Archive for November, 2009

PRR-Watch November 2009 Meeting

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009


Raleigh, NC – The Pleasant Ridge & Ramsgate Community Watch, building a safe and informed family community, held their fall quarterly meeting on November 10, 2009. Hot topics from the meeting included speeding concerns on Sierra Drive and Lawrence Drive, parking / visibility issues at Sierra Drive and Voyager Circle, and a recap on the Raleigh Police Department (RPD) ride along with Tabitha Groelle and Jason Hibbets. The annual cookies exchange was also held. Members in attendance brought cookies to share. A food drive was suggested for next year’s Fall meeting.

The meeting notes are available on the community watch website [PDF]. Summaries of the RPD ride alongs have been popular posts: RPD Ride Along – 5 Crime Fighting Tips and Ride Along Part II, The Tabitha Chronicles.

Speeding in our neighborhood has been a recurring topic at our meetings. (more…)

Notifications for Subdivisions, Variances Changing

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Interesting changes coming from the Legislature that impact how new subdivisions, site plans, and variances need to notify more citizens. Currently, this does not look to impact the rezoning notification process.

Legislation Changes How N.C. Cities Consider Development Plans

The North Carolina General Assembly has approved legislation that changes the way Raleigh and other municipalities in the state consider subdivision plans, site plans and variances.

At its Nov. 3 meeting, the Raleigh City Council authorized City Attorney Thomas McCormick and City Planning Director Mitchell Silver to draft a text change that will bring the City’s policies into compliance with the new state law. The proposed text change will be presented to the City Council for its consideration. (more…)

Real Estate market update November 2009

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Most people have already heard about two major political/economical announcements over the last month affecting real estate:

  1. the extension of first time home buyer tax credit and
  2. steady rise of unemployment numbers

How does it translate to our home values in the Triangle and around the Lineberry area?


Grant for Tree Inventory

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Trees with GPS? NeighborhWoods gets a more detailed inventory?  Read on:

Raleigh Awarded Matching Grant For Street Tree Inventory Effort

On Nov. 3, the Raleigh City Council accepted a $10,000 matching grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) for the second phase of the City’s Street Tree Inventory Project.

In the first phase of the project, the City of Raleigh purchased GPS units and began collecting detailed information on City-owned trees. City staff will accumulate data on the number, condition, size, species and locations of the trees. The information, once completed will include valuable data on more than 100,000 street trees, and will be entered into the City’s computer network. The $10,000 grant and its matching funds will be used to complete the data collection effort (with volunteers and interns from North Carolina State University), provide training for Tree Steward volunteers, and allow for further integration of the data into various City-maintained computer systems. (more…)

Shopping Survey for SWCAC

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

There was a huge turnout at the November 9, 2009 meeting of the South West Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC) at Carolina Pines park. My guess is there were over 100 people in attendance to hear about Golden Corral and Strayer University going in as one of the first commercial tenants at Renaissance Park. Many opinions were shared, including one resident who stated “the vision for the retail at Renaissance Park was a marketing lie.

We asked you for shopping ideas in this post, but now, residents of Renaissance Park are collecting their own set of data. They have prepared a survey to show reported spending habits in the area that are missed by the current demographic data. They’ve invited residents from the Lineberry and Trailwood area to participate because they believe the retail at Renaissance Park would be used by us as well. Their goal is to attract good commercial tenants that everyone could benefit from.

Take the survey now.

History: E.B. Bain Water Treatment Plant

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Special Places in the Southwest CAC

Our last historical entry was about the Carolina Pines Hotel. This entry is about the E.B. Bain Water Treatment Plant located just west of South Wilmington Street on Fayetteville Street. Read about the history below, then check out current day art projects at

Located at 1810 Fayetteville Road on Walnut Creek, the E. B. Bain Water Treatment Plant was constructed in 1939 – 1940 on the site of the 1887 water treatment plant that served the city of Raleigh. Noted as the most handsome industrial building in the city, the massive brick, tile, and metal Bain Water Treatment Plant was designed by architectural engineer William C. Olsen in a restrained classical/Art Deco motif. The $700,000 construction of the building was funded by a City of Raleigh bond issue and the Depression-era federal Public Works Administration (PWA).

The nearly eight-acre site located just south of downtown Raleigh contains the massive, elegant brick treatment house and three clear storage reservoirs. The treatment building is entered through the head house into a generously-dimensioned two-story lobby with a mezzanine circling the upper level. The mezzanine is gained by a monumental stair defined by decorative wrought iron balusters and solid oak hand rails. The railings are repeated on the mezzanine that is supported by tall, narrow columns with fluted capitals. The walls of the lobby and mezzanine are finished with ashlar plaster above a glazed tile wainscot, and the floors are red quarry tile. The mezzanine space is illuminated by original segmental-arched doorways with double French doors, sidelights, and transoms, and the building retains original elegant bronze Art Deco pendant lights and wall sconces. In all, building’s proportions and attention to design detail reflected the stringent standards of the 1930s for federally-funded public building projects. As such, it is easy to understand why the Bain Water Treatment Plant is noted as an excellent example of the high level of design for utilitarian structures produced under PWA sponsorship.

EB Bain Water Plant

EB Bain Water Plant

Photo courtesy of wikimedia.

Shopping Ideas Needed for SWCAC

Friday, November 6th, 2009

I was reading the November 2009 edition of the SouthWest Citizens Advisory Council  newsletter [PDF] and thought I’d share an agenda item that I think is very important.  It’s a chance for you to provide input into what types of shopping and services you would like at future commercial space on Tryon Road, near Renaissance Park. From the agenda: (more…)

Tryon Road Project Update

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Many residents in the South West Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC) are eager to see Tryon Road widened to four lanes from Cary to Garner. Some sections have been completed and others are still waiting for design and funding. The section of Tryon Road between Lake Wheeler Road and South Saunders Street is waiting on funding to build a new bridge over the railroad corridor East of RGA Golf Course. Some SWCAC citizens were curious about some of the roadway that is already complete, but lacks the landscaping elements shown in the design.

Senior Project Engineer , James Lynn Raynor, PE , with the City of Raleigh Public Works Department answered questions over email. The section of concern is the area of Tryon Road between Gorman Street and Lake Wheeler Road, which has been completed for quite some time now. Currently, the section is mostly four lanes with a median and four lanes with a center turn lane in some areas. The median is supposed to have landscaping. For the purposes of this article, landscaping will mean more than just mulch. Currently, the medians are only mulched. We would like to think that trees, shrubs, and other landscaping elements will add some beauty to the baron, mulched median.

Tryon Road Median, courtesy Google Maps & Streetview

Tryon Road Median, courtesy Google Maps & Streetview


Smoke Free Help From Perdue

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Gov. Bev Perdue announced on Thursday, October 29, 2009 the launch of, a website to help implement North Carolina’s new law that requires restaurants, bars and lodging establishments that serve food and drink to go smoke-free as of January 2, 2010.

The website, launched by the NC Division of Public Health in collaboration with the NC Association of Local Health Directors, provides business owners and customers information on the new law, on the health hazards of secondhand smoke and on resources to help those smokers who may want to quit smoking. There are downloadable fact sheets, no-smoking signs and other tools to help make the transition to smoke-free air an easy one.


Source: Governor Perdue press release.

Zoning Public Hearing Set for New Year

Sunday, November 1st, 2009


On January 19, 2010, the Raleigh City Council will hold a public hearing to discuss a proposed text change to the City ‘s conditional use zoning process. At Wednesday ‘s Council meeting, the City ‘s planning staff was directed to review the 25-year history of the process and draft a text change.

The proposed text change will require that the neighborhood meeting for rezoning petitions take place prior to an applicant ‘s submittal of the petition and include other benchmarked dates regarding submittal of conditions. The January 19 meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber.