Draft minutes of the May 2009 East CAC meeting

East CAC Meeting Minutes
May 2009
Submitted by Secretary Sue Sturgis

Chairman Mark Turner opened the monthly meeting of the East CAC at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2009 at Lion’s Park Community Center, with 34 people attending throughout the evening. They included five students with the Citizens’ Participation Leadership Institute, an educational program for Raleigh residents seeking deeper engagement with city government. For more on the Institute, visit http://tinyurl.com/nksqor. The minutes from the last meeting were approved.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Kryskowiak gave the monthly crime update. He was not able to provide the usual detailed report from the department because the person who compiles it was out of the office, but he provided several maps with crime data.

There’s an ongoing problem with robberies, with one incident involving a pistol that took place at the Food Lion Shopping Center at Raleigh Boulevard and Glascock. There was also a robbery of a pizza delivery driver on Marlborough Road, and several robberies of Hispanics on Calumet Drive. The area also suffered a few burglaries, some involving homes where people had gone out and left their doors or windows open.

There was an incident involving damages to vehicles on Clarendon Crescent that was gang-related. The police plan to begin focusing on gang problems in that area. They’re also launching an effort to photograph gang members in order to help with identification of suspects in the future. To help with that initiative, residents are asked to call in reports of suspicious activities that might have a gang connection.

Residents of the Longview Lake area again brought up concerns about illegal parking and trespassing near the private facility. Officer Kryskowiak asked residents to compile a list of people who are allowed to be there in order to facilitate police ability to take action against trespassers.

There were questions about a shooting incident reported recently by Enloe students on Poole Road near Sunnybrook. Officer Kryskowiak’s report did not include any details, which he said he would look into. This summer the department plans to assign three more officers to that area, which has problems with gang activity.

The Raleigh Police are launching an initiative against drug houses in an effort to bring federal charges against dealers. Residents who have suspected drug houses in their neighborhoods are asked to e-mail james dot kryskowiak at ci.raleigh.nc.us.

PARKS & REC REPORT: Christy Jones with Lions Park noted that the parks are always in need of volunteers for coaching, scorekeeping, cleanup, etc. If you’re interested, contact her at (919) 831-6995. For more information about the department’s current programs, please go to www.parks.raleigh.nc.gov.

SPECIAL USE PERMIT ON CAPITAL BOULEVARD: The business on northbound Capital Boulevard across the street from the carwash on Dennis Avenue has been operating a vehicle salvage and towing operation that is noncompliant with the property’s Industrial-2 zoning. The owners have asked for a special-use permit to continue the business. Nearby residents are interested in seeking conditions to the permit, such as improving screening of the property, which is now enclosed only by a chain-link fence. Residents will be making a presentation of the Board of Adjustment detailing their concerns.

COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: LaToya Montague, volunteer coordinator with Communities in Schools of Wake County, shared information on the volunteer-based program, which connects students with community resources and educational opportunities to aid their academic progress. CIS offers six after-school learning centers in public housing communities and also has programs at nine school sites from Raleigh to Garner and Zebulon.

She shared a story about a phone call she got from a student’s father, who was near tears after his daughter received her first college acceptance letter. Besides helping students get into college, CIS also helps families understand how to pay for it. It also provides assistance for students facing end-of-grade tests. Some volunteers simply read with students, while others tutor on more difficult subjects like math.

CIS usually pairs new volunteers with the youngest students, because they’re the easiest to work with, but the need is great among middle and high school students. The organization also holds a school supply drive every summer, because going to class without the right tools makes it hard for students to succeed. For more information about the program, including volunteer opportunities, please visit http://ciswake.org/.

WAKE TECH IMPROVEMENTS DISCUSSION: Richard Brown with Kimley-Horn and Associates discussed the project the development firm is undertaking at Wake Tech’s health sciences campus on Sunnybrook Road south of New Bern Avenue. In an effort to create a more campus-like environment and add more students, Wake Tech plans to build a new, five-story health sciences building and a six-level parking deck with a pedestrian bridge to a central campus plaza. In a nod to environmental sustainability, the new building will be LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, with a “green” roof and rainwater collection system. A traffic impact analysis is underway, but Brown said he doesn’t expect an increase of more than 3 percent. The property is currently zoned Office & Institutional, which would require no changes. The CAC members applauded the plans.

DONALD ROSS DRIVE REZONING CASE Z-15-09: Up for a vote was the case involving the Grady family’s request to rezone their property and lift a conservation overlay in order to build six houses on a double lot where one house has long stood. Nearby residents expressed concerns about the density and the fact that the plans call for two-story houses in a neighborhood where most houses are one-story. They are also worried that lifting the overlay will create pressure for more change in the neighborhood, which has long been characterized by single-family homes on relatively large lots.

The Grady family countered that change has already come to the area in the form of rental housing and office buildings that are empty tonight, and argued that since change is inevitable it might as well come in the form of the quality housing they want to build.

In the end, the CAC voted against the rezoning 10-2.

CAC COMMITTEES: The CAC is organizing committees, and the Planning and Economic Development Committee that grew out of last month’s discussion about the kinds of economic development residents would like to see in the area held its first meeting earlier that evening. Right now the CAC’s west side is disproportionately represented, so people who live in the eastern part of the CAC are especially encouraged to get involved. (That includes Lockwood and the area around the Raleigh Country Club.) If you’d like to participate, please contact Charlene Willard in the city’s Community Services Department at charlene dot willard at ci.raleigh.nc.us.

Comments are closed.