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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Welcome to the INDY's Raleigh City Council live blog

Posted by on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Hi-yo, faithful readers. It's a new era in the Raleigh City Council; its three new members, Dickie Thompson, David Cox and Corey Branch, were sworn in yesterday evening at Meymandi Hall. Nothing like hitting the ground the running as they say in the professional world with which I am loosely affiliated. 

On the agenda this afternoon, we've got revisions to the dangerous dog ordinance and a new design for Moore Square Park.

The real fun starts this evening, though: neighbors from Lorimer Road will express their disappointment with the street improvements being foisted upon them by the City (one property owner has to pay $10,000 for said improvements- seriously.)

We will re-visit the well-meaning pilot program with the dumb name, the Glenwood South Hospitality District

And we will see about food trucks and whether they may vend streetside. And more. 

1:12: There was dilly-dallying but we appear to be getting started. Mayor Nancy is welcoming the newbies. 

1:15: Matt Tomasulo has accepted a 2-year term on the Planning Commission. Good move, Raleigh City Council. 

1:17: Apparently Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in North Carolina. Did not know that. 

1:18: First Night Raleigh is giving a presentation. Ashley Gaylord, wife of Bonner, is presenting. There's going to be a gigantic New Years Eve celebration, as per. The theme is North Carolina Firsts. We are number one in the world in salamander diversity- that is unique and quirky! 

1:20: 300 volunteers are needed for a putt-putt course (?) Mayor Nancy urges you to sign up.

1:22: Election of Mayor Pro Tem. Mayor Nancy nominates Kay Crowder- she is elected unanimously...

1:23: Apparently there will be some changes in the Council's committee structure. Mayor Nancy wants to "align them with strategic goals" to keep focus on said goals and work cross-departmentally.  Committee assignments will be made tonight.

1:25: Consent agenda has been approved. Moving along. Planning commission report is up. A Spring Forest Road/Atlantic Avenue Road rezoning case will go to public hearing in January.

1:27: Special items. Oakland Drive and Six Forks road rezoning cases are up first.  

1:30: Kay Crowder is voting against both of these cases because—even though they were recommended for approval—she thinks they're inconsistent with the Comp. plan. 

1:38: They go back to the Comp. Plan Committee. Onto dangerous dog ordinance. We're getting rid of the Dangerous Dog Committee and "dangerous dogs" will now be handled by RPD Animal Control division. 

1:39: The definition of dangerous dog is pretty much the same as before. MAB says there was confusion between  the animal control unit and the city attorneys office about what can be done about dangerous; this establishes that clearly: restrictions on dogs declared dangerous, appeal process for owners of dangerous dogs, establishes authority to "destroy" a dangerous animal if it can't be caught humanely. 

1:41: Russ says he wants to ask questions about the ordinance in a work session.

1:43: MAB says people will be frustrated if this doesn't move quickly; there are problems with dangerous dogs in Southeast Raleigh. Corey Branch says he has questions too. Suggests addressing this in January. 

1:45: Dickie Thompson alludes to "that terrible thing that happened in the past week"...? Bonner says bad owners create dangerous dogs, so we need to make dogs liabilities to bad owners. Anyway, this will be back in January.

1:46: City manager report. First is implementing land management software from Tyler Technologies, Inc. That will cost $9,716,857 over the next ten years. 

1:52: David Cox wants to know if the city is getting access for the public to view the software? We are, though citizens being able to provide feedback is not part of this contract. The contract's approved.

1:54: We're talking the Dillon project parking arrangement which came up at the last minute. There are some timing issues that need to be addressed. Everyone votes in favor of giving manager's office authority to extend the timeline on that project.

1:57: Moore Square is up. The new plan balances cultural historic character with growth and "activating" the site. Sasaki was the consulting group on the plan. They're seeking approval for 15 percent of the design.

2:00 Trees have been central to the design process, the Sasaki consultant says. There will be a frame of oaks. They want to keep some trees and plant more. There will be public art, a central gathering space for events and programs. New amenities, including a cafe and restrooms. "Water play" and children's play. Outdoor rooms for book clubs and painting, yoga space. It will be a "civic plaza."

2:03: There will be "a 1200 square foot piece of architecture:" restrooms, office for staff, kitchen for concessions. movable tables and chairs, an "urban porch."

2:06: By march/April, 40% will be ready for view; bidding will start in the summer and the park is hoped to be reopened by 2017. The budget for this project is over $12 million. But this is shared property with state; Kay Crowder wants to know if we have long term contract with the state? 

2:08: No lease with the state of NC but they are signing off on what is moving forward. State will have to issue building permits and the city is already working with the state. Council approves the design unanimously. 

2:10: The Raleigh Arts Commission is requesting approval of its annual work plan. They do things like the International Festival, and keep up the art galleries and exhibitions in the Municipal Building, the painted crosswalks on Glenwood.

2:15: CAM is sponsoring a temporary mural on a building near future Union Station that will be torn down (but painted in transitional stage). City buses will be painted. 

2:17: A ten year arts plan is in the works. Public Art and Design Board is a participant. The final draft will be out soon, for council to adopt in February.

2:18: People wanted more public art in their neighborhoods. Y0u may have seen some sculptures going up around town. That's them. There will be structures at the 3 roundabouts on Hillsborough Street. 

2:20: Mayor Nancy says this is a great vision. hey approve the work plans for the Raleigh Arts Commission and Public Art and Design Boards. 

2:21: Raleigh Historic Development Commission report on Glenwood-Brooklyn Historic District. Council accepts their recommendations

2:23: Substance Abuse Advisory Commission is presenting their work plan. Apparently heroin overdoses are on the increase. 

2:27: The commission is looking at it and will present. 

2:30: No other reports. Dickie Thompson elaborates on his comments about dangerous dogs: apparently a child was attacked last week by a dog. 

2:32: Bonner asks if new street connections will have bicycle connections; they can be added to map for bike/pedestrian connections. 

2:33: Mayor Nancy says Council will take a retreat Jan. 13-15. Focus will be: functioning well as a board and communication. She proposes an out-of-town location: Charlotte. Because they can travel there by train, and Union Station is coming. And they have light rail there. 

2:37: MAB wants to look at how city can coordinate efforts with county and school system in addressing homelessness among children. 

That's it for now; see you tonight. 

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