“Questions About Validity of Petition” (Laurel Hills)

Excerpts from the meeting appear below –



The City Council of the City of Raleigh met in regular session at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 in the City Council Chamber of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, with the following present.:

Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Presiding (absent & excused)
Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin
Councilor Kay C. Crowder (absent & excused)
Councilor Bonner Gaylord
Councilor Wayne K. Maiorano
Councilor John Odom
Councilor Russ Stephenson
Councilor Eugene Weeks

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Steven Dean, 4003 Juniper Court, stated he was before the Council as he and other residents of the Laurel Hills community have concerns about the validity of the petition to support the installation of traffic calming along a part of Laurel Hills Road. He pointed out the City has split Laurel Hills Road into two sections and he is talking about the Rex Hospital portion. He indicated the petition states there are some 53 eligible houses and 41 representatives one of those signed the petition which resulted in a 77.4 percent. He stated however they dispute that and presented the following:

  • 3509 Edwards Mill Road abuts Laurel Hills Road but was not included in the “effected” properties
  • 3608 Henrys Garden Lane, Amir Pirzadeh, didn’t sign the petition nor did any one in his home. He stated they have an affidavit to substantiate that assertion.
  • 3630 Laurel Hills Road, Elizabeth Stone, signature does not match the deed of trust pointing out this is a vacant lot that is deeded only to Elizabeth Stone.
  • 4141 Laurel Hills Road, Thomas and Kristin Cleveland, III, the signature on the petition is Tammy or Tommy Cleveland indicating again the signature does not match the deed of trust.
  • 3601 and 3605 Laurel Hills Road is deeded to Gray Line Builders, LLC. However an individual signed the petition for both houses. This should have been signed by a person for the corporation. He presented a packet of material with enclosures to substantiate his allegations.

He pointed out it is their feeling that there are 54 eligible houses instead of 53 due to the fact that 3509 Laurel Hills Road and 3608 Henry Garden Lane did not sign the petition at all, thus 40 of the 54 properties would have a ratio equally 74.1 percent. He stated there may be other suspect signatures. He pointed out if you strike one signature it would take it below the 75% and if you strike all five that are suspect it would bring the percentage down to 66.7 percent.

Ms. Baldwin suggested sending the item to the Public Works Committee. She expressed concern about the traffic calming and opposing sides, etc. Mr. Gaylord pointed out it seems that some of the people are confused about the type of measures that would be installed and he understand some of the people who signed the petition want to take their name off. He stated he feels he has enough information to deny the traffic calming but has no problem sending the issue to the Public Works Committee.

Mr. Stephenson indicated he had spoken with Tom Fiorello and staff’s position is that the traffic calming effort should go forward as well as the public meetings that are part of the process. City Manager Hall pointed out Council members received in their agenda packet staff responses to all of the elements presented. He stated staff could go into detail and also pointed out we have a traffic calming program that is going forward. Mr. Dean pointed out he is not sure that staff is aware of the signature concerns with Mr. Stephenson pointing out he feels Council has concerns about the entire issue. Mr. Stephenson stated he did not want staff to move forward with unnecessary work with Ms. Baldwin suggesting that we suspend the work on the traffic calming program until they complete review of this process. It was agreed to follow that course of action and refer the item to Public Works Committee.

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