Chris Crew was born in Morganton, NC and moved to Raleigh in 1964. He’s been a resident of Historic Oakwood since 1975.

Educated at NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill, works for the State of NC in Public Safety. Preservationist, Cook, Trombonist, Brewer, Choirboy, Grandfather.

Chris delivered the following comments to City Council on June 20, 2023

Thank you for the opportunity to bring Preservation as a value to your attention again.

Recent events illustrate that the Council is becoming more aware of Preservation issues associated with development pressures and zoning change requests. Raleigh must make a concerted effort to preserve the cultural and material heritage that makes this a desirable destination.

Speculative rezoning is counter to a Preservation ethic; re-zoning proposals reviewed by the Planning Commission should include PLANS, not just requests for additional height, non-conforming usage or reduction of setback requirements.

Rezoning proposals that violate the tenets of our carefully crafted and hard-won UDO including Neighborhood Character Overlays, Historic Districts and Landmarks protections should not be considered unless they support preservation of historic structures, vistas, character, affordability and generational wealth.

If naturally occurring affordable housing or historic and cultural resources are being threatened, as with many current zoning requests including the TOD, approval should be predicated on valid, binding and successful preservation measures to be implemented BEFORE issuance of a zoning variance.

If the request shows as a consequence the loss of naturally occurring affordable housing and erosion of generational wealth and cultural heritage, the request MUST be offset by the responsibility to create an equal number of affordable housing units in the redevelopment area, and they must be truly affordable—60% of AMI is unrealistic—new or replacement affordable housing should be affordable to those truly in need and earning far less than 60% AMI. According to Zip Recruiter, a wage of less than $43/hr places a Raleigh resident in the LOWER MIDDLE CLASS. While I live in a house now valued at nearly a million, I qualify as Lower Middle Class based on income.

We can do better and do more to preserve what made Raleigh a destination and we can afford to show more respect and concern for the diverse and less-affluent citizens who represent the backbone of our service-centered economy.

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