Affidavit of Carolyn Parker

NOTE:  The original signed and notarized Affidavit is housed in the Office of the City Clerk, City of Raleigh. It is dated January 27, 2016.

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State of North Carolina
County of Wake
BEFORE ME, the undersigned Notary, ______________________________________________ , on this ___________ day of January, 2016, personally appeared Carolyn Parker, known to me to be a credible person and of lawful age, who being by me first duly sworn, on her oath, deposes and says:

Regarding Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

Because the changes will impact the usefulness of the frontage I now enjoy, and cost me a substantial amount of money, I believe I had the right to have information about this Petition provided me in a timely manner. I believe I had a right to have a Petition document state clearly the dimensions of sidewalk, setback, and easements etc. required for the project so that an average citizen could see clearly how the project might affect themselves and their neighbors.

I further believe I had a right to transparency in the process and a right to fair play. As one example: There is a small key on the Petition map page. If I read it correctly it states that a number of property owners face no assessment for this project. Yet, in the Petition process designed by the City, their vote counts the same as mine or other property owners who face assessment (one of my neighbors will have to pay more than $10,000). All of the property owners facing no assessment voted for the Petition.

I believe I had a right to be afforded a true forum with my neighbors – where you are provided correct information about the specifics of a project and the specifics of the Petition process before hand – so that you can come together to discuss diverse ideas and to develop expansive thinking.

As it turns out I was kept in the dark for 4 ½ months and given misinformation by the Petitioner.

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“…One of the first neighbors that we talked to about the project”

– Sharon Moll Mixon (11/23/15, 10:01 pm, Facebook) – Donna [Burford] and I spoke with Carolyn [Parker], the person on the tax record as the one that would be signing the petition. She was one of the first neighbors that we talked to about this project. This was before we had scheduled the April 1st meeting. I was standing in the road with my sister, Donna, talking about what the street improvement would look like. Carolyn was gardening in her front yard. We talked to her for probably 10 minutes all about it. She talked about how she and David [Simonton] walk everyday and don’t see any need for sidewalks. There were other reasons that we talked about that I won’t get into, but we had a clear response that the Parker property was not in favor of the sidewalk. When you get an answer like that, you know where you stand and you move on. We didn’t feel a need to try to convince anyone to change their mind.

– Carolyn Parker (11/24/15, 10:41 am, Facebook) – …I’m writing to set the record straight about my conversation with Sharon and Donna. On about March 18, I was out front gardening and Sharon and Donna came out to the road –Sharon lives across the street. Sharon and Donna were pacing off the street and I asked what they were doing. They said they had put in a petition for road improvements and a sidewalk for safety; that our road was very narrow; and that the city would let us pay for it over 5 years. I said Mary Alice Black had raised her children in this neighborhood and that I grew up in a neighborhood like this and we’d all survived (my poor effort at humor); and that Dave and I walked the neighborhood daily and never felt it was dangerous. And then I said, “But I guess I wouldn’t mind getting rid of this ditch.”

Sharon, I don’t believe we talked for 10 minutes, but that’s perception. To say that during our conversation we talked “all about it” is a lie.

You never told me that there was already a proposal prepared by the city, and that the proposal called for widening the road to 27 feet. You never told me the city’s proposal called for a 6-foot sidewalk with a 6-foot setback. You never told me the sidewalk was proposed for the west side (my side) of the road. You never told me that you had had all this information since the city’s proposal was sent to Donna on November 18, 2014. And you never told me that this entire process began (according to Donetta Powell) in May 2014.

What you did say was that I would be sent an email in a few days about a meeting coming up to discuss it all.

So no, Sharon, we did not talk “all about it.” Later that day I asked my next-door neighbor, Marcus [Williamson], and your next-door neighbor, Karen [Rochford], if they knew anything about a petition, but neither of them had heard anything. It seems that many of us were kept in the dark for 4½ months.

In your comment you also wrote, “We didn’t feel a need to try to convince anyone to change their mind.” But providing information to someone does not equate to trying to persuade someone.

Because these changes will impact the usefulness of the frontage I now enjoy, and cost me a substantial amount of money, I had the right to all this information. I had a right to be given this information in a timely manner. All the neighbors had this right. If you didn’t want to talk to me directly, then you and Donna could have, and should have, sent me—and all of us—an email including this information, with a copy of the Petition attached. But you chose not to do this.

Email to City Council Members from David Simonton & Carolyn Parker (8/26/2015)

August 26, 2015

Dear City Council Members,

Re: Opposition to Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

We are Carolyn Parker and David Simonton. We are 22-year residents of 1218 Lorimer Road, located in West Raleigh in the long-established Kentwood neighborhood.  Our contact information is at the bottom of this letter and we invite you to call one or both of us directly with any questions, or if you need any additional information in your consideration of the above referenced Street Improvement Petition.

In advance of City Council’s consideration of this petition, we are writing to ask that our block of Lorimer Road, from Onslow Road to Garland Drive, be removed from the petition altogether. We and the majority of our neighbors on this block oppose Street Improvement Petition #1351 in its current form. We neither want nor need the proposed road and sidewalk changes—and we certainly don’t want to be made to pay for them, either as property owners or as taxpayers.

Below, we outline four main reasons we oppose that portion of Petition #1351 which proposes road and sidewalk improvements along the northern end of Lorimer Road between Onslow Road and Garland Drive.

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Donna Burford’s Email to Kay Crowder & Nick Sadler

From: Donna Burford
Subject: FW: Lorimer Road Work
Date: August 5, 2015
To: Nick Sadler, Kay Crowder

Hello Nick & Kay,

I would like to reiterate what Jane [Fenn] and Carolyn [Parker] have said but perhaps in a nicer way.

I would like it if you both could advocate for us and put a suggestion in that a narrower setback and sidewalk be used in the design of the Lorimer Street project. A 5’ sidewalk and a 4’ setback was suggested to me by Donetta and Jimmy with the City of Public Works as a feasible alternative to the standard 6’ sidewalk and 6’ setback because of the unique type of situation we have here. This would allow for the road to be widened and the project to stay within the right of way without being overly intrusive to the property owners that will have the sidewalk on their side.  When looking at other ongoing projects I saw that these dimensions had been approved so I mentioned this alternative to the property owners and they have all agreed that this what would be less invasive and cost effective. I believe we received a 71% approval [the actual figure is 68.3% resident approval] based on this assumption. It is my understanding that the contracts are written in a standard format and any above mentioned changes would be addressed and made at the City Council Meeting. I will be talking to the neighbors and asking them to come to the meeting in support of this project and the adjustment to the sidewalk and setback dimensions.

I would appreciate if Kay would be the one to bring up the adjustment of 5’ Sidewalk and 4’ or even 3’ setback to the rest of the council being that public speaking is not my forte. Please?

Even though I got a 71% approval from the neighbors, I know not everyone is happy about change. What is surprising to me, is which people are for and which are opposed. Even with a little opposition, in the end I believe this will unite this street and bring many positive changes with it. Everyone just needs to feel like they have been heard and things will be fair. Jane and Carolyn may feel better if they knew that the city holds an amount of land on the east side of the road to allow for a sidewalk petition for that side in the future. (At least that is my understanding-I am not the expert so please double check with Donetta.)

It is good to hear Kay will have a chance to take a vacation and enjoy the summer before it is over.

Looking forward to your support and hearing from you soon.
Donna Burford

Carolyn Parker – Email Inquiry (Donetta Powell)

From: Carolyn Parker
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 9:37 AM
To: Powell, Donetta
Subject: Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

Ms. Powell,

I have a number of plants planted on the house side of the ditch that might be impacted by changes to Lorimer Road.  If need be, I’d like to try and move them.

1) Can you tell me the minimum and maximum footage into the property from the street that could be impacted with the changes to Lorimer.

2) Is there a time frame already established for the changes? How much notice is given before work starts?  Plants are best moved (to maximize survival) in the fall and winter.

Thank you.

Carolyn Parker
1218 Lorimer Rd

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From: Donetta Powell
To: Carolyn Parker
Sent: Mar 31, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Mrs. Parker,

The petition for the street improvements must meet a minimal approval from deeded property owners within the project parameter representing a majority in number of property owners and representing at least a majority of all lineal feet of frontage abutting the street.  We plan to stay within the existing 60’ right-of-way and based upon preliminary review staff is recommending we construct the 27’ back-to-back street  with a 6’ wide sidewalk on a 6’ setback on the west side of the street.   I believe that the sidewalk would be on your side of the street so if you do have plants within the right-of-way you may consider relocating those plants if the petition is successful.  At the present time we do not foresee needing to obtain any additional right-of-way for construction of the project. Until the petition expires and is returned as a successful petition we would not have a potential design or construction schedule. There is a lengthy process for this petition to go through before we would be able to address scheduling. At this point the petition will remain open until May 18, 2015. If it is not returned to us as a successful petition it will expire with no further action. If it is returned as a successful petition we will review the petition to confirm is validity and prepare a request for a public hearing. Upon City Council authorizing a public hearing a thirty day notification of that meeting is mailed out. The project will be presented to City Council at the public hearing for their approval. If the project is approved we would then need to determine if and when funding for the project would be available before beginning the design phase of the project. Between advertising for design consultants and allowing time for the design of the project could possibly take a minimum of 12 to 24 months therefore it would be some time out before any actual work would begin.

We will be attending an informal meeting at the Western Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, April 1 if you would like to come and speak with us about the project. I believe the meeting is scheduled to begin around 6:30 pm.  Feel free to let me know if you need any additional information. Thanks!

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From: Carolyn Parker
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 5:16 PM
To: Powell, Donetta

Thank you for the information.

Two clarifications please:

Did you mean a 6′ wide sidewalk?  That seems extremely wide.

Does the “6’ wide sidewalk on a 6’ setback” mean coming into the property 12′?

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From: Donetta Powell
To: Carolyn Parker
Date: April 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Mrs. Parker,

Yes I did mean a 6 foot wide sidewalk and yes our staff has recommended a 6 foot setback which would incur taking the total of 12 feet which meets the City of Raleigh’s newly adopted Unified Development Ordinance requirements.

City Council Meeting Minutes (9/1/2015)

A video of the 9/1/2015 evening session is HERE. Complete Council Meeting Minutes are HERE.

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The City Council of the City of Raleigh met in a regular reconvened session at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 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 all Council members present:

Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Presiding
Mayor Pro Tem John Odom
Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin
Councilor Kay C. Crowder
Councilor Bonner Gaylord
Councilor Wayne K. Maiorano
Councilor Russ Stephenson
Councilor Eugene Weeks

Mayor McFarlane called the meeting to order and the following items were discussed with action taken and shown.

STREET IMPROVEMENTS – LORIMER ROAD – HEARING – APPROVED AS AMENDED

This was a hearing to consider the construction of Lorimer Road to a 27-foot, back-to-backstreet section with six-foot-wide sidewalk with a six-foot setback on the west side and a 3.5-foot shoulder on the east side including curbs, gutters, and drains from Kaplan Drive to Garland Drive, with assessments to apply at the current rate of $32 per linear foot. The hearing is pursuant to a petition, which was signed by 68.29 percent of the abutting property owners which represents 70.96 percent of the abutting linear feet of frontage.

The Mayor opened the hearing.

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