“Questions About Validity of Petition” (Laurel Hills)

Excerpts from the meeting appear below –

 

CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – 

The City Council of the City of Raleigh met in regular session at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 in the City Council Chamber of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, with the following present.:

Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Presiding (absent & excused)
Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin
Councilor Kay C. Crowder (absent & excused)
Councilor Bonner Gaylord
Councilor Wayne K. Maiorano
Councilor John Odom
Councilor Russ Stephenson
Councilor Eugene Weeks

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REQUEST AND PETITIONS OF CITIZENS

TRAFFIC CALMING PETITION – LAUREL HILLS ROAD – QUESTIONS ABOUT VALIDITY OF PETITION – REFERRED TO PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE

Steven Dean, 4003 Juniper Court, stated he was before the Council as he and other residents of the Laurel Hills community have concerns about the validity of the petition to support the installation of traffic calming along a part of Laurel Hills Road. He pointed out the City has split Laurel Hills Road into two sections and he is talking about the Rex Hospital portion. He indicated the petition states there are some 53 eligible houses and 41 representatives one of those signed the petition which resulted in a 77.4 percent. He stated however they dispute that and presented the following: Continue reading

Law & Public Safety Committee Meeting (6/25/2013)

Excerpts from the meeting appear below –

The Law and Public Safety Committee of the City of Raleigh met on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 p.m. in the Room 303, Raleigh Municipal Building, 222 West Hargett Street, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, Raleigh, North Carolina, with the following present: 

            Committee                                                                Staff

Mary Ann Baldwin, Presiding                  Assistant City Manager Howe

Mr. Randy Stagner                                     City Attorney McCormick

Mr. John Odom                                           Captain Jones (RPD)

                                                                       Transportation Planning Manager Lamb

                                                                       Gordon Dash, Transportation

                                                                       Sherry Bellville, Transportation

Chairperson Baldwin called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. and the following item(s) were discussed with action taken as shown.

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11-26 – Traffic Calming Major Projects Process – Chairperson Baldwin stated this item is a continued discussion regarding the traffic calming project development and improved public participation process. She pointed out this was discussed extensively before.

Transportation Planning Manager Lamb stated Staff has had discussion on process and structure and basically the feedback Staff received at the previous meeting. He gave a brief summary of the discussion that was held at the March 26, 2013 Law and Public Safety Committee meeting. He stated they talked about how to educate the public on what the opportunities are or are not making sure as they enter into an official process how they could make sure people understand what they are petitioning for…. Continue reading

“Raleigh Council OK’s Pedestrian Plan”

Midtown Raleigh News (N&O), from News Briefs — 1/5/2013

– The Raleigh City Council on Wednesday approved its first-ever pedestrian plan – a blueprint for improving sidewalks, crosswalks, crossing signals and trails.

The plan creates a new priority system for building new sidewalks. The city plans to install nine miles of new sidewalks in the next four years using $4.75 million in bond money.

The plan allows property owners to petition for sidewalks and traffic-calming measures along their streets. But the city council was divided on how many signatures will be required for the city to consider the request.

The council voted 5-3 to require that 75 percent of property owners favor a project, but some said the figure should be lowered to 51 percent.

“It seems like we should not be raising the bar for having a discussion about sidewalks,” Councilman Russ Stephenson said.

Others said that sidewalk proposals can stir up controversy even when 75 percent of neighbors agree.

“We could change that in the future if we see that it’s not working,” said councilwoman Mary Ann Baldwin, who voted for the 75 percent threshold.

– Staff writer Colin Campbell

“[The Petition] Process Should Not Pit Neighbors Against Neighbors” (Mary-Ann Baldwin, 2013)

Excerpts from the Law and Public Safety Commission Meeting Minutes, March 26, 2013 (emphasis added) –

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Resident Comment: “I think before any…projects are to be planned and implemented by the City, the city should send out a formal letter to all affected residents informing them of the projects. A community organizer going house to house getting signatures does not cut it from my perspective.”

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LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE (“…Major Projects Process”)

The Law and Public Safety Committee of the City of Raleigh met on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in the Room 303, Raleigh Municipal Building, 222 West Hargett Street, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, Raleigh, North Carolina, with the following present:

Committee
Mary-Ann Baldwin, Presiding
Mr. Randall Stagner
Mr. John Odom

Staff
Assistant City Manager Howe
Assistant Deputy City Attorney Leapley
Public Works Director Dawson
Transportation Planning Manager Lamb
Transportation Manager Kennon

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The Committee’s agenda included addressing the “…major projects process” –

Mr. Lamb suggested holding a pre-project meeting that would include project development participation.  He stated he feels a need to hold smaller meetings on a location by location basis and hold them onsite and see if there is something more powerful that the neighborhood is proposing.   He stated it is more important to dedicate a Staff person for the major projects.  They are looking at a Transportation Planning position that would be available to do project management for these type projects.  He briefly explained neighborhood streetscape projects.   They would create the dedicated Staff person that would be assigned to the streetscape and traffic calming projects. Tom Fiorello’s division would handle the minor projects.  They would like to educate as much as possible.  He stated moving the post preliminary process from the back end to the front end would be good. It is the neighborhood’s responsibility to circulate petitions.  They hope the above shown brochure would make people aware of official process and what it is they would be signing up for.  By educating on the front end people will understand what is being advertised. In sidewalk projects the use of direct mail has allowed the public to respond.  One suggestion is to use yard signs the same way they advertise for zoning cases.  He stated the larger the community is a great part of the problem.  He stated this would encourage too much participation from the outside.

After Mr. Lamb’s presentation the group had extensive discussion on ways to improve the traffic calming process. Continue reading

The Woodlinks Drive Connection

Donna Moll Burford posted the following on Facebook on September 2, 2015:

Fairway Ridge was developed after this area was considered part of the City of Raleigh, so curbs and gutters were installed. Maybe being that ít is a dead end road, they weren’t required to put sidewalks running the whole length. But there is sidewalk running half way down Woodlinks Drive that connects our homes to Lorimer Rd. We got approval to include the continuation of that sidewalk down to Lorimer as part of this project.”

—Who are “we?” Also, the approval for the Woodlinks Drive project did not occur until November 3 (see below), yet this Facebook post is dated September 2.

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City Council Meeting, October 7, 2015 – from the Meeting Minutes:

SIDEWALK INSTALLATION – WOODLINKS DRIVE – PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED

The following sidewalk petition has been received and signed by a majority (50 percent plus one) of the adjacent property owners as required by the City’s Residential Sidewalk Petition Policy.

Woodlinks Drive (east side) from Lorimer Road to the existing sidewalk for an approximate distance of 217 linear feet.  Staff recommends installation of sidewalk on the east side to match the existing sidewalk on Woodlinks Drive and tie into the sidewalk installation recently approved for Lorimer Road. The petition received 100 percent participation with the sole property owner in favor of the proposed sidewalk installation.  The estimated cost of construction is $21,700.

Funds are available in the Sidewalk Petition Program for design and construction.

Recommendation:  Schedule a public hearing for November 3, 2015.  Upheld on Consent Agenda Odom/Stephenson – 6 ayes.  (Maiorano absent and excused/Baldwin had not arrived at the meeting).

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City Council Meeting, November 3, 2015 – from the Meeting Minutes:

SIDEWALK INSTALLATION – WOODLINKS – HEARING – APPROVED

This was a hearing to consider a petition signed by 100 percent of the property owners to install a sidewalk on the east side of Woodlinks from Lorimer Road to the existing sidewalk, which is an approximate distance of 217 feet at an estimated cost of $21,700.

Following the hearing, the Council may take action on the request. 

The Mayor opened the hearing no one asked to be heard thus the hearing was closed.  Ms. Baldwin moved approval as outlined.  Her motion was seconded by Ms. Crowder* and a roll call voted in all members voting in the affirmative.  The Mayor ruled the motion adopted on an 8-0 vote.

* It was the other way around at the September 1 Council Meeting when the Lorimer Road decision was made: Crowder moved for approval, Baldwin seconded.

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Slide were generated by the City of Raleigh to show the length of the petitioned-for project—from Kaplan Drive to Garland Drive. Slide #1 is captioned “Lorimer Road from Kaplan Drive northward toward Woodlinks Drive.”

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N&O Article – Traffic Calming Petition Process

News & Observer — MIDTOWN RALEIGH NEWS, JUNE 29, 2013

Raleigh looks to tweak traffic calming process, By Colin Campbell

After residents of North Raleigh’s Rainwater Road nixed a traffic-calming project many of them had petitioned for, the city’s transportation planners are trying to avoid buyers’ remorse on the costly street overhauls.

Back in February, bitter neighborhood divisions over the Rainwater Road changes prompted the city officials to review how the process works. After a petition got support from 75 percent of property owners, engineers proposed $125,000 in curb extensions, mini roundabouts and other efforts to slow traffic on the residential street.

But many who had signed the original petition didn’t like what they saw in the plans. They said the changes would limit on-street parking, create less space for emergency vehicles and possibly even cause accidents. In a compromise move, the city council downsized the project to a series of new stop signs.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading