whdodge | Indy Week

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Re: “A contemporary home threatens to tear Oakwood apart

My letter to the city last week..

Mayor McFarlane and Raleigh City Council members,

I am writing to you this evening in order to express my overwhelming disappointment with how the City of Raleigh has chosen to handle the building of 516 Euclid St. (better known as the Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon residence) in Oakwood.

As someone who holds degrees in both architecture and architectural history, in addition to also being someone who is keenly aware of the site and circumstances surrounding the lot in question (my wife, step-daughter and I lived at the adjacent property of 526 N. East St. for 3+ years until 2012), I am awestruck by the circus of arrogance, incompetence, and genuine ridiculousness surrounding this entire situation. The Raleigh Historic Development Commission made their ruling for a reason. Why reverse their decision? It sets a precedent that the City REALLY should not want… If you let this reversal stand, how can anyone ever trust the outcomes of such rulings again? In addition, should you allow this reversal to remain intact, you will have effectively rendered any/all such committees useless.

I read a great quote the other day (in NCMH’s weekly newsletter) where Raleigh architect Michael Stevenson of KlingStubbins, discusses this very issue.

"I attended the RHDC hearing (last fall) where this case was heard and approved, and it was stated by the Commissioners that this application was one of the most complete, thoughtful and professional applications that they had ever received. Louis Cherry followed the process in good faith, heard the concerns of all parties, and received his approval only after complying with all of the City’s requirements. If this approval can be reversed, then all future applicants will also be at risk."

How can any reasonable person argue with this fact?

I urge you to remedy this situation at the earliest possible moment, because for now there are 2 homeowners (who’s home is roughly 80% complete) who are by the City’s hand, left in a cruel state of limbo due to the unreasonable misgivings of the lunatic fringe. Why go through all this in the first place? to appease a few fanatical residents? I can assure you that the neighborhood sentiment on this issue is as divided as any in recent memory (we are still currently on the list-serve). The fact that this is even an issue and has proceeded to this point is nothing short of embarrassing. Let’s be brutally honest, Oakwood hasn’t been getting the greatest of press lately with crime on the rise within the neighborhood over the past 12-18 months… The fact that there are people genuinely excited to invest and make their long-term lives there should be not only embraced, but quite honestly celebrated. These folks followed the appropriate means for approval only to have the rug seemingly pulled out from under them. Neither you nor I can begin to imagine the nightmare that they’re currently living and I can only implore you to do what is right… I trust that you will.

Thank you for your time.


William H. Dodge

36 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by whdodge on 02/26/2014 at 8:05 AM

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