Email to City Council Members – David Simonton (4/5/2016)

From: David Simonton
To: City Council Members
CC: Jimmy Upchurch, Blair Hinkle, Nick Sadler, Eric Haugaard
Date: Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Tonight’s Agenda Item (Re: Lorimer Road)

Dear Council Members and Others,

In advance of my appearance this evening before the City Council, a more detailed accounting than my 3 minutes will permit. Thank you.

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Re: Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

This petition, for the installation of a sidewalk with street improvements on Lorimer Road between Kaplan Road and Garland Drive, was presented to residents—specifically, those living south of Onslow Road—as a way to end their decades-old stormwater problems. The question is: will it? Continue reading

Jeff Essic – Facebook Post

Regarding issues on the North end of Lorimer Road:

Jeff Essic (September 3, 2015, Facebook) – The flooding of Hunter and Marina’s driveway will not be improved one bit by the work of Lorimer Rd. Their flood water is coming off Western Blvd, the church lot along Garland, the apartments along Kent and Chaney, etc. Helen Adams’ lot gets flooded just because she lives at the bottom of a hill, and that’s what happens. The curbs and gutters aren’t going to make any difference for her. The water that hits Lorimer’s pavement goes into the ditches and straight to the creek. [I’ve] watched our ditches after hard rains and…most of the water on our side, when it gets to Helen’s ditch, seeps into the ground due to the thick pine straw. If Helen thinks this water is causing her flooding, then the first step would be to clean out that ditch. Of course once everything is curb and gutter, it is going to be piped straight to the creek with no chance of infiltrating into the soil, and will cause an increase of flooding for everyone downstream. For some reason this increase of impervious surface doesn’t seem to bother our City Council, even though we get assessed a stormwater fee each month for all the impervious surface on our property, including our gravel driveway.

Also since I’ve brought up Garland St. – did everyone catch Mrs. Crowder say that she is talking with a developer about doing some construction on Garland? I suspect she is referring to the lot across from the church. This property will likely be for sale soon and is a prime location for high-density development. I think this is a key to why she pushed through the whole issue, including sidewalks on the north end despite a majority of opposition. As Steve [Grothmann] has already said, the aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood will become a selling point. Sidewalks along Garland and Chaney will be next. Developers are going to continue to put multi-family housing along the Kent corridor to replace the aging single-family houses every chance they get – just like the new townhouses on Method near the NCSU greenhouses. This is not bad, but I’m just saying that it is going to greatly increase the stormwater runoff to Hunter and Marina’s driveway and the sidewalk issue is a small step and part of Crowder and council’s larger plan to bring increased density in our neck of the woods.

As for me, I am going to be very sorry to see many of the trees that line and shade our streets cut away for a wider street and sidewalks. Every time I turn off Western and go down Garland and onto Lorimer, it is so nice to again be amongst the trees where things are calm and peaceful. I’m consoling myself by realizing that the trees actually do need major trimming cutting back, and ones behind them will fill in, but it’s not going to be nearly as pretty for a while. But I have no doubt that traffic speeds are going to increase (after all, the visible thread of landing in a deep ditch if you run off the road are no more) and probably traffic volumes. Also, have you thought about the increase in solicitations from salesmen due to improved walkability?


– Steve Grothmann (9/3/15, 2:45 pm, Facebook) – I wondered about how this plan would actually affect drainage issues. I don’t know enough about people’s individual yards to guess, but it’s clear that piping away runoff directly is the worst thing for the environment and the creek and wherever the water ends up.

Is it really true that there is no other course than this plan for people with drainage problems? I sympathize with them. Maybe there are other public means to address the drainage, maybe private, that aren’t bundled with sidewalks?

Our street really has a rustic, natural, country character, in the middle of town, which is a big part of why I love it. Would hate to lose one bit of that.

– Erin Salmon (9/3/15, 5:24 pm, Facebook) – I am not positive about the property that Kay was referring to, but I am looking into it. Unfortunately, it may be 4324 Garland Road, which was sold in March. If it is true, that means a developer now owns that property rather than a family. This is between Lorimer Road and Onslow Road, NOT between Chaney and Kent. I will keep you all posted.

– Sharon Moll Mixon (9/4/15, 12:35 am, Facebook) – I am guessing Kay is talking about the house for sale on the corner of Kent and Garland.


Helen Adams’ Email to City Council

From: Helen Adams
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2015 7:22 PM
To: Eric Haugaard; Kay Crowder; City Council Members; Nick Sadler; Donetta Powell
Cc: The INDY (Jane Porter); The News & Observer (Watchdog)
Subject: Lorimer Rd. Improvement Project

We would like to offer the Council and the city engineers a heartfelt apology for the disruption and disrespect arising from a very few persons in our community regarding the approved curb-and-gutter repaving of Lorimer Road. A strong majority – over two-thirds – of our neighbors petitioned for this badly needed upgrade to improve the safety, water runoff, and general appearance of the area. A very vocal minority has repeatedly addressed the Council, as well as attempting to browbeat neighbors, and indulging in apparently endless incoherent venting on social media, to express their displeasure and opposition. Please continue to ignore them, and do not assume that they are typical or in any way representative of our citizenry.

Currie and Sharon Mixon
Helen Adams
Dr. Gene Kamprath
William and Barbara Moran
Dr. John Russ
Mike and Donna Burford
Nancy Speros

Helen Adams’ Email to Eric Haugaard

From: Helen Adams
Sent: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 5:07 PM
To: Eric Haugaard
Subject: Lorimer Survey

Thank you for responding to the Lorimer Rd. footage discrepancy between what the city printed on the map and what not only is on my 2013 survey but also recorded on the deed that is on file with the city. I will check with you again at the time you suggested. The discrepancy is holding up some construction I wish to do so thank you for giving it attention.

The majority of us on Lorimer Rd. are so excited we can not stand it. We do have a few of the minority who did not sign the petition who are being very vocal but know that you are welcome and if you are bored start at my property.

Thank you again,
Helen Adams
1301 Onslow Rd (with Lorimer Rd. footage)

Response to David Simonton’s City Council Presentation (1/5/2016)

From: Sharon Mixon [Mixon is petitioner Donna Burford’s sister]
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 8:14 AM
To: Eric Haugaard; City Council Members; Nick Sadler; Donetta Powell; News & Observer (Watchdog); INDY Week (Jane Porter)
Subject: Regarding Jan 5th Meeting and David Simonton

At the January 5th evening session of the Raleigh City Council, a group of us listened to the presentation by David Simonton regarding petitions for sidewalks and street improvements. Several of his multiple misstatements need to be corrected. First, there is no general “angst” in the Lorimer Road neighborhood over the approved street improvements. A small handful of discontented people have repeatedly sought to derail, postpone or otherwise modify this project, which the majority of the residents strongly favor. We recognize that the present narrow road is dangerous for the increased traffic and especially for pedestrians, and that there are issues with stormwater runoff that need to be dealt with. So we are eager for the project to proceed and are impatient with the continued complaining and attempts to delay or alter the project. [Note: None of the signators, below,  will have the proposed sidewalk constructed on their side of the street, the Morans are exempt from assessment as well, and John Russ doesn’t even live on Lorimer Road.] Second, regarding the petition process itself, the property owners were indeed contacted and no one felt mislead or pressured into signing, and were fully aware of the proposed improvements. We know Mr. Simonton was at the meeting* and aware also, but if he felt un-involved in the process it might be due to the fact that he is not a listed owner of any property in the neighborhood**. Which raises the question of his standing to petition the Council on this subject in the first place***.

Thank you,

Helen Adams
John Russ
Barbara and William Moran
Currie and Sharon Mixon


*David Simonton was not present at the April 1, 2015 meeting, as the Sign-In Sheet confirms.

**David Simonton has lived at 1218 Lorimer Road with his wife, Carolyn Parker (whose name appears on the deed), since 1993. As a point of comparison, the Mixons have been Lorimer Road residents since 2013.

***City Policy: Raleigh City Council encourages citizen input. One of the ways to provide such input is to petition to address the City Council during a Council meeting.

“Petition To Appear Before City Council: To schedule an appearance before Council please submit a Request & Petition of Citizens to City of Raleigh Council form to the City Clerk by 12 p.m. on Tuesday two weeks preceding the scheduled Council meeting. Additional support information should be submitted along with the request. The request form contains completion and submission directions….”


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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.


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.

Continue reading