  Please take a moment and write to the members of the committee to tell them that you oppose House Bill 201 and that you want the committee to preserve the right to file a protest petition.

House Bill 201 passed the house after considerable debate back in March.  It was then assigned to the Senate Rules Committee as a holding place while the senate worked the budget and on other bills which were facing a deadline.  During that time I did not send you messages because I did not want to wear you out or cause us to peak in our efforts too soon. The legislative deadlines are past now and the senate is beginning to take up bills it has received from the house.  It is time for us to act – now, and without delay.

The e-mail addresses of the members of the Senate Commerce Committee are:

What you can do:

1) Send a short, polite e-mail to the members of the committee telling them to vote against House Bill 201.  Tell them you want them to preserve the right to file a protest petition.  I have repeated the argument for protest petitions below for your reference.  If you use any of the arguments, please express them in your own words.  You should be able to cut and paste the addresses above into a single e-mail message.

2) Share this e-mail message with your neighborhood lists and other neighborhood advocates

3) Let your own state senator know you oppose House Bill 201 if he or she is not a member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

4) Write to Governor McCrory and let him know you oppose House Bill 201.  To e-mail the governor, visit .

Thank you.  Working together we can save our rights.

Tom Miller

The Argument for Zoning Protest Petitions:

  • The right to file a protest petition against a rezoning is a time honored right. 
  • Under NC law, if the owners of 5% of the ring of property 100 feet deep surrounding land to be rezoned file a formal protest petition, it takes a super majority of 3/4s of the members of the city council to pass the rezoning.  
  • The protest petition right in North Carolina is as old as zoning itself.  The right was part of the legislation passed by the General Assembly in 1923 giving cities the right to regulate land use by zoning.  
  • A protest petition right protects a neighbor’s investment in his own property and his reasonable expectations in the stability of the regulatory environment.  It protects neighbors and property owners from sudden, capricious, and wrongfully-motivated zone changes.  
  • When neighbors file a protest petition it is a signal that the proposed rezoning deserves special attention by elected officials.  
  • Relatively few protest petitions are filed and they rarely cause rezonings to be denied.  But protest petitions do often lead to more thoughtful results in zoning cases and better buffering and protections between incompatible uses.  
  • The levels the playing field between ordinary citizens trying to protect their homes and powerful developers who can afford attorneys and land planners to advance their interests. 
  • The right to a protest petition was part of model zoning laws promulgated by the US Department of Commerce in the 1920s.  It is part of zoning law all across the country. 
  • Citizens in states bordering North Carolina have the right to file a protest petition.  Why shouldn’t we?