Jan 282016

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

HOD update
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.

We’re keeping close tabs on this since the UDO goes into effect Feb 14, at which point if our HOD is not in place there will be nothing to prevent incompatible projects, though wholesale demolition is already under a moratorium.

Filmore Street project
No further progress to report—it appears the sale of the apartments to George Andrews has not closed yet. He does have a demolition permit (issued just prior to the HOD application going in), but his attorney assured Council Member Crowder that nothing would happen before a neighborhood meeting was held.

Glenwood median
I will try to set up a meeting with Kay Crowder, someone from Parks & Rec and a representative from the AJ Fletcher foundation to explore what might be possible in terms of design and funding. Our objectives are fairly modest, in my view—we simply want something that is an improvement on what’s there and that can be maintained going forward. There is a safety aspect (i.e., some of the trees and shrubs are obstructing the view of oncoming traffic), but mostly it’s about sustainable vegetation.

HGBNA election
As I noted before, we need help. In particular I think two positions are essential to fill: a Treasurer and a Social Coordinator. The by-laws call for a number of other posts but after reviewing them it became clear that we might need to rewrite our little constitution to make it suit our current needs. In the meantime, we will move forward with an online nomination process for President, Vice President, Treasurer and Social Coordinator. The by-laws call for in-person voting, but again, they were written in the pre-internet age and I think we can have a legitimate election using an online mechanism like a simple survey tool. More on this to come, but if you have any thoughts about process please let me know. Better yet, start a thread on NextDoor so others can comment as well.

 January 28, 2016  Posted by at 7:16 pm Uncategorized  Add comments

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