Draft minutes from September 2009 East CAC meeting

East CAC Meeting Minutes
September 2009
Submitted by Secretary Sue Sturgis

Chair Mark Turner called the August meeting of Raleigh’s East Citizens Advisory Council to order shortly after 7 p.m. on Monday, September 21 at Lions Park Community Center. There were about 35 people in attendance throughout the evening. The August minutes were approved.

OPENING ANNOUNCEMENTS: Signs are available to help spread the word about CAC meetings. People are invited to take one and put it up in their yard the Friday before monthly meetings to encourage neighbors to get involved.

Mark reported that his neighbor and East CAC resident Scott Hazard, a sculptor and photographer, has an exhibit through October at Artspace, a nonprofit visual art center at 201 E. Davie St. in downtown Raleigh.

In good news from around the CAC: With Mark’s help, the residents of Edmund Street near the intersection of Brookside and Glascock successfully petitioned the city to address a speeding problem, with city council scheduled to discuss the matter at its October meeting … Pam Singleton was on hand to receive her Neighbor of the Month award—a laminated copy of her interview in the CAC newsletter … East CAC Vice Chair Van Alston reports that he received his rebate check for installing a water-saving toilet through the city’s WaterSense Toilet Replacement Rebate Program, and it cleared. For more on that program visit http://tinyurl.com/ltzwhy.

PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT: Continuing the good-news theme, Christie Jones has been promoted to director of Lions Park. The CAC members offered their congratulations.

Christie reported that the department would be holding a number of seasonal events, including the Halloween Trail at Durant Nature Park on October 23 and 24 and the Haunted Mordecai Festival on October 24. For people who would like to get more involved in Parks and Rec, the department’s Greenway Advisory Board meets every third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at 2401 Wade Avenue.

POLICE REPORT: Officer Kryskowiak reported that the city continues to work on opening a community police office at the Food Lion Shopping Center but the plans have not been finalized yet. Once it’s open, it will serve as his main office and a satellite office for everyone who rides that beat.

Officer Krysko also reported that he’s met with a representative of York Security, the property management company’s force, and discussed police interest in getting a security camera set up at the shopping center and connected to a computer. The cost of such a system is a concern for York.

York will ban after-hours parking in the Food Lion parking lot. In addition, Raleigh North Apartments has its parking-permit system up and running, and the management there plans to get tough with enforcing parking and trespassing rules.

Officer Krysko reported that the crackdown on gangs in other parts of the city has had the effect of driving them to this area, but the good news is that the police department is ready for them.

While clearing brush around Raleigh North, Officer Krysko found a gun—a .380. That makes the third gun he’s found in that area in the past year, with the others an AK-47 and an SKS assault rifle. The woods behind the Food Lion have also been cleared, and York is planning to erect a fence.

Officer Krysko handed out a listing of crimes that occurred in the CAC over the past month. There were 16 aggravated assaults, with half stemming from just three cases. There were also 11 larcenies from motor vehicles, but in most involved cars that were unsecured. While burglaries are down somewhat, larcenies from motor vehicles are up.

He also addressed complaints about problem dogs on at a rental property on Rumson Road. He said the city now has an ordinance—the PROP or Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit—that requires landlords to register with the city and sets certain standards with penalties for violations including monetary fines. For action to be taken, two people have to lodge a complaint, but the police officer that the problem’s reported to can be the second complainant. The fine is $100 for the first violation and $300 for the second.

One of the CAC residents reported gang graffiti at 901 Glascock and at Glascock and Bennett. The city’s graffiti hotline is 919-996-6001.

In response to a question about when we would hear back from the Police Department regarding our priority brainstorm session, Mr. Michael Ballen, an assistant to the chief, reported that there’s typically a turnaround time of fix to six months.

A woman who lives in Park Glen reported hearing gunshots early in the morning. She’s having difficulty telling exactly where they’re coming from, but they seem to be in the direction of Raleigh North Apartments.

PRESENTATION BY JAY MERCER, RALEIGH’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR: Invited to speak on handling emergencies such as hurricanes, tornados, etc., Mr. Mercer talked a bit about the city’s general readiness for such situations. While the city manager is officially in charge during a disaster, elected officials are ultimately responsible for what happens. “The buck stops with the mayor,” Mr. Mercer said.

He encouraged residents to prepare in advance for emergencies with a prep kit that includes water, nonperishable foods, medicines, diapers if necessary, etc. Flashlights and batteries are critical to have on hand, and candles should be avoided because they’re fire hazards. The general rule of thumb in an emergency is to prepare to be on your own for 96 hours. For more details on emergency preparedness, see the Raleigh Office of Emergency Management’s website at http://bit.ly/4yeLhj.

REZONING CASE Z-18-09/LONGVIEW GROCERY: The Outreach, Planning and Economic Development Committee Chair Bobby Poole reported that the group’s members held a meeting the previous Monday regarding the proposed rezoning of the Longview Grocery Store at Poole Road and Norwood Street. Ten members of the committee, several nearby residents and the principal of neighboring Poe Elementary School met with developer Danny Coleman to discuss the case, which involves reclassifying the long-noncompliant property from Residential-6 to Shopping Center-Conditional Use.

Bobby noted that all the properties around the grocery are residential, and that the city’s Comprehensive Plan designates all future development in that area to be residential. The committee voted 10-0 against the rezoning. Other concerns raised about the rezoning included the fact that there were 98 crimes reported in the store’s vicinity last year, and that there are other retail outlets nearby. Meanwhile, there could be as many as seven residential units placed on the property.

Mr. Coleman addressed the CAC, noting that people do patronize the store that’s there now and pointing out that’s it’s possible to have vibrant communities next to retail development. He also noted that as the city grows residents would want walkable communities. “We can’t just shut down in situations like this,” he said. “We have to be creative.”

The CAC then voted on a motion to deny the rezoning, passing it 16 to 2. The vote will be reported at a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council planned for October 20. The entire process from here on can take anywhere from six to eight months.

CAC OFFICERS: Mark reported that nominations are now being accepted for CAC chair, vice chair and secretary. All of the current officers—Chairman Mark Turner, Vice Chair Van Alston and Secretary Sue Sturgis—were re-nominated. More nominations will be accepted at next month’s meeting, when a vote will be taken.

NEIGHBORHOOD RECOGNITION AWARD NOMINATIONS: Charlene Willard of the Community Services Department said nominations are being accepted for the Neighborhood Recognition Awards, which are sponsored by the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council to honor those who work to make their communities better places. Individuals, neighborhood groups, schools, nonprofit organizations and others are eligible.

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