Bob Mulder, former Chair of Raleigh’s Planning Commission and a Raleigh real estate professional, sent the following letter to Raleigh City Council on February 7, 2023.

We are publishing it here with his permission.

To: Raleigh City Council

Date: February 7, 2023

I’ve been keeping a list of items that I think are important for you to keep in mind as you move forward with your City Council issues. You are welcome to get in touch with me by phone, email or text. I would also be glad to meet with you in person if that would be convenient for you.

I would strongly urge you not to participate in Mayor Baldwin’s 4 X 4 meetings. They are non-transparent, and while they may be considered legal, these meetings skirt around the open meetings law and are therefore completely unethical.

The previous City Council had–from what I understand–a couple of closed session meetings that discussed the Board of Adjustment request by Trinity Academy to avoid the 40% reforestation requirement in the tree ordinance. These discussions should have been out in the open at a regular city council meeting. Trinity Academy should not have be given special consideration. I would keep your eyes open for something like this to come your way again.

I heard that the City Administration had–at one time– done an internal study of how many Board of Adjustment cases were approved in Raleigh as compared to other cities. My impression was that Raleigh approved far more BOA requests than any other city. Do we have any recent data on this issue? The reason I bring this up is because perhaps some people in Raleigh are using the BOA to get around local rules and regulations when perhaps they shouldn’t be allowed to do so.

Our fancy red bus stops leave a lot to be desired. They do not provide adequate shelter from the elements, and I’ve heard they are more expensive than the more traditional bus shelters.

We should not pay for any more of these

This design is much better

This is a much larger one (2X?) and would be ideal

This is a complete joke!

As is this one.

Affordable Housing. If any council member  thinks that “exclusionary zoning” is a problem, then there should be support for inclusionary zoning in the UDO.

Since citizens who live in residentially zoned districts were never notified when changes were made to their zoning, they should all be notified by mail. This can be done by including this information in a water bill. If someone receives a digital bill, then this information should be included in that email. The information should be in a chart form for easy comparisons,  and should include the following: All zoning requirements/standards before the changes were made. This would include number of units permitted per acre, minimum lot sizes, setbacks, building heights, minimum street frontages, etc.  Then the next column on the chart should include all the changes that were made without approval of Raleigh’s citizens. The changes should reflect both Frequent Transit Areas (FTAs) and non FTAs. The Missing Middle talking sessions are not enough. Raleigh citizens have a right to know how their property rights have been affected.

Does the City have money budgeted for additional purchases of land for parks, tree preservation areas, tree buffers, stream buffers, etc.?

When rezoning requests come to you for consideration on lots less than two acres in size, you can certainly request the developer to consider making it a conditional use request that would require tree preservation. We are losing too many trees in this City. As someone said to me the other day, we are fast becoming the “City of Disappearing Oaks”.


Bob Mulder, Former Chair

Raleigh Planning Commission

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