Project Mischaracterization

According to the City Council Meeting Minutes (September 1, 2015), Chris Johnson with the Public Works Department told City Council Members the following:

“…The sidewalk [will] be where the ditch is located, therefore the impact on the lots [will] not change that much.”

Council Members based their decision to approve the project’s parameters based, in part, on this assessment.

At the 25% Design Meeting, however, a map was presented that revealed the true impact of the project. It shows that, in fact, the setback will be where the ditch is now. The sidewalk, buffer, permanent easements and temporary easements will drastically affect lots on the west side of the road after all. Chris Johnson presided at the meeting.

Lorimer Road w:ditch & arrow.jpg

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Justis Peters – Woodlinks Drive

“Justis Peters, 1315 Lorimer Road, spoke in support of the improvements. He questioned however if it could be amended to add sidewalks down the side of his property on Woodlinks. He stated he owns the majority of the frontage on Woodlinks and if the sidewalk could be extended to make it a complete sidewalk the people along Fairway Ridge would benefit.” —from City Council Meeting Minutes, 9/1/2015 [Note: Donna Burford, the Lorimer Road petitioner, lives on Fairway Ridge Drive; neither Peters nor Burford will be assessed for either project]

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From: Smith, Gail
To: Johnson, Chris ;  Upchurch, Jimmy ;  Eldredge, Leslie
CC: Powell, Donetta
Sent time: 02 Sep, 2015 2:55:15 PM

 

From: Upchurch, Jimmy
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 9:37 AM
To: Smith, Gail; Eldredge, Leslie
Cc: Johnson, Chris; Powell, Donetta
Subject: Lorimer Road Petition Motion To Approve

Gail,

Please clarify Ms. Crowder’s motion in regards to Mr. Justis Peters request last night for us to extend the proposed sidewalk installation on Lorimer around his side yard on Woodlinks to connect to the existing sidewalk that stops at his property line.

This addition, as requested by Mr. Peters, to the proposed improvements included in the petition would only affect Mr. Peters property and being sidewalk installation along his property only, it would be completely at City expense as sidewalk installation is not assessable with this proposed project.

Thanks.

Jimmy Upchurch
Assessment Supervisor
City of Raleigh Public Works Department
Design/Construction Division

 

t_file_at3.jpg
Mr. Peter’s request to add sidewalk along his side yard

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From: Smith, Gail
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 10:38 AM
To: Upchurch, Jimmy; Eldredge, Leslie
Cc: Johnson, Chris; Powell, Donetta
Subject: RE: Lorimer Road Petition Motion To Approve

Her motion was to approve the improvements with the change that sidewalk will be reduced to 5 ft. – Sidewalk from Kaplan to Garland.  In staff this am there was discussion about adding the Peters property.  Tom said that could not occur without going through the entire process again but suggested to Rich that if Mr. Peters was willing to pay for the project that maybe we could enter into a contract to add the improvements to his property to the contract.

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The 25% Design Meeting

UPDATE (Late-September 2016) — “I am targeting the week after Thanksgiving to hold the meeting.” —Talal Shahbander

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UPDATE (Spring 2016)Talal Shahbander reported that the first/25% design meeting will be held possibly in December but more likely in early January, and that he will make a decision on that in September.

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[The highlighting is the City’s]

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[“CM Crowder’s staffer” = Council Member Crowder’s staff member, Nick Sadler]

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[Source: HERE]

Jane Fenn’s Email to Eric Haugaard (12/1/2015)

From: Jane Fenn
To: Eric Haugaard
Date: December 1, 2015
Subject: Lorimer Road #DC-2014-0012

Mr. Haugaard — I have two purposes in writing today.
1.  I received the mailing from Chris Johnson regarding the Lorimer project.  In its first paragraph it states that the “typical road section calls for a 6′ wide sidewalk with 6′ setback. . . .” This is not what the city council actually passed, and I wanted to be positive that the project dimensions are NOT the typical and that the council’s changes to that are what is actually planned.  Please reassure me that that is the case.
2.  In previous communications to Councilwoman Crowder as well as information she provided to me from people in city offices, I asked for specific reasons why the projected sidewalk position is on the west side of the street rather than the east side.  Although I received responses to this, there was nothing specific.  Cited were factors such as terrain (just a general statement — there is obviously “terrain” on both sides of the street), vegetation to be removed (again, that is the case on both sides of the street), utilities (poles for electricity and other utilities exist on both sides of the street).  No specific details that could demonstrate why one side was selected because of cost or construction advantages — and I would assume that construction advantages can be reduced to cost advantages.  I want to obtain the cost estimates used to determine which side of the street is the most cost-effective for this construction.  The general statements of terrain, vegetation and utilities do nothing to show me why the west side is more cost effective.  Can you supply me with the cost estimates that demonstrate significant savings of west side construction vs. east side construction?  If you cannot, from whom can I obtain those figures?  I can not see anything in the information that has already been provided to me that makes the reason for this choice clear.
I have returned the form sent to me acknowledging that I understand project personnel will access my property as part of the design phase.  I noted on that form this request to you for specific cost estimates demonstrating that the sidewalk location has been determined by actual cost projections.  I appreciate your attention to this request very much.  Since I assume these estimates have already been made, I hope to see some concrete information soon.
Regards — Jane P. Fenn

Erin Salmon and the City – Part One

On Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 4:40 PM, Nick Sadler  wrote:

Ms. [Erin] Salmon

My name is Nick Sadler and I work as a Policy Analyst in the City Council Office.

We understand that you have been contacting various departments throughout the City in an effort to gather information about the Lorimer Drive Street and Sidewalk Improvements that was approved by council in September. To better serve this effort I have been asked to  be the point of contact for you moving forward. Any request for information should be sent to me. Once I receive the request I will ensure that it gets to the correct staff  and ensure that you get the information you request.

I appreciate your understanding of this. If you have any questions please let me know.

Nick

Nick Sadler, Policy Analyst

City of Raleigh | City Manager’s Office

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On Sep 29, 2015, at 12:09 AM, Erin Salmon wrote:

Hello Nick,

Thank you for your email.  I am curious who asked you to be the point person for directing my questions.  Prior to your email, I spoke at length with Chris Johnson, and he asked that I direct my questions to himself and to Jimmy Upchurch.  To oblige you all, I will copy the three of you on future emails.

In any case, I believe your assistance will be invaluable for my neighborhood’s future.  This project has created a huge divide within our quiet streets, and I have been working hard since September 1 to bridge this divide, to find common ground where neighbors can work together to address concerns and issues.  The petition process itself has generated much of the contention that residents feel.  I believe that this could have been avoided had the city been more involved during that time before the petition was submitted and before the resolution went before the Council.  I know that many residents did email and call the appropriate city staff to ask questions and voice concerns, myself included. However, not all calls and emails were answered, and the information that was given to various residents was contradictory to some of the information I have gathered from the city’s website as well as from direct conversations with the departments and divisions pertinent to this project.  There continue to be unanswered questions from residents, and as a neighborhood, we have been meeting frequently over the past four weeks to sort through the information that has been gathered since September 1.

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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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