Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big Meet Tonight

Home-Size Debate Heads to Raleigh City Council

RALEIGH, N.C. — In some of Raleigh's oldest neighborhoods, newer homes nearly double or triple the size of the ones around them. Some say it's ruining the character of their communities.

The Raleigh City Council plans to discuss the issue at its meeting today. The hearing will focus on infill – the practice of knocking down old houses and replacing them with larger ones.

Actually what is on the docket is this, from the City Planning Department:

A special joint City Council and Planning Commission public hearing will be held on March 18th at 6:30pm to receive public input on proposed revisions to the process of establishing Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCODs). The hearing will be held in the Council Chamber, Room 201, 222 West Hargett Street, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex.

NCODs provide a rezoning process for individual neighborhoods to customize zoning regulations such as setbacks, height, lot size and parking location to reflect the built character of the neighborhood. The proposal will shorten the process for requesting this overlay district by eliminating the lengthy requirement of the drafting of a Neighborhood Plan and the subsequent adoption of the approved Neighborhood Plan into the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Other changes address the process for Council’s adoption of the regulations associated with a proposed NCOD. A final draft and summary of the proposed ordinance will be available on or before March 4, 2008.

Is this the fix the city is offering? Here is a clue for how the mayor wants to handle this:

Mayor Charles Meeker said there is not a one-size-fits-all solution and he wants to see the issue dealt with neighborhood by neighborhood.

Is this the city-sized response to a super-sized problem, or is this just a another bone?

If you have not signed the Respect4Raleigh petition, now is a good time. It will be presented to the City this evening. Hope you can make the 6:30 Public Hearing, there will be plenty of people there trying to convince the city that Redevelopment is NOT a problem. I respectfully disagree. ...

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