Facebook Post (David Simonton, 6/25/2017)

COUNTERPOINT

Currie Mixon is my across-the-street neighbor, and the petitioner’s brother-in-law. He recently commented on my continuing effort to shine a light on what transpired on Lorimer Road in a post on the Nextdoor Avent West website.

Mixon began his assessment by referring to resident Jeff Essic’s post on the site. Here is Jeff’s concluding paragraph:

“[Those] are some of the reasons why there are folks along the street against the project and why you will probably continue to hear about it until there is at least some acknowledgement that yes, the petition process was flawed, and some meaningful assurance from the city on a lower-impact design.”

Currie’s comment:

“Regarding Jeff Essic’s last paragraph, I’d say it’s impossible to say how much less raving Mr. Simonton would do with any acknowledgement or change. He’s been raving mad about the prospect of a sidewalk from the beginning, and I am of the opinion (you can see for yourself if he ever posts about anything else, he has a hobby website dedicated to opposition to this project, and now FB page…) that his opposition to this project is one that defines him in his eyes.”

I wish that a fraction of the energy spent dividing and conquering this once united neighborhood had been spent for the good of all who live here.

It didn’t have to end up this way. There could have been/should have been a positive, less fraught outcome. That choice was available to the petitioner, her sister and her sister’s husband, but they decided to take another route; with, sadly, the City’s approval.

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Comment

Edward F Gehringer:  I generally like sidewalks and have no personal stake in this project, but I would like to commend Mr. Simonton for taking the time to gather evidence and bring it to the attention of the community. That is exactly what citizens should be doing … adducing more evidence so that better decisions can be made. Calling someone “raving mad” and saying that the issue is his “hobby” does nothing to advance harmony or improve decision-making. This issue, like all others, should be settled on its merits, not by trying to shout down minority views.

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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.

Continue reading

Donna Burford: City Council Presentation (9/1/2015)

This presentation was transcibed from a recording of the City Council meeting of September 1, 2015, evening session:

“…I am Donna Burford and I am here as the petitioner on the Lorimer street project.

“This all started as a simple free sidewalk for the safety my family, my sister’s family and another person that wanted to call for this sake. I don’t live on Lorimer Road but my sister [Sharon Mixon] and Beverly [Thomas] do. This road is very important to us because this is the only access road that allows us to get to our homes on Fairway Ridge. So all things Lorimer really is important.

“The [City Public Works Department], in the process of hearing my sidewalk petition, upgraded it to a street petition because of the non-conformity of the street.

Continue reading

Project Impact

Screen shot 2016-05-23 at 2.27.48 PMb w_names.jpg

Pictured here is a portion of the northern section of Lorimer Road.
On this map, the YELLOW dotted lines indicate where Lorimer Road is currently; the PURPLE lines indicate the width of the City’s easement. The solid GREEN lines show where the new, “improved” road will be; the solid RED lines indicate the location of the new curb. The sidewalk (located on one side—the west side—only) is pictured here as an ORANGE band.

Note that the yellow line—the edge of the current road—and the red line—the edge of the new road/where the new curb will be—intersect in front of the Mixon’s property (Sharon Mixon initiated the street & sidewalk project).

The Mixons, in other words, stand to lose … nothing, easement-wise. Those who live across the street, however, stand to lose everything, easement-wise.

How, one might ask — Mixons and Burfords and City of Raleigh officials and staff — is this fair?

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September 9, 2015 Facebook posts

Jane Fenn:  For me the biggest problem with this whole situation is that for you and your neighbors on the east side of Lorimer, the look of the street and the impact on trees you enjoy will change only by 3.5 feet, roughly speaking. For me and all my neighbors on the west side, the look of Lorimer will change by 5 feet (sidewalk) plus 6 feet (setback) plus 3.5 feet. The inequity of this property impact differential is breathtaking.

Shannon Bellezza:  …If the petition is upheld, a sidewalk will be installed and the look and feel of Lorimer Rd. will drastically change.

Currie Mixon:  I disagree that it will drastically change. It will change somewhat, but not drastically.

[—which, given that the drastic change will affect residents on the other side of the road, is easy for Mr. Mixon to say….]

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No Stranger to City Hall (Donna Burford)

RALEIGH BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES

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)

Absent:

-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