Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Z-67-21, located at the intersections of I-440 at Lassiter Mill Road and Lassiter Mill Road at Six Forks Road. This despite strong concerns expressed by area residents concerning the impact on fire safety, traffic, and neighborhood quality of life, as well as concerns about inconsistencies with the Comprehensive Plan, the Future Land Use Map, and the Midtown Area Plan.

The Economic Development and Innovation Committee voted to recommend approval of Text Change TC-12-21, which would effectively eliminate residential zoning and allow accessory commercial units within residential districts.

Because State law does not allow the City to regulate sales of alcohol, tobacco, or firearms if they allow retail sales, the committee voted to move forward with allowing personal services, but to hold off on allowing retail and perhaps approach General Assembly to ask for ability to regulate retail to prohibit alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. Note that the Mayor has never suggested approaching the General Assembly to ask for permission to allow inclusionary zoning to help with our Affordable Housing crisis.

City Council Work Session

Councilor Buffkin absent and excused.

Parks Bond

Council reviewed options for a Parks Bond ranging from about $200M to $300M, necessitating tax increases ranging from an additional $.0279 to an additional $.0424.

Mayor Baldwin summarizes consensus asking for $275M bond covering scenario 3, reducing Devereux Meadows to $13.5M, looking at equity, looking at improvements first, and looking at public-private partnerships.

If passed, tax increase would be approximately 4 cents per thousand dollars of property value.

Sidewalk Program Update and Staff Recommendations

  • Sidewalk Petition program suspended in 2020 to catch up on project backlog. Current unfunded petitions include $3.2M for sidewalks and $8.7M for street improvements.
  • Evaluate revisions to transportation programs and policies to improve equitable implementation of infrastructure improvements, broaden options, increase eligibility, and reduce barriers to participation.
  • Start Community Engagement with a consultant to understand root causes of disparities and to provide input to program reform or potential elimination
  • Develop alternative options for neighborhood sidewalk selection and prioritization, and further incorporate equity findings into the process
  • Investigate and pilot design-build delivery process
  • Pilot lower cost alternatives to traditional sidewalk construction
  • Complete remaining sidewalk petition projects as funding becomes available; street petitions may require a new transportation bond to move ahead
  • Retain consultant to conduct community engagement to identify causes of inequities & program reform
  • Complete equity review & update sidewalk selection and prioritization process, with further incorporation of equity findings into these processes

City Council Afternoon Session Public Hearings postponed from earlier meetings

Councilor Buffkin absent and excused.

  • Street Improvement Assessments – Sandy Forks Road Widening and Street Improvements – Confirmation of Cost – approved unanimously
  • Rezoning Z-57-21: New Bern Avenue and Bart Street, at the southwest corner of the intersection of New Bern Avenue with Poole Road and Battery Drive (District C) – revised conditions will be submitted and request will come back for a vote next week on May 17
  • Rezoning Z-61-21: 316 W Edenton Street at the northeast corner of W Edenton and N Harrington Streets – hearing continued to May 17
  • Text Change TC-20-21: Missing Middle 2.0 – More Homes, More Choices – approved 6 to 1 with Councilor Cox dissenting
  • Comprehensive Plan Amendment CP-15-21: Frequent Transit Areas – Approved 5 to 2 with Councilors Cox and Knight objecting.