Jimmy Upchurch – City Council Presentation (9/1/2015)

JIMMY UPCHURCH, Addressing the Raleigh City Council, September 1, 2015, PM Session (Excerpt) –

If I could draw your attention to this area map…. Let me point out a couple of things:

The gentleman [Attorney Ben Kuhn] spoke to the northern end of Lorimer, and this potential “sidewalk going to nowhere.” This map is designed to show you the existing sidewalk network in the neighborhood. The purple boxes that you see along that northern section of the road are…indicative of previous petitions we’ve had for improvements on those streets. So the dirt street, Onslow Road, has been petitioned three times to have street improvements put in there.

So, even though it does remain dirt today—those petitions, unfortunately, were unsuccessful…. But just to give you an idea that there is a want by some of the residents on the northern end, it would not connect to any sidewalk today, but we have had a previous sidewalk petition for Garland Street. It, too, was not a successful petition…but there is interest in future improvements in that area. And if we completed Lorimer, that would just set up more of the network to get a continuous sidewalk throughout the neighborhood.

To address the setback issue of the proposed sidewalk: staff recommended the full UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) standard for this street…with a couple of tweaks:

With the UDO standard this is classified as a Neighborhood Yield Street, which requires a 27” back-to-back street with 6’ sidewalk and 6’ setback on both sides of the street, to be installed within a 55’ right-of-way (ROW).

So when we looked at this neighborhood to see what feasible [sic] we could propose here… the ROW is dedicated at 60’ in width, which exceeds the required ROW for the UDO section.

The houses—the majority of the houses—along the corridor sit pretty far back from the edge of the ROW. So when we looked at the neighborhood, there are … that are a little closer, but the majority of them are more back. So we looked at it in terms of the existing ROW.

Now, the right of way would support the sidewalk on the east side, but that was omitted, mainly for cost….

So picking the side of the street we recommended for the sidewalk was based on a lot of things. We looked at topography, power poles that may have to be moved, utility relocations. We looked at all of that. And the determination by the engineers was that—if we were putting it on one side, the west side would be the most supportive of putting that sidewalk there.

The gentleman [Woodlinks resident Justis Peters] who requested we carry it on to his property…

If ever there was a neighborhood that would support the UDO section in a retrofit-type situation, this is one that could support that. So we recommended the UDO 6 & 6 on that street, with the variance request to omit the sidewalk from the east side.