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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Welcome to the INDY's Raleigh City Council Live Blog

Posted by on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 1:07 PM

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It's Tuesday, 1 o'clock on this first day of March. 

Just a few moments ago, Mayor Nancy McFarlane—flanked by the city council and Wake County Commissioner James West—made a statement addressing yesterday's shooting death of Akiel Denkins by RPD officer D.C. Twiddy at Bragg Street and S. East Street in southeast Raleigh. 

It was brief: 

"Yesterday lives were changed and we stand here, both present and past elected leaders, to ask for calm, prayer and patience. Any loss of life, regardless of circumstance, is heartbreaking and we offer our sincere condolences to all of those involved. We understand the need and desire of the community for information to be able to make sense of yesterday's events. We are committed to ensuring information is shared as it becomes available. Please join us in calm, prayer and patience and please keep all of those involved in this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers."

The Mayor didn't take any questions from reporters.

We have a pretty short agenda today. Two items may be of interest: first, there is a request from the historic Glenwood-Brooklyn neighborhood to rezone property to apply a Historic Overlay District-Streetside. That will, the hope is, protect the neighborhood from incompatible development. The second item is proposed revisions to the dangerous dog ordinance, which the council will be considering once again. 

1:07 p.m.: The meeting has been called to order and we started with a moment of silence. Pastor Dave C. Forbes Sr. from Shaw University Divinity School asks for prayers for Akiel Denkins and his family in his invocation. 

1:12: Next week is Boys and Girls Club week in Raleigh, per the mayor. 

1:14: VP of the North Carolina Symphony is here. It has partnered with City of Raleigh for decades. It's the largest performing arts organization in the state and has been around for 83 years! There were 85 performances in Raleigh, for 80,000 attendees...80,000 people spending $ downtown. 

1:17: MAB wants to know when we can get the Moody Blues here to play with the symphony. The symphony played a show during the Bluegrass festival last year. : )

1:18: Consent is approved, except for parking zones on St. Alban's Drive. That's being held for two weeks.

1:19: Planning Commission report: it's the Glenwood-Brooklyn application for a Historic Overlay District-Streetside. The Planning Commission recommends approval. There were some questions about boundaries for commercial entities; Planning Commission chair Steve Schuster said the commission didn't want to gerrymander the district because district drawing is based on national guidelines for HODs. Some property owners wanted to be removed from the district so the commission asks the council to look at that. The council approves the request and there will be a public hearing on the HOD in April where residents can address that. 

1:22: There will be a public hearing in April for a Hillsborough Street rezoning to permit a mixed-use development in close proximity to N.C. State's campus on a main street/transit emphasis corridor. The applicant wants a public hearing in March though. Kay Crowder is concerned about getting enough public input before March. There will be some a decision on the public hearing scheduling later this afternoon. 

1:27: Onto the dangerous dog ordinance proposed revisions. Corey Branch wants to provide a list to the public (dog owners) regarding dangerous dog behavior. The city attorney proposes making the ordinance effective March 15 to give animal control officers enough time to be trained on the new ordinance. Council approves it. 

1:29: City manager Ruffin Hall says there's a lot coming up on the council's March 8 work session, including Six Forks corridor study and Raleigh rail; bike share program will be back March 15. 

1:30: RPD body cameras will be taken up March 15 as well. There was supposed to be a presentation on body cameras for Raleigh police officers during a budget work session yesterday: pros and cons, what other cities are doing etc. were to be presented. Potentially body cameras—a pilot program for example—could be a budget item this year. 

1:32: Ruffin says March will give them enough time in case body cameras has a budgetary impact. RS: Obviously the chief has got a lot on her plate right now but sooner we can have this conversation and get her recommendation on this it will the best for us."

1:33: Report of council members: Corey Branch moves to look at giving $50,000 to Advanced Community Healthcare, an agreement with Rex Hospital. KC says that money should be taken out of the city's grant fund rather Council Contingency fund. There's a motion for that on the table, and it passes.

1:35: Dickie Thompson thanks public utilities department employees for "outstanding customer service on a matter that came up last week."

1:36: MAB requests funding from contingency for $2,500 for WakeUp Wake County's annual downtown walk-ability tour on April 16. Council approves. 

1:39: Kay Crowder nominates Neil Riemann for Board of Adjustments because she says there is an immediate need to be filled on the board. She makes a motion. MAB says she would like to wait on that; she has no objection with the candidate but is concerned about the process. There will be a vote to suspend rules for nominating and appointing Neil Riemann to the Board of Adjsutment; BG says he will need more time too. MAB says she will not vote. Everyone but BG votes in favor of appointing Neil Riemann to the BoA, so Neil Riemann is appointed. 

1:42: The Hillsborough Street hearing from above will happen in April. See you this evening!

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