Join members from downtown neighborhood groups as we discuss best practices in keeping our communities safe and our neighbors informed. At Cameron Village Library, Thursday, July 27, 6:30-8:00 pm. Click for more info.
See you there!
Meeting notes from
Raleigh Planning Department-initiated meeting: December 14, 2015
On Monday, December 14, several members of the City’s planning staff spoke to a group of Glenwood-Brooklyn property owners and answered questions about our historic overlay district process. Currently, our HOD application is with the State Historic Preservation Office. Once it is approved there, it comes back to the City, specifically the Planning Commission where it will be reviewed and a public meeting will be held.
The Planning Commission will eventually forward its recommendation to the City Council where the HOD will get another public hearing and eventually receive a final approval/disapproval vote from the Council. According to staff, this will likely be sometime in the spring, perhaps April. That’s a bit of a disappointment based on our previous understanding that the process might be completed by the time the new zoning goes into effect on Feb 14. Still, the support for the HOD remains strong in the neighborhood with 62% of property owners in favor.
As I noted during the Q&A, managing a historic district ultimately comes down to some subjective judgement, and consequently it is difficult to provide definitive answers to questions relating to what can or cannot be done to a given property. But the City and the RHDC in particular have demonstrated a willingness to work with property owners to arrive at workable solutions, which they do in 98% of the cases they hear.
I urge anyone who has any questions or misgivings about this process to get in touch—with me, with the RHDC, or other planning staff—and we’ll try to clarify what is admittedly a very confusing subject.
Meeting notes from
our regular monthly meeting for January: 1/19/2016
The planning staff completed our HOD application (after receiving it back from the state). Now it is their intention to get to the Planning Commission for its Feb 9th meeting. If the PC takes action at this meeting, the case would move forward to the City Council on February 16 to set the public hearing date. Best case, the public hearing would occur at the March 1 meeting of the City Council, and a final decision could even be made that evening. Planning director Ken Bowers stated he felt that, worst case, an approval would happen no later than the April 5 meeting of the City Council.
Our meeting Monday night with Planning Department staff got the attention of two local news outlets. Below is a link to one report on WTVD, Channel 11. It frames the issue as one of preservation, which is very much how we see this remapping challenge.
One thing, though, that was clear in the meeting is that there is no one in the City administration who is going to make sure our priorities are reflected in the new zoning regime–that’s up to us. Planning staff really only act as a reference resource for the Planning Commission and City Council. They don’t act in a conventional advisory role.
So, while the meeting was good to clarify some issues, this is only one step on a long journey.
Thanks for the great turnout, we had a great meeting.
Monday, October 26 • 6:30 pm to 8 pm
501 Washington St.
(same location as our last meeting)
Please note: be sure to bring a chair and make sure it’s not carrying leaves, etc. with it. (thanks)
Representatives of the Planning Commission will be on hand to explain the remapping process as we move to the new zoning system. This is separate from out effort to establish a Historic Overlay District and has its own implications for the future of the neighborhood.
It’s as important as the HOD, so please try to make it.
Of particular importance is the fate of a handful of properties that were all originally built as single-family homes—some quite grand—that are currently slated to be remapped as residential mixed use (RX-3). That designation greatly increases the likelihood that these properties will be converted into larger, more profitable buildings, most likely townhomes or apartments. This is important from a preservation standpoint, but it is also important from a quality of life standpoint.
A few facts about RX-3 before I let you go…
- allows max height of 50 feet (vs. 40 feet under R-10, plus height is regulated in relation to neighboring properties)
- requires a new building to have a wall, not a fence, surrounding the rear of the property
- allows retail on the first floor—provided the property is on a corner of two public streets (there are two of these in the neighborhood)
- Whatever the Planning Commission recommends is going to carry a lot of weight with the City Council, so it’s imperative that we make our wishes known. We’re setting a path for the next 30 years, after all.
A big Thank You! to Seven Event Studio for allowing HGBNA to meet at their location