Introduction & Site Index

A citizen’s request for a sidewalk on Lorimer Road in the Avent West section of southwest Raleigh in May 2014 has turned into a divisive $1.7 $2.7 million project, causing tension and acrimony in a once peaceful old Raleigh neighborhood.

This website is a chronicling of the before, during and after of the sidewalk petition and controversial petition process, a process that involved deceit, the witholding of information and divide-and-conquer tactics. Included here are documents, letters and emails (including those obtained through public records requests), minutes from City Council and neighborhood meetings, affidavits, Facebook posts and more.

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“This is our street. We do not support the unnecessary, expensive, and invasive sidewalk plan (which also includes pipes and gutters putting all street runoff directly into Bushy Creek rather than through the permeable, vegetated side ditches already there). Although 68% of residents signed the petition, many feel they misunderstood key information, and some even feel that they were misled by the two persistent neighbors behind the effort. And the petition was submitted before it had to be. A reasonable compromise is possible.” (Lorimer Road resident, 9/30/2015)

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DONNA MOLL BURFORD – The Petitioner (Fairway Ridge Drive* resident)

SHARON MOLL MIXON – The Petitioner’s Sister (Lorimer Road resident since 2013) —It was Sharon who wanted the sidewalk in the first place.

City Council Member KAY CROWDER – District D Representative (Ashburton Road* resident) —The main force behind the project’s adoption.

City of Raleigh employee DONETTA POWELL (Public Works Department) —Although the City denies it, Powell played an active role in getting the Lorimer Road petition passed.

* Currently, these streets don’t have sidewalks themselves.

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As the petition was being circulated around the neighborhood, the petitioner wrote this on Facebook, “Communication and community is what it is all about.”

That was then….

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Lorimer Road w:Sidewalk.jpg

Lorimer Road between Kaplan Drive (left) and Garland Drive (right).

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Affidavits –
 Ryan Barnum
 Carolyn Parker
 Karen Rochford

City Council Meetings –
 July 21, 2015
 September 1, 2015
May 1, 2018

City Council Presentations –
Donna Burford (9/1/2015)
— Steve Grothmann (12/1/2015)
— Erin & Mike Salmon (12/1/2015)
— David Simonton (1/5/2016, Sharon Mixon’s Response; 2/2/20163/1/2016)

City Policy –
— The City’s Drainage Assistance Program
— Door-to-Door Petitioning vs Mailed-Ballot Polling
Fiscal Year 2017 Funding for Lorimer Road Project
— Goals for Avent West Neighborhood
— Neighborhood Yield Street (9/1/2013)
Neighborhood Yield Street – UDO Specifications (January 2014)
Street and Sidewalk Improvement Policy
— Percentage Requirement Change – Petition Policy (6/3/2014)
— Traffic Calming Petition Process (N&O Article)
Understanding the UDO
— Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)

Documents/Letters –
Area Stormwater Maps
Assessment Roll Check-Off List
Citizen’s Petition – 1200 Block Residents
City Clerk Certification – Petition No. 1351
Form to Petition to Appear Before City Council
Letter from the City to Property Owners (7/28/2015)
— Letters to City Council Members (Jane Fenn, 8/6/2015; David Simonton, 1/28/2016)
Letter to the Editor, N&O (12/10/2015, Jane Fenn)
Lorimer Road Petition Validity Percentages
Map Summary for Drafting Staff
Out-of-State / Out-of-Country Signature Sheet
Petition Summary Memo
Petitioner’s Documentation of the Results
Petitioner’s Talking Points Handout; Petitioner’s Retraction
Petitioning for Street Improvements
Petitioning for Street Improvements (City Council Initiative)
Safe & Active Routes to School in Wake County
Sidewalk Petition Prioritization Ranking Criteria
Street Design Manual (January 2014)
Survey Notification to Residents (11/10/2015)

Emails –
—from Helen Adams to Eric Haugaard (12/2/2015)
—from Helen Adams, et al, to City Council Members (12/27/2015)
—from Donna Burford – to Jane Fenn (4/10/2015); Neighbors (7/22/2015)Kay Crowder & Nick Sadler (8/5/2015); Kay Crowder (10/12/2015)
—from Jane Fenn – to Eric Haugaard (12/1/2015)
—from Donetta Powell – to Kenneth Dunn (re: 1300 Lorimer Rd, 4/21/2015); Jimmy Upchurch (re: Kay Crowder, 9/11/2015)
—from David Simonton – to Eric Haugaard (12/9/2015); Nick Sadler (4/25/2016); Press

—to City Council Members – from David Simonton & Carolyn Parker (8/26/2015); Fred Midness (8/27/2015); Sharon Mixon, et al (1/19/2016); David Simonton (4/5/2016)
—to Donetta Powell – from Don Munn (3/30/2015); Carolyn Parker (3/31/2015)
—to Lorimer Road Residents/Neighbors – from Sharon & Currie Mixon (9/20/2015); Erin Salmon (9/28/2015); Sharon Mixon (11/29/2015)

Facebook Posts-
Lorimer Rd Raleigh Facebook Group
November 13-21, 2014
March 21, 2015
April 6 & 29, 2015
August 30, 2015
September 2; 8; 9; 10-11; 12; 15; 17-18, 2015
— Highlights: Sam Bellezza; Donna Burford (9/3/2015); Jeff Essic; Steve Grothmann; Currie Mixon; Don Munn; David Simonton; Jeff White

Additional Meeting Minutes (City of Raleigh)-
Law & Public Safety Committee Meeting-
June 25, 2013
Neighborhood (Lorimer Road Area) Meetings-
April 1, 2015 (Information Meeting, w/Kay Crowder, Donetta Powell & Jimmy Upchurch present)
— September 21, 2015 (w/Jimmy Upchurch present)
— October 5, 2015
— October 20, 2015 (w/Kay Crowder present)
Public Works Committee Meetings-
September 10, 2003
— October 28, 2014
— November 12, 2014
— September 22, 2015
— November 10, 2015

MENU Items –
— About
— Timeline
— The Neighborhood
— The Petition
— The Project
— Fact Check
— Who’s Who
— Blog
— Links

Studies / Surveys (City of Raleigh) –
— Lorimer Road Field Survey Notes (12/3/2015)
— Official Stormwater Report – Lorimer Road
Study Provides Map for Southwest Raleigh Development
Survey Limits Summary
— Traffic Study – Lorimer Road (5/28/2014)

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Also (See “Blog/News” for latest) –
The 25% Design Meeting
The 1200 Block of Lorimer Road (North)
1300 Lorimer Road (LOT 13)
A 6’ Sidewalk and 6’ Setback on Lorimer Road?
About – Eric Haugaard; Donetta Powell; Talal Shahbander; Jimmy Upchurch
“Adverse” Neighborhood Meeting
The Benefits of Residential Roadside Swales
Committee to Elect Kay Crowder
Donetta Powell’s Active Involvement with the Petition Process
Donetta Powell’s Initial Email to City Staff Requesting Comments (5/22/2014)
Donetta Powell’s “Petition ‘Variance Requests'”
Donna Burford & Sharon Mixon – Proximity
Donna Burford – Bus Stop Location Change
Donna Burford – No Stranger to City Hall
Donna Burford – The Voice of the People?
Eric Haugaard…Out
Erin Salmon and the City – Part One; Part Two
Ethics & The Petitioner
The Fine Print (Petition Document)
First Contact (Jimmy Upchurch to Donna Burford)
How It All Began…
I for one, am a fan!”
The INDY (Newspaper) ArticlesSeptember 30, 2015; January 27, 2016, The City’s Response; a Resident’s Response)
Jane Fenn & Kay Crowder – Phone Call Notes
Jimmy Upchurch’s Statement (9/1/2015 City Council Meeting)
Justis Peters – Woodlinks Drive
Kay Crowder, District D Representative
Kay Crowder’s Full Statement (9/1/205, City Council Meeting)
Lorimer Road Petition – Staff Review & Comments (11/20/2014)
May 4, 2015
Merwin Road – Council Approval Despite Citizen Opposition
Neighborhood “Informational Meeting” (April 1, 2015); Sign-Up Sheet
“Obviously…There Needs to be More Clarity”
Oh, the Irony…
One Hand Washing the Other?
“…One of the first neighbors we talked to about the project”
Overriding Concerns
“[The Petition] Process Should Not Pit Neighbors Against Neighbors”
Problems With the Petition Process (Laurel Hills Road)
Project Engineer Job Advertised
Questions About Validity of Petition (Laurel Hills Road)
Questions Remain
Raleigh Council OK’s Pedestrian Plan
Raleigh’s City Council / City Council Districts
Request for Sidewalks Divides Raleigh Neighbors
Resident Concerns
Response to “Request for Staff Comments” / Full Response
Rigid, Yet Flexible (the UDO)
“The Time for Public Input Is Over” (9/8/2015)
UDO “Requirements?”
Variance Requests for the Lorimer Road Street Improvement Petition
Water, Water Everywhere (Except in the Official Stormwater Report)
What This Project Will Cost Property Owners (and What It Won’t)
Where Previous Petitions Have Failed
Who Was Contacted? How? and When?
The Woodlinks Drive Connection
Yay’s & Nay’s

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