No Stranger to City Hall (Donna Burford)


The Raleigh Board of Adjustment met in regular session on Monday, August 11, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, Room 201 of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina with the following present:

Board Members Staff

-Larry McBennett Vice-Chairman, presiding (City) John Silverstein, Attorney to the Board
-Lee Van DeCarr, Jr., Secretary (City) Zoning Enforcement Administrator Fulcher
-Mildred Flynn (City) Chris Crum, City Forestry Specialist
-Tommy Jeffreys (County) Ralph Puccini, Assistant Deputy Clerk
-Timothy Figgins (City Alternate)
-Mary Smith Morrison (County Alternate)


-Kenneth Haywood (City), Chairman
-Charles Coble (City Alternate)

These are summary minutes unless otherwise indicated.

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WHEREAS, Donna R. and Michael Burford, property owners, appeal for a 2 foot variance in the maximum 6 foot height requirements for a privacy fence per Code Section 10-2085 to install an 8 foot high privacy fence along the west and part of the south property lines in the Residential-4 zoning district at 1424 Fairway Ridge Drive.

Zoning Enforcement Administrator Fulcher (sworn) gave the following testimony:

The applicant is requesting a 2 foot variance in the 6 foot maximum height requirements to erect an 8 foot privacy fence along the west and part of the south property lines. Staff’s position is that a 6 foot high privacy fence would accomplish the goals of less noise more security without the need for a variance. The code height requirement is not causing a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship on the properly. Staff is opposed to this request. Continue reading

Donna Burford: The Voice of the People?

“I have been door to door since November of last year talking to almost everyone on this street to see how they felt about a project like this and got a overwhelming positive response. I don’t think you understand that this [is] NOT MY project. This is a Lorimer Rd. project, I was just asked to speak on behalf of the people on Lorimer that obviously didn’t want to be bullied by people like yourself. I don’t know where these people get the idea that I am making them do anything with their property.”

—from Donna Burford’s Facebook post, 9/3/2015

UDO “Requirements?”


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Emphasis added (below) –

From: Darges, Christine
To: Powell, Donetta ;  Dunn, Kenneth ;  Lamb, Eric ;  Kallam, Paul ;  Senior, Mark ;  Duffy, Rebecca ;  Talley, Russ
CC: Johnson, Chris ;  Niffenegger, Jed ;  Baldwin, Jennifer ;  McGee, Chris ;  Alford, Brian ;  Upchurch, Jimmy
Sent time: 07 Jun, 2014 2:21:26 PM

I would clarify that this petition [Lorimer Road] is like any other.  It is not due to the UDO requirements.  The only difference is the new standard of a 6’ sidewalk instead of a 5’ sidewalk applies now as noted in our new street typology and sidewalk standards. There is no retrofit obligation or requirement for neighborhoods and streets to comply per the UDO.  Outside the petition process, all public street improvements are obtained through the development process as usual or a city initiated program.

I have no specific comments for this location.

Christine Darges, Manager, Development Services, Development Services Customer Service Center

—Christine Darges is the Development Services Manager in the Development Services Department. Development Services oversees and coordinates the processing and review of proposed development plans for the City of Raleigh, from project conception to permit issuance.

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And yet, despite Christine Darges’ clarification, the language in Donetta Powell’s original email—that “most likely this will be a retrofit due to UDO requirements”—is now emphatic:

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Christine Darges interview (2011) —

Is there any part of the city that will be affected [by the UDO] more than another?

CD: It’s hard to say. There are some pretty obvious areas where the context is already there. Like in the downtown, Hillsborough Street and Glenwood South, everybody kind of knows what those areas are like. The areas that the city wants to transform, so to speak, and change through redevelopment could be major corridors, near future transit stops. If we’re able to get funding for transit, where those stations are going to be located are going to be transformed drastically over time. But basically the neighborhoods aren’t really going to change at all. We want to preserve neighborhoods.

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“Understanding the UDO”

Understanding the UDO, By | March 29, 2011 | Raleigh Public Record –

[Emphasis added]

Raleigh City Planning Manager Christine Darges has quite a task.  During the past year, she has been responsible for overseeing the team that has been updating, revising and publicizing the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The first draft of the UDO will be released April 6. Her team has been conducting UDO simulations throughout the city at the Citizens Advisory Committee meetings and the Record chatted with Darges to break down the confusing UDO and find out how will it affect Raleigh denizens.

Continue reading

Public Works Committee Meeting Minutes (10/28/2014)

Excerpts from the meeting appear below –

The Public Works Committee of the City of Raleigh met in regular session on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, Room 201 of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina with the following present:

Committee Staff

Councilor Eugene Weeks, Chairman Public Works Director Carl Dawson

Councilor John Odom Deputy City Attorney Ira Botvinick

Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath

Absent and Excused Senior Real Estate Specialist Greg Pittman

Assistant Public Utilities Director Kenneth

Councilor Wayne MaioranoWaldroup

Assistant Public Utilities Director T. J.


Senior Traffic Engineer Jed Niffenegger


These are summary minutes unless otherwise indicated.

Mr. Weeks called the meeting to order and indicated Mr. Maiorano was absent and excused from today’s meeting.

The following item were discussed with actions taken as shown.

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Item #13-16 – Traffic Calming – Laurel Hills Road. Mr. Weeks indicated during the October 7, 2014 City Council meeting this item was referred to the Public Works Committee for further discussion.

Senior Traffic Engineer Jed Niffenegger summarized the following report included in the agenda packet:


At the October 7, 2014 City Council evening session, Council instructed staff to temporarily halt work on the traffic calming process for Laurel Hills Road. This reprieve would allow Council to hear more details about concerns from a citizen regarding the petition process. The concerns and the way the petition process was handled was referred to the Public Works Committee. Continue reading