Lisa Hughet delivered the following comments to Raleigh City Council at the June 6, 2023 meeting.

Lisa has lived in Raleigh for nearly 30 years and says “my activism really kicked into high gear during the pandemic. Ironically, coinciding with a new City Council who appears not to have the residents of Raleigh as their highest priority. I’m also active in affordable housing matters and animal rescue.”

NOTE: Ms. Hughet made these remarks at the beginning of June. Unfortunately they remain relevant in August because Council has taken no action in response to the community feedback they sought out.

You conducted an intense Missing Middle engagement campaign and reviewed the results in March. The last slide covered recommended actions for Council to take to address resident concerns. The discussion that followed acknowledged the work and gave some vague direction to staff to look at more options for affordability.

Wait, what? After all the public comments lamenting Council on this TC and the 72 pages of comments from residents, it ends with a vague ask? Maybe a report back from staff?

But the kicker for me was when Mayor Baldwin publically stated on two occasions that she has no interest in tweaking this policy. Listen, if you ask for my input, I expect you to take some action. Deliberate and specific action. How can you not see this as an opportunity to make some modifications? Instead, residents are starting to take matters into their own hands by applying for text changes to try and curb the harm MM has and will continue to have on the character of Raleigh.

I think you can make some reasonable revisions that would give single family neighborhoods a modicum of protection against the worst of what MM can do. And let’s not forget, not all neighborhoods are at risk. Just those that don’t have an HOA.

The protections I’m talking about include larger setbacks, proportional heights and massing limits or restrictions. These would help in getting the scale and character of new development that works, and perhaps save some of the mature tree canopy. By proportional heights I mean something that might push the envelope to get density but not put everything else around it in shadow.

It’s been a while since I read the policy but I don’t think it addresses massing. This occurs when multiple contiguous lots are joined to create MM properties. There’s one in the Village District off Chamberlain where a dozen houses were torn down. As I understand it, MM would allow for 3 stories and 100’s of apts on the site. An unintended consequence I believe the city should go back and “tweak”.

We need more housing. But what we really need is more affordable housing. Let’s agree that MM will not meet that need for decades to come. You can call it more choice but don’t call it affordable.

We want smart development so neighborhoods can retain character, tree canopy, sustainable stormwater management.

5/23 WRAL interview re: Brookside 7 TH. MAB – I’m not into tweaking this. But one thing I would consider is a mandatory meeting between developers and neighbors so people are informed.

Aug 2022 Knight: He also asked staff to look into opp to increase the transparency of the dev process for opp for direct engagement between the developers of MM projects and neighbors impacted”

Any homeowner knows there’s always a risk that the lot next door could be sold and a McMansion put up in its place.

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