An Open Letter to Kay Crowder

September 1, 2016

Dear Council Member Crowder,

Today marks one year since the City Council’s decision to approve the petition for improvements along Lorimer Road in West Raleigh. As you know, that petition called for a 27’ back-to-back road, a 6’ sidewalk and a 6’ setback. You requested at that meeting that Council reduce the width of the sidewalk to 5′, which it did. The setback, however, remains at 6’.

And that’s why I’m writing today, to appeal to you to follow through on the numerous assurances property owners received: that the setback will be reduced as well. I believe this is a fair and reasonable request, given that residents here were repeatedly told that the setback width could be adjusted — told that by the petitioner, by City staff and by you.

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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.

.  .  .

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.

.  .  .  .  .  .

“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.

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