Archive for January, 2009

It’s Only Wednesday

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

I’ve been busy this week, and it’s only Wednesday. On Monday night (Jan 26) I went to a 2030 Team Lead meeting. On Tuesday night (Jan 27) I attended the Wade Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) Meeting. And tonight (Jan 28), I lead the final meeting of the transit focus group for the 2030 planning review.

Monday, almost all the 2030 DDNA Focus Group team leads got together to discuss any remaining items. We primarily discussed finalizing the team comments and how we would enter out comments to the Limehouse Portal regarding our teams review of the 2030 Draft Comprehensive Plan. After the meeting, I was able to create a group login for the DDNA Focus Groups, I drafted detailed instructions on how to comments on the plan, and also how to register (for individuals).

Ideally, the team leads would have liked to review our group comments with each other to cross-pollinate our ideas about how each section might impact the other, but unfortunately, we are running out of time. Comments are due this Saturday, January 31, 2009. (more…)

SWCAC Recap for January 12, 2009

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Officer Upchurch reported 893 police calls from 12/05/08 to 01/12/09, many were robberies and break-ins by people the victim knew – choose roommates carefully! Nicky Brewster told us that Carolina Pines Community Center will be offering new programs – money management, weight gain, childcare issues, etc.

RPD Officer A. P. Draughon, PROP (Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit) is the PROP Officer for the entire city. An updated PROP ordinance that became effective 01/01/09 now includes all rental properties from a single unit to large apt. complexes. It addresses criminal behavior:

  • prostitution,
  • possession of stolen goods,
  • violations of certain state alcohol and liquor regulations,
  • unlawful weapons,
  • unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon,
  • gaming violations,
  • and disorderly conduct

through court convictions and also targets rental properties that are in violation of the minimum housing, zoning or nuisance code. Four inspection code violations put rental property in the PROP.

Between March 1 and April 30 all owners of rental property are required to register such property/properties. The City of Raleigh offers excellent training in writing a good lease and choosing good tenants (more info in Feb. SW CAC newsletter). (more…)

Three Classes for PROP Approved Landlord Training

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

From the City of Raleigh E-Newsletter:

THREE LANDLORD TRAINING CLASSES AVAILABLE IN 2009

The City of Raleigh will again offer a training course to help landlords and property managers enhance the quality of living on their properties.  The one-day course, which the City is presenting in partnership with property managers and the legal community, will be held on Feb. 18, May 20 and Oct. 14  from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the Raleigh Housing Authority, 871 Harp Street. This training course is approved for continuing education credits from the North Carolina Bar Association (six hours) and North Carolina Real Estate Commission (four hours).

The training course will provide practical tips on how to reduce the likelihood of nuisance violations and drug, gang and illegal activity occurring in and around rental property. It will include instructions on implementing effective applicant screening policies and practices, strengthening rental agreements, recognizing warning signs of drug and gang activity, taking the right legal steps to resolve problems, understanding the role of the police, and reviewing the City’s probationary rental occupancy permit (PROP) and rental registration ordinances.  This is also a PROP-approved program. (more…)

Meeker: Boldness Without Citizens

Monday, January 26th, 2009

If you read the recap from the Mayor Meeker’s State of the City, Mayor Calls For Boldness To Combat Economic Challenges, you’ll get an understanding of Raleigh’s priorities this year. One item that made the list, begin implementing the initial steps of the Comprehensive Plan. I found it ironic the article stated: “Mayor Meeker said this was a time for working together to strengthen our nation.” Why? Because just last week, I went to City Council asking for more time for citizens to participate in commenting on the 2030 Draft Comprehensive Plan. Yet the Mayor lead the four votes declining the motion to extend the comment period by 30-days. Working together? How can we work together if the leader of our city is dampening citizen participation?

But I don’t want to be a stick in the mud. Let’s see if the Mayor can deliver and foster citizen participation. I encourage all citizens to get involved and participate how they can in their local government. We need to work together — embracing our diversity and using our collective knowldge to accomplish these goals, making Raleigh better for all.

Council Declines 2030 Comment Extension 4-4

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Today, I appeared before Raleigh City Council on the requests and petitions of citizens agenda. My request was to extend the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Draft comment date by 30 days. My full request is below for your viewing pleasure. On the surface, I was unsuccessful in achieving the goal, that’s if you’re looking at the 4-4 vote (5 votes are needed to pass a motion).The Council did not extend the Comprehensive Plan Comment period today, with Mayor Meeker, Mary-Anne Baldwin, Philip Isley, and James West voting against the extension. However, Mitch Silver suggested that the Limehouse Portal commenting feature be extended through February. The Council agreed with this suggestion even though the motion did not pass. As I understand this, citizens will be able to submit comments through the Limehouse portal until the end of February 2009.

This comes at a slight costs. Planning Director Silver explained to me over email that, “All comments received after 2/1 will be collated by element and submitted to the City Council and Planning Commission. The comments will also be made available to the public. A summary of these post 2/1 comments will be presented at the March Public Hearing.

Talking points for today’s request:

First, I would like to commend the Planning Department staff; Mitch Silver, Ken Bowers, and many others, for the tremendous job and effort put into creating the Draft Comprehensive Plan. It’s truly outstanding and overwhelming.

Like many other active citizens in this city, there is a sense of ownership because we’ve been actively participating in the process. We are taking time to review the plan because it outlines the future growth and conservation of Raleigh. But we need more time to contribute our feedback.

(more…)

DDNA Meeting Notes from January 2009

Monday, January 19th, 2009

District D Neighborhood Alliance January 17, 2009

The District D Neighborhood Alliance (DDNA) gathered to discuss the 2030 Draft Comprehensive Plan. The room was packed and our neighborhood leaders are very interested in participating, commenting on the plan, and contributing to Raleigh’s future. At the meeting, those of us who had a chance to go through the plan already provided tips and tricks, navigation, and other helpful hints. We raised group concerns and outline a plan of action. The 2030 focus groups will continue to meet throughout the rest of the month and contribute group comments to the Planning Department. (more…)

DDNA Members Monopolize 2030 Public Briefing

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

At the January 8, 2009 2030 Public Briefing, DDNA Members attended in full force at the Raleigh Urban Design Center. The crowd started off small, but grew as the evening went on. The public briefing offered insight into the draft 2030 Comprehensive Plan and was interactive with questions and answers. Ken Bowers, Deputy Planning Director, presented a briefing (similar to this PDF) to the audience, who included Mayor Meeker and Councilor Crowder.

Other folks who attended included Karen Rindge (Chair, WakeUP Wake County), Steven Waters, Elizabeth Byrd, Ruth Little, John Reaves, Jim Paumier, Greg Flynn, Jason Hibbets, and several other curious citizens.

The meeting went well past 8:00 PM, and those that stuck it out were very thankful that Ken stayed late to address our questions. So what was this session all about? Getting a better understanding of the 2030 draft plan, how it’s organized, and what the intentions of the policies and actions are. There were some great questions from those that attended.

There are some upcoming Public Workshops on January 13-15, 2009. Registration is onsite only. This is a great way for you to provide feedback on the Draft Comprehensive Plan. Alternatively, you can comment directly on the plan at the Limehouse Portal. Registration to the portal is quick, adding comments and feedback to the document is very easy. (more…)

Pothole Fixes May Slow

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Citizens of Raleigh enjoy a high level of service for potholes reported to Public Works.  The City’s Street Maintenance division strives to repair reported potholes within a 24-hour period — and this will continue to be the case.   Unfortunately, NCDOT recently announced they will no longer reimburse the city for potholes repaired by Raleigh Street Maintenance on city streets.

The City of Raleigh had an agreement with NCDOT to repair state-maintained roads with the 24-hour service level and be reimbursed for the repairs at a later time.  An ABC 11 article describes many problems caused by potholes for auto repair shops.  The City will still repair potholes on their streets with the existing service level, but according to the ABC 11 article, “there are 251 miles of state-maintained roads in the City of Raleigh.(more…)

Park and Pedestrian Safety

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I attended the Raleigh City Council this evening to speak at the public hearing for this year’s budget. Times are tight but our neighborhood still needs to get our share. While the potential park at Lineberry Drive and Sierra Drive has stalled, I asked the city council to still pursue purchasing this property for a neighborhood park and secure funds for the master planning. Additionally, I added a new request for pedestrian improvements in the area.

Actually, these two items go hand-in-hand. If you can envision the park being the center of the neighborhood, we have Lineberry Drive and Sierra Drive as major pedestrian routes leading to the park. We also have Trailwood Hills Drive, Alder Ridge, and Lawrence Drive as other routes with pedestrian traffic. Generating the pedestrian awareness now can strengthen the proposal for the land acquisition. Neighbors will be asked to participate in a task force over the next several weeks, I hope that we have excellent participation.

Below, you will find the request I presented to City Council on January 6, 2009: (more…)