Last Night, our City Council approved the Downtown South Zoning Request Z-13-20. First of all, let’s thank Raleigh’s Planning Commission members, especially Shelley Winters, Nicole Bennett, Michele McIntosh, Roberta Fox, Tika Hicks, Jennifer Lampman, for their diligence and hard work in examining Z-13-20. They put in a tremendous amount of time and effort for no compensation. True heroes! As is Councilor David Cox, the lone vote against the rezoning.
There were many great comments presented on both sides of the issue. We all want progress for Raleigh; that was evident. The folks who spoke in opposition of the zoning application did so because, in its current form, there are no guarantees at all that the community directly affected will benefit. They asked the Council to deny the zoning application and request that the applicant submit a detailed plan that outlines the following things this community has said they need, things like truly affordable housing, strict stormwater controls, traffic remediation, and meaningful community engagement.
Mayor Baldwin, as she voted to approve, stated that she and the Council would hold Kane and his team to the things the community is asking for. How will they do that exactly? Kane’s team made many promises at the meeting last night. They promised to have regular meetings with the SE Raleigh Community, promised Affordable Housing Units, leaving the definition of “affordable” ambiguous, and promised many other things. None of these promises are in writing, and they are not obligated to do ANY of them. Furthermore, if Mr. Kane sells the property, the new owner would not be bound by anything unless conditions were set at the time of rezoning approval.
So, let’s advocate for meaningful community engagement as this project moves forward. We need to ensure that concerns about gentrification, affordable housing, flooding, and traffic are addressed and not swept under the rug.
PLEASE email your Council Member, the two at-large members, and Mayor Baldwin asking 2 simple but critical questions:
- How do you plan to hold the Kane team accountable to the benefits the community is asking for? And how will you engage with a new owner if Kane ends up selling the property?
- How do you plan to engage ALL the community in this effort to ensure that no one is left behind?
If you have other ideas, we’d love to hear from you at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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You can contact Council members at
Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin
At-large Councilor Nicole Stewart
At-large Councilor Jonathan Melton
District A Councilor Patrick Buffkin
District B Councilor David Cox
District C Councilor Corey Branch
District D Councilor Stormie Forte
Cell = 919-600-3714
District E Councilor David Knight