City Council sessions on January 5 — 1 p.m. for its regular session and 7 p.m. for its public hearings session.
City council agendas follow a very traditional format. First, there is the consent agenda, for routine items that can be approved in just one motion. Second, there’s the report and recommendation of the planning commission, where public hearings are set for rezoning cases. There’s the report and recommendation for the city manager, and then for city departments. Finally, the committees — public works or law and public safety for instance — make their reports.
These agenda previews will highlight the most important, engaging, and interesting items that we feel the public needs to know about. As many of these items are not discussed in detail in the council’s public sessions, we hope this can provide a little more insight into the business of Raleigh’s government.
The consent agenda is a set of routine items that can be approved by a roll-call vote.
Consent Agenda: Contracts & Finance
- Debt Financing for Performing Arts Center & Fire Station No. 14: Item would direct staff to look into issuance of $52 million in bond financing for renovations to the city’s performing arts center and fire station number 14 and for refinancing previous obligations.
- $88.690 paid to the town of Wake Forest for a water main installation
- $389,349 reimbursement to MBA Land Group, a private developer for the installation of an oversized sewer main in the town of Rolesville.
- Seven two-year contracts for on-call engineering & design services were issued to the following companies: Dewberry Engineers, Inc. ($500,000) Engineered Designs ($500,000) Froehling and Robertson, Inc. ($500,000) IBI Group of NC, PC ($500,000) MBP Carolinas, Inc. ($500,000) REI Engineers, Inc. ($500,000) Terracon Consultants, Inc. ($500,000).
- $112,000 contract amendment with Capital Project Consulting for federal compliance work on Union Station
- 12-month, $166,429 contract extension with Mastech, which provides open source IT services to the city
- $188,000 change order contract with Moffat Pipe for waterline replacement project.
- $1,007,100 contract amendment with Sasaki Associates for the next phase of work in the design process for the Moore Square Improvements project, which will include development of 100 percent complete construction documents, permitting, and bidding.
- $222,500 payment to Wake County for costs associated with the October 2015 municipal election and the November runoff election.
- $9,671,000 contract award to American South General Contractors for the GoRaleigh Transit Station Renovation. Contract was awarded through an open bid process.
- $65,000 sale of city-owned surplus property located at 11317 Falls of Neuse Road to Ashley M. Wallace. Sale was conducted through an upset bid process.
Consent Agenda: Streets & Traffic
- Street closing request for unfinished, unnamed alleyway off Woodland Avenue near Glenwood
- Right of way condemnation request for 3805 Mitchell Mill Road for road widening project
- Bus zones established on East Street south of Cabarrus and on Halifax Street north of Delway.
- No parking zone on the east side of Noble Road near Pine Drive.
- Speed limit reduction from 35 to 30 m.p.h. on Scouting Trail, a residential street with a daily volume of 4,252 cars.
- Right of way conveyance to Wake County Public Schools for property near new Beaverdam Elementary School.
- Request for February 2, 2016 public hearing on a residential sidewalk installation at Orleans Place. The estimated cost of construction for the project is $15,000.
Consent Agenda: Standards & Requirements
- Reduce downtown hotel parking requirements from current standard of one space per room. According to the agenda, a staff analysis found that the parking requirement can be reduced by half or more without adverse impact, which would greatly improve the economics of downtown hotel development. A text change would need to be made to the Unified Development Ordinance in order for this change to be made.
- Minor changes to historic district overlay standards, including removing the need to obtain a certificate of appropriateness for paint color in the Streetside Historic Overlay District and clarifying that a COA is not necessary for alley-adjacent additions.
These are items that fall outside of the normal structure of the council agenda.
- Zoning case Z-15-15: Rezoning of a property at Spring Forest Road and Atlantic Springs from Shopping Center Conditional Use to Commercial Mixed Use. The Planning Commission has recommended this item for approval, and the North Citizens Advisory Council voted in favor as well. The request currently before council is to establish a public hearing date of January 19, 2016 for this project.
- Dangerous Dog Ordinance: Revisions would be made to clarify certain elements of this ordinance, including specific definitions for dangerous dog, “serious injury” and “provocation.” It would also establish that “voice command” is not considered sufficient physical restraint for an “animal at large.”
- Formal text change to create four new city council committees: The Economic Development and Innovation Committee, the Growth and Natural Resources Committee, the Safe, Vibrant and Healthy Neighborhoods Committee and the Transportation and Transit Committee.
City Manager Reports and Recommendations
- Loan modification for Ripley Station affordable housing complex. In 1995, $583,479 in funding was provided to the Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation for the construction of Ripley Station in South Raleigh. The principal balance on the loan today is $581,363. Request is for a new loan of $875,000, which would allow for around $425,000 in repairs and investment in the property, and which would reduce the interest rate from 6.5 to 2 percent and set the annual repayment amount at $12,000.
- Examination of ways in which the city of Raleigh can remain compliant with new state laws governing contracts with municipal service district service providers. Raleigh currently has two MSDs, one downtown and another along the Hillsborough Street corridor. A request for proposals for new contracts for providers will be issued in February with the contracts in place by July.
- Authorize Mayor Nancy McFarlane to send comments to the NC Department of Transportation regarding the NC 540 Environmental Impact Statement. In a draft version of the letter, the Mayor expresses concern with several proposed routes for the expressway’s southeast extension project. Among the issues presented by these routes were impacts on the water supply, on school property and a wastewater treatment plant. It highlights the “Orange Route” as the least impactful and the one preferred by the city. The letter also notes that several water and sewer mains were not noted by the NCDOT’s original study.
Comprehensive Planning Committee Reports and Recommendations
- Zoning conditions for Z-22-15: applicant will provide easement access to Creedmoor Road, pedestrian but not vehicular access to Corberrie Lane and coordinate the tree preservation area with surrounding conditions.
- Recommended denial of rezoning cases Z-34-15 and Z-35-15 until the applicant comes up with an alternative access other than Six Forks Road.
Matters Scheduled for Public Hearing
These items will be discussed in the evening session, which begins at 7 p.m.
- Public Hearing on the 2016-2017 annual budget. Comments received will be referred to city staff for consideration.
- Petition Annexations for two properties in District E: The Children’s Lighthouse learning center and Linville Ridge/Shady Grove Road.
- Z-38-15 rezoning case. Request to rezone 22.9 acre property on Shady Grove Road at the intersection with Leesville Road from Residential Rural with Airport Overlay 60- 65 LDNto Residential-6 Conditional Use. The Planning Commission has recommended this item for approval, and the Northwest Citizens Advisory Council voted in favor as well.